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SMB / Safety sausage deployment at depth

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by geoff w, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Well, I guess I have seen a great many students (including myself) repeatedly tripping over their own feet, then :) You may master the skill in one try, but most of us don't.
     
  2. EmptyTank

    EmptyTank Regular of the Pub

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    Yeah because they can't walk and chew gum at the same time. This isn't penetrating the Doria, it's blowing up a balloon attached to a fishing reel. You make it sound like a surgical procedure which it obviously isn't.
     
  3. dumpsterDiver

    dumpsterDiver Banned

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    With less than 200 dives you might yet not realize that: "If it can happen, it probably will happen (and often at the worst time)".

    I once took a ride from 60 to zero while being drug by my octopus that got caught in a lift bag attached to something kinda heavy. come to think of it, I almost killed myself at 15 years old with a lift bag accident as well.

    Having a good idea how to send up an SMB before you do it is smart. Also, inexpereinced divers will generally find it challenging to maintain depth in the water column while concentrating on just about anything. Understanding the potential problems and a little practice in a safe environment won't hurt anyone.

    Also a fishing reel would be a REALLY bad idea... ever seen a bird's nest? :no::no:
     
    Splitlip likes this.
  4. EmptyTank

    EmptyTank Regular of the Pub

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    The diving I do and don't do likely will never require an smb, so it's a moot point anyway.
     
  5. Splitlip

    Splitlip Great White

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    Keeping a handle on depth and buoyancy can be so difficult (and important). There was a great youtube video (since deleted) that had no fewer than 3 divers trying to inflate a marker. All three lost track of their depth and hit the surface about the same time the marker did.

    It is a tough skill to master. My main buddy took part of his finger off. My friend who told me to "scream" is a serious spearo who has >1000 dives, sends his catch up every dive and shoots a marker most every dive.
     
  6. Splitlip

    Splitlip Great White

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    It's not moot.

    OP asked a question.

    Honestly, it is an important skill for many of us and for the novice diver who has to shoot one, it is stressful and difficult.
     
  7. Deefstes

    Deefstes Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
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    It's only a moot point if;
    a) you don't consider the original poster's desire for improving valid
    AND
    b) you intend to do the diving you do now for the rest of your life, don't plan on ever travelling to other world diving localities where a SMB might be neccessary, and stick with narrow horizons.
     
  8. geoff w

    geoff w Divemaster

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    Lots of great replies and good points. Thanks for all of this

    For the diving I've done so far, I've never needed a SMB, but figure at some time I might. Like a lot of others here, I look at this place as one resource to help improve my diving knowledge and skills. I have dove places where a SMB would have been a smart thing to have and know how to use, but fortunately never needed to. With a trip to Fiji planned later this year with a group of divers I don't know and have never dove with, I think being prepared for more potential situations is probably a good idea. I'm hoping to never need to use a SMB, but someone once told me hope is not a plan

    I asked one of the co-owners at my LDS, who teaches many of the rescue classes, and she said she's never used one. I was hoping to see how it's done the next time they do a rescue class. I'm going to try to get a tech diver buddy show me how to launch one of these things when we go diving later this month and learn from him.
     
  9. geoff w

    geoff w Divemaster

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    From everyone's inputs, another question comes to mind. How do you know how much air to fill a safety sausage? I looked on mine and didn't see any calibration marks. If I remember Boyle's Law correctly, at 33 feet (1 ATM), I only need to fill half the SMB to have it fully inflated at the surface. At 66 feet (2 ATM), filling only 1/3 would mean the SMB is fully inflated at the surface. Same for 1/4 full at 100 feet. Do people mark where the 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 points are (or coresponsding depth) so they know how much air to add at any given depth, or do you just fill it with enough air to get it started and then it's gone because you can't hold it down?
     
    Krazytomdiver likes this.
  10. knowone

    knowone Regular of the Pub

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    Dude, this is the practice whichever above method you choose to use
    with whichever big bag sausage and depth you have.

    You can hold them for one or three seconds of reg purging
    and the bag inflates as the air expands and then expands
    more as it goes up, you let it go, but the balloon stays
    the same size.

    Many folks have floppy sausages, that's why I use a bag.
    In the shape of a teardrop.

    If you release tension on the string, your sausage falls over
    on the surface.
     

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