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Harness or No Harness

Discussion in 'Public Safety Divers/Search and Rescue' started by Waterdog Diver, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. muddiver

    muddiver Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: West Coast USA
    2,630
    104
    63
    Sorry, I forgot you guys work in quiet, shallow water with gently sloping enrty points. Where I work and where I was trained, we had to, on occation, lift the dive without the aid of a crane up a considerable height with all his gear on. Divers don't fit in stokes baskets well with all their gear on, and divers can asparate water if they are stripped down in the water to load into a basket. Not ideal, but having a harness of sufficient strength provides places to grab for rescue as well as a lifting method in an emergency.

    oneshotshooter, it sounds like you do have a good setup. I would be interested in seeing one to see how it is put together.
     
  2. bridgediver

    bridgediver Instructor, Scuba

    758
    5
    0
    I know my family would prefer they recover me vs the gear; gotcha...:D

    Slinging it (as per tech guys) doesn't work since we're plowing up the bottom.
    Only real suitable place is on the back next to the main; which leads us to how do we get it off?
    The back-up diver has to take it off or... the diver has to take the rig off to pull the spare bottle off
     
  3. oneshotshooter

    oneshotshooter Dive Charter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Cambridge, MN
    133
    30
    28
    We don't use cranes or helicopters. Mainly shore entry and boat entry. I could see where harness would be a lot more comfortable in that situation. Very streamlined in the river current.

    Mine too :D. I had already surfaced with my redundant air source. Do you think the New Jersey guy in the drift net stayed attached?

    The only time my pony gets in the way is when I'm trying to load a spear gun. And I don't get to do that when I'm diving for the county.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. CCTX50

    CCTX50 Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Corpus Christi, Texas
    205
    7
    18
    I agree a lot with what Bridgediver says about harnesses.

    Oneshot you mention that you would like to be able to recover your gear. Well, I would much rather live for the day so that I would be able to recover on another day.

    Being tethered to your BP/W and not a harness IMHO is not the way to go. I have been in situations where I was so entangled that I could not free my gear until I removed my gear and worked on it for a while. Yet the whole time I was still tethered to the surface via a chest harness. If I needed to surface I would be able to do so and come back recover the gear at a later date.

    As with all things... what works for me may not work for you. Yet, if you are diving tethered why not be tethered to your body and not your BCD?
     
  5. oneshotshooter

    oneshotshooter Dive Charter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Cambridge, MN
    133
    30
    28
     
  6. Wayne at DiveSeekers

    Wayne at DiveSeekers Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: New Jersey
    863
    170
    43
    The back inflate system will always tend to tip you forward or face down in the water. A good thing if you're underwater, free swimming but if you're working on the surface with a victim it may be a liability

    We work with local dive teams and we are seeing more and more of them going to BP&W setups. With these setups (Back-Inflate) they allow for optimal gear config and when the harness is properly fitted, they will not tilt you forward in the water.

    We see some divers use the PSD harness, but we are also seeing ones that are just using their BP/W and accomplishing the same thing minus the PSD Harness.
     
  7. muddiver

    muddiver Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: West Coast USA
    2,630
    104
    63
    Availability and cost will always drive the choice of equipment configuration.
     
  8. bridgediver

    bridgediver Instructor, Scuba

    758
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    I haven't seen a back inflate yet that doesn't tip you forward - its simple physics. People that do wear them (and I am one) have to always counter this effect by arching back and use constant finning to remain upright. Most don't realize their doing it and its not a big deal for sport diving but it could be a liability when a diver is under heavy exertion on the surface as PSDs often are.
    Next time you're out just observe any person in a back inflate. I guarantee that they are arching and/or constantly swimming to maintain a comfortable head up position. Contrast that to a jacket BCD where the person is able to float on the surface head up without moving

    oneshot; the most important thing is that you're comfortable with your system and it works for you so I won't ever say that "you're wrong". There is always a better mouse trap out there though and if you want to approach the most efficient and effective way of doing PSD there is a better way - ie using a harness is better than not.
    For the $40 they cost they sure do make a difference in a multitude of ways. If you never properly try one then I guess you'd never know
     
  9. oneshotshooter

    oneshotshooter Dive Charter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Cambridge, MN
    133
    30
    28
    I was forced to wear one several years ago when I completed my ice diving certification. I did not like it. And yes, cost is a big factor, but since we buy our own equipment, it came down to personal preference. If they did buy the equipment, I would pay the extra to dive what I am diving now.

    When I am on the surface, I usually float on my back, to eliminate any minor forward tipping. It is a small bladder, so I don't notice it very much except on extended surface swims. I imagine the forward tipping would be more pronounced when I dive my doubles with bigger wings. I usually don't do a lot of surface swimming with my doubles :wink: but if I needed to I would be on my back. The best thing about my system is all I have to do is unscrew 2 wing nuts to change between the two. :eyebrow:. When I moved to Florida I could potentially see using my doubles for public safety diving. :D
     
  10. ditch-diver

    ditch-diver Instructor, Scuba

    231
    7
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    I neither fin constantly or struggle to stay upright when wearing a BP with wings. With a steel tank and keel weight, I actually find it quite balanced. The only ones I have seen who were falling on their face were GROSSLY overweighted and needed a full bladder to stay afloat. I spend hours and hours bobbing around and it has never been an issue. When we discussed them the main issue was the 'floating an unconscious person face down' thing but as we are always in ffm and forbid our divers to remove their mask while in the water it is a non-issue.

    I wouldn't use 'em if we were a team using mask and reg.
     

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