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How would you do this?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by DeepSeaDan, May 29, 2013.

  1. DeepSeaDan

    DeepSeaDan Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Ontario, Canada

    Last evening I had occasion to be in the pool to do some remedial work with a few of my current Divemaster students. We were sharing pool time with a former Divemaster student of mine - a gentleman who truly excels at skills demonstration. He was conducting a DSD session for 8 clients. At one point, I brought my charge over to observe this fellow demonstrate "Regulator Recovery," which he performed with his usual attention to form & detail, from the kneeling position.

    Driving home, I pondered the way that skill is generally taught: Option #1 - on the knees, the exaggerated right-side tilt n' dip, straight right arm pulled straight back/tight to the body, touch the knee, touch the tank boot, then a sweep around etc.etc. Then the other popular option of the "reach back - find the hose - find the 2nd stage technique. What has been pointed out & discussed many times on this board is why we teach certain skills the way we do, and "just how much diving is done while perched on our knees anyway!!" However, I don't want this to be another discussion of the merits of "neutrally buoyant" skills training ( though I'm a huge advocate of the philosophy! ); rather, I'd like to make a point, then ask 3 questions.

    The Point:

    When I teach "Regulator Recovery," I first discuss/demo & do the standard methods. Then I ask this question: "So there you are, mid-water, merrily finning along, when some super-speedo-uber-doofus blazes by your face, kicks the regulator right out of your mouth, & half-dislodges / partially floods your mask. Now, what are you going to do?" As yet, no one has replied that they'd stop, sink to the bottom, alight to their knees and perform a sweep, though a few thought they'd simply tilt to the right & sweep while horizontal. When I asked them how they thought they'd react if the sweep arm came around "empty", they all agreed the feeling would be "much less than good." Others opined that they'd use the reach-back technique, though admitted they'd be nervous of "grabbing the wrong hose" at a time when their need for air was likely going to be intense. Still others thought they might look to their buddy for air. So then I ask them: "wouldn't it be great if you had a 2nd regulator, located in an easy-to-find / easy-to-access location, that you could utilize first, then locate your primary regulator in comfort & calm?"

    Ah, to watch the lights come on!

    "Yes, of course it would! We DO in fact have such a regulator in such a place!!"

    I then suggest to them that an optimum location for that alternate second stage would be on a necklace, perched conveniently below their chin...just like mine is now!


    The Questions:

    How were you taught to: 1. 'Wear" your alternate 2nd stage 2. "Recover" your primary regulator, and 3. Is that the way you think you'd recover it, should you have occasion to "lose it."

  2. lostcajun

    lostcajun Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Lost in Texas
    We were taught to attach our alt reg on our BCDs toward the center of our chest. If we needed it for others or ourselves all we would have to do is bring our hand to our chest pop it out of its holder, clear it and breathe. We were taught to recover the primary reg, but our instructor taught us to stay calm and remember we have options. We practiced this several times to become familiar with the technique.
  3. CT-Rich

    CT-Rich Solo Diver

    I have forgotten how I was trained (it was a long time ago). I usually go for the sweep and if that fails, I might make a second sweep adjusting for the best guess as to why it wasn't where I thought it was. Following that I would reach for my octo.

    The mask I would take care of last, because it is unlikely to change anything about looking for something I cannot see.
  4. EastEndDiver

    EastEndDiver Captain

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Long Island NY
    I was taught when there was no such thing as an octopus just the primary so the sweep method was all that was available.
    Nemrod and Ste Wart like this.
  5. DeepSeaDan

    DeepSeaDan Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Ontario, Canada
    Hey CT,

    I hear you about the "long ago" part! I penned this point/questions primarily for the novice diver, as I'm concerned their lack of experience in diving would adversely affect their ability to respond ( due to a lower threshold for panic ) to such an "assault" as I've described. Quick, easy & simple solutions, I feel, best suit the novice diver.

    I feel this way despite the novice's "mastery" of basic diving skills post-entry level training.

    Situational "mastery" only comes with experience.

  6. rhwestfall

    rhwestfall Woof! ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: "La Grande Ile"
    reach for my Air-2? Oh wait, thats a different thread.....:D

    25 years ago, seconds were essentially the standard.... where they were located was a whole additional story.....

    In all seriousness, if you are thinking of that configuration, you need to then make sure that the primary is on a long-ish hose for donation (>40")...

    Part of the lesson is that unless they own their own gear, that configuration may not be in the rental fleet, so a conventional rig needs to be present (as well as an integrated inflator/octo).....

    I can only hope that there is time in the training to perhaps not only introduce the skill (maybe in a kneeling position), but make sure it can be accomplished (now hovering)....
  7. DeepSeaDan

    DeepSeaDan Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Ontario, Canada
    I'm not sure someone can be "taught" to stay calm. Some individuals are inherently calmer, by nature, than others. Most folks likely don't know how they'd react until a situation arises to test their responsiveness. Because of these unknowns, I think it is vital to provide students with quick & easy solutions wherever possible. The very knowledge that another air source is close by & easily attainable ( a properly positioned, necklaced second is easily accessed using the "dip n' sip" method - no hands required ), provides greater confidence & less anxiety.

  8. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    I was taught both the sweep and reach. Made sense at the time. I teach my students those but never kneeling. It's done horizontal. After the first time over the slope of the pool with just fin tips touching it's done in midwater. While swimming. Then I show them right method that makes the most sense to me now. Grab the alternate, take a couple good breaths, then find the primary or have their buddy find it as they should be within arms reach at all times. No rush, no fuss, and they have a working reg while the primary is located.

    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2
  9. DeepSeaDan

    DeepSeaDan Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Ontario, Canada
    I have a long hose for my alternate, but usually use a slightly longer than conventional hose for my primary for most regular dives. I prefer to have my buddy closer than farther away, if we are sharing air. To the point of "rental gear," my advice still stands, it's just that you'd have to access your second from the "golden triangle," area, as opposed to the necklace.

  10. DCBC

    DCBC Banned

    I was taught when the only Secondary was your Buddy's Primary. Back then the Primary was often worn as a necklace. This was often removed to clear the area for Buddy Breathing (in a horizontal and vertical attitude). I use a necklace for my Primary and redundant Secondary when using OC.

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