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SMB / Safety sausage deployment at depth

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

  1. knowone

    knowone Regular of the Pub

    I was fortunate enough to find a couple of spools of two thicknesses
    of nylon and the coarser plasticy stuff at the junk shop the other day.

    But the real bonus was half a dozen keyboads for twenty bucks.:rofl3:
  2. Splitlip

    Splitlip Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Jupiter
    Good start in a controlled environment. One of the local ops has a 16 ft tank and I often recommend people try it there.

    How deep was the pool? What depth were you? What size tube? Did you use a reel or spool? Did it fill?

    Reason I ask..add task loading such as spearing, photo, deco obligation, instructing etc. And then current. It's not in a pool.

    Not trying to flame, but:

    How large was your marker?
    How deep were you?
    Were you on the bottom of the pool?
    Did you use a reel or a spool?
    Did you get it fully inflated at the surface?
  3. Edward3c

    Edward3c Instructor, Scuba

    The one thing I would add is once your mastered a technique, remember a skill not practised will become rusty, so continue to practise to keep the skill set for when you need it.

    When I change from UK diving to warm water I will shoot my DSMB on some practise dives to check I've compensated for my buoyancy change. Then again when I get back home.

  4. Scoober

    Scoober Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Park City
    It never occurred to me that this is a skill, but now that I think about it...I just started doign it while guiding. All the info can be found above. Need to attach the sausage to a line. I use a small cave-diving gap or jump reel. SOme folx just wrap the line around a lead weight. Saw one guy use a spool from a fly fishing reel. In any event, inflate with you octo at depth, to about half full, then let things expand on the way to the surface. And then just hang out and off-gas, and wind up the line on the way to the surface. This can actually make for very controlled sfatey stops--unless the inflated sausage tries to get away from you and drag you to the surface, in which case just let it go and nab it from the boat when you are on the surface. Or the boat man may grab it while you are at safety stop.
  5. Krazytomdiver

    Krazytomdiver Divemaster

    # of Dives:
    Location: Alona Beach,Bohol,Cebu,Philippines
    As a dive guide; I gather/count my dive group at 30'/10m,orally inflate my SMB,signal to ascend slowly to 15'/3m,check air/gas/ndl, 3-5 minute safety stop,check surface current,audio/visual boat location check,signal to surface,inflate BCD, stay in a tight group until boarding the boat.

    "living life without a hard bottom"
  6. treidm

    treidm Angel Fish

    Interesting read
    Going at slight angle to post....

    I normally carry small harness knife & shears, but now wondering would a small dedicated "line cutter" be good to have, at the ready, when deploying at depth?
    Anyone have experience where they successfully cut free from bag ride?

    Why do I analyze things in a way, that invariably lead me to buy something new? Anyone else have this [-]problem[/-] disease?
  7. Druid

    Druid Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    Unless you have more arms than the average human, it's easier to just let go of the reel/spool. I've had to do this a couple of times, both times the boat has recovered the blob before I surfaced.

    A couple of posters have said that they clip the reel to themselves on the safety stop - this is a really bad idea. if the blob gets fouled/run over/pulled up then you can get pulled to the surface very quickly, and caught up in a prop. Jet skiers in particular seem to think that blobs are either targets to hit, or things to take ashore to examine.

    As for inflating the DSMB, I have one with a small compressed air cylinder attached - open the valve and let it go, there is no easier way to do it (except for letting your buddy do it)
  8. treidm

    treidm Angel Fish

    I thought with the wording of my statement that it would be implied that you could NOT let go. Me thinking, if you could let go, why would you not?
    This is why it is difficult sometimes in forums to communicate or at least for me to articulate properly my meaning.
    Sorry I was not clearer to my meaning.

    REVISED: If deployed at depth, something occurred and you could NOT let go of line, has anyone because they had a dedicated line cutter (small type that could be palmed or around wrist at that moment) at the ready, at time of deployment and been able to cut free from a bag ride?
    Would this be a viable safeguard to bag rides?
  9. Splitlip

    Splitlip Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Jupiter
    I think perhaps triemdm was talking cutting away in the event he get's tangled. I suppose it would depend on a lot of factors if it is do-able.

    And I agree completely the best method is somebody else. I actually looked into the AP Valves, but bigger and bulkier when folded/rolled than I wanted. So I use the 3rd best method. Halcyon closed circuit DAM behind my plate , Manta mini reel and a dedicated inflator hose clipped off at my hip.I attached a dive alert to the hose with the QD guts removed. I insert the nipple into the dive alert and can manipulate it with my right hand while my left handles the reel.

    It looks like Emptytank is gone. A lot of good info came out of this thread. You know I have debated and disagreed with several of the posters here. But we all agreed shooting a marker is important, it is a " challenging" skill and it can be dangerous.

    Most dive ops near by put a DM in the water with the divers (not so much for spearos), and divers are certainly welcome to stay with DM/guide and surface with him under the protection of the float and presumably the surface vessel. What the DM will not do is surface when the first diver hits the surface pressure or his NDL.
    So if a diver or buddy team needs to surface, they can follow the float line up staying as close as they can (don't grab it) until they hit their safety stop. Doing the stop will quickly separate them from the DM's float as the surface current is much swifter than the bottom.
    Once the diver reaches the surface he will inflate his SMB.

    What most of us locals and savvy visitors do is inflate a big ass marker from depth. It immediately gives the surface crew visual of where we are in relation to the primary float. (with a 30 ft/min accent rate, deep stop and safety stop we may drift half a mile) It also alerts boats (in theory) to our presence.

    Back in the olden days (I was certed in 1973) this was not an issue. No safety stops and recommended accent rate was 60 fpm. Easy to follow the float line up and and come close to and with the protection of the surface vessel.

    When I started diving the modern way, I learned how to shoot a marker. I was hit by a boat once and once was enough.

    The Scuba Club in West Palm puts several dive guides in the water with the DM. They are great for noobs. The guides scurry around the "air" divers looking at their gauges.
    They will then bring up the guests in little groups as needed. Each guide will inflate a marker to take them up. Depending on factors, the guide may even re-drop. But even with this, a diver or buddy team may need to make an un-escorted accent.

    Edit:I am reminded of a story.

    Some days, The Scuba Club does 1 tank dives. Goes back the days before Nitrox when a 2 tank trip with them was out in the morning, off gas and lunch at the pool and then out again in the PM.

    I use them a lot when I test out new gear. I do a one tank morning dive and am home before the fam damilly even get's their sorry asses out of bed. I digress.

    In any event I was on one dive checking out (whatever). I did not want to shoot my marker so I watched Chip, one of the DMs/Captains/Guides/instructors with a young girl on the bottom. This day, Chip was an instructor. He was with his student getting her to focus on something. I could see she was anxious so I knew my ride to the surface was imminent. Sure enough, Chip started bringing her up. Around 40ft he slowed for a deep stop (most of the SC guides carry markers smaller than we do in Jupiter and they send them from about 40 ft. Gives them a deep stop.)

    Well, the chick loses it and bolts. Chip has his flaccid sausage in his hand and goes after her, as do I. He calms her and get's her to safety stop depth. Crap. No way he is sending a marker. So I swam down and away to about 25 ft (so I could keep him in sight). I managed to get about 30" by 6" fully upright.

    That made me happy. 30" was pretty good considering most of the wimpy sausages are only 36" by about 2".
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011

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