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Shouldn't DSMB be required as part of training?

Discussion in 'SSI: Scuba Schools International' started by Z Gear, May 7, 2015.

  1. decompression

    decompression Instructor...seriously...

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
    The smb inflate at the surface is a minimal time to master skill and the Open water diver (course) by far out numbers all other levels. The benefits are obvious, the cost minimal and the reach is considerable. It's a step in the right direction......but, my 2 PSI is the focus should be on deploying at depth, a far wider range of benefits and only a bit more training time. Now the instructors just have to learn it.[emoji3]

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Pinecube and Z Gear like this.
  2. RJP

    RJP Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
    Sure... if you dive where there are jet skis. But it shouldn't influence your thinking about that being "a potential risk on any dive."
  3. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    The only times I have ever dived with the possibility of being hit by a jet ski are in places where I am also required to tow a dive flag. I don't see any reason to send a DSMB up next to my dive flag.
    giffenk and danvolker like this.
  4. Z Gear

    Z Gear Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: San Diego
    Will have to correct my self about the any dive stuff. That is just much to exaggerated. I can think of many types of dives where this would not be such an issue. I say this out of respect to some who have commented regarding this point, that does make sense to me now.

    As far as the jet ski, they generally do not come near that area. It happen to be a life guard who was investigating some thing and he was traveling around the dive site way to quickly. It could have had the potential for an accident. No one who was diving had used a DSMB that day while I was there, and that is what triggered my initial wave of posts.

    Even with all this I do believe it is a skill that should be taught at SSI OW course. It should be taught in some manner and emphasized and recommend to students that they need to practice this after certification, to become proficient and comfortable doing it. This would be in my opinion a good change in standards for the SSI program.
  5. kneptoon

    kneptoon Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Glendale, CA USA
    There are quite a few dive operations/locations around the world that require that each diver carry a SMB. I think that it is assumed that carrying a SMB would imply proficiency of use. There is no qualifier to this protocol regarding certification level or agency. For safety concerns I have had to deploy at depth before surfacing. It is a skill that needs practice. A competent teacher could reduce the learning curve. When should this be taught? Sooner than later.
    Z Gear likes this.
  6. giffenk

    giffenk Contributor

    and lots of ops that require a dive computer - again with an implied ability to use it.
  7. danvolker

    danvolker Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake Worth, Florida, United States
    This thread is really blowing my mind....it seems many people actually believe that shooting a bag actually will "Protect" them on surfacing -- from boats in the area.

    In actual fact, this is a great tool for your own Dive boat to know where you are if your DSMB comes up in their line of site .....But....and the big but, is the threat of the OTHER boaters....the far greater THREAT to you as a diver about to surface....
    The DSMB is a pathetic FAILURE in it's ability to "ward off" any boater going much over 20 mph. They just won't see it in time, they won't be looking for it, and many wont care.
    Belief that these buoys impart some magical protection for you, is just plain foolish.

    I am fine using a DSMB from a tech dive or recreational dive where they are requested by the boat....But I would NEVER surface with any expectation that any of the boats in the area have seen or care about the DSMB. If you think the DSMB protects you from boaters, you have not been diving long enough....

    Even with the DSMB, I am going to bridge the last 10 feet to the surface, listening for prop noise and doppler shift to indicate a boat quickly approaching....When it sounds safe....I am going to be surfacing and spinning 360 to be sure there is no rapidly approaching boat, and I will do this with my Wing ( BC) neutral or dumped, allowing an immediate jackknife and dive downward, should a rapidly approaching drunken boater be headed for me. When I see it is clear, I will then signal for my buddies to ascend.
    We don't have need for this nonsense in Palm Beach, because the charter boats we use follow our torpedo float, and they keep drunken boaters away.

    You do need to assume that MOST boaters are ignorant drunks, and that they will be clueless about divers and DSMBs. This is the safest and most practical assumption you can make about boaters.

    Watch the DSMB video tutorials....practice the deployment, use it--but NEVER assume this has much to do with keeping you safe from boaters.
    Last edited: May 10, 2015
    Lopez116 likes this.
  8. giffenk

    giffenk Contributor

    Every liveaboard I have been on required every diver to carry a surface signalling device (among other things). This could either be a flag on a collapsible stick or a safety sausage. The devices were deployed on the surface.

    Neither of these is a DSMB.
  9. Z Gear

    Z Gear Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: San Diego
    Hey Dan I want to say thanks for the patience I do finally get the message you are trying to get through. It does make sense to me now although it did take some time I appreciate your post. Mainly your final message of not assuming that your safe just because you deploy the DSMB basically did it for me.

    You also recommended to practice using it but more importantly not to assume, what I automatically thought which was I would be safe, ( that I know realistically would not be so) better to improve on the approach of your ascent , listening and watching for boaters before surfacing then signal the rest to come up when its all clear. NICE.

    I think not having to dive all weekend has made me go buzzurk! We got some rain finally in CA and the run off has made it unhealthy to attempt diving this weekend.

    I also sent PM to moderator to pull the other thread I posted on shooting the DSMB making you safe against boaters, I think I needed to tell them to pull it especially since I know have a clearer picture on what to do with the DSMB.
    Some were getting frustrated by seeing the same topic arise for discussion and I can see where they are coming from.
    Hopefully they will pull it down or others can just ignor it, all is good and great information gathered, very helpful.

    Frank G
    AdivingBel and danvolker like this.
  10. Edward3c

    Edward3c Instructor, Scuba

    Not forgetting the boaters/jet skiers who use the SMB/DSMB as a target for fast turns. I've even had one tie off as they thought it was a mooring buoy.
    Z Gear and danvolker like this.

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