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So who’s ever brought up their second stage in a lobster bag?

Discussion in 'Near Misses and Lessons Learned' started by uncfnp, Dec 11, 2019.

  1. doctormike

    doctormike ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New York City
    I think what you meant to say is "redundancy rules".. right?

    I mean, I'm assuming that you feel the same way about backmounted doubles. Although it's not quite the same thing. With manifolded BM doubles, no matter what happens to that regulator - whether you drop the second stage off a wall or blow an LP hose - you still have all of your gas!

    Dark Wolf and rsingler like this.
  2. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    @uncfnp I just wanted to thank you for posting this. I completely understand the reluctance. You're a long-time SB'er, have had plenty of training and experience, and yet this happens. It shows us that this sort of thing can happen to even the most safety conscious diver.

    I gave up trying to make my point on the pony threads, but I have always said it doesn't matter whether one chooses a pony or a buddy as their redundancy, or even resorts to sidemount for simple rec dives; just choose a method, practice it regularly, and employ it consistently on all dives, regardless of where on the spectrum between benign and challenging one might estimate a particular planned dive. The real problem is creeping complacency and inconsistency, not the chosen procedure or gear.
  3. doctormike

    doctormike ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New York City
    Yeah, I agree..... great post, good learning experience.
  4. Ana

    Ana Solo Diver

    I don't want to take away from the pony subject but I do see a different lesson on this event.

    The thing is every time you change your configuration there's a chance for an issue.
    In this case it was changing the 1srt stage to DIN and changing a swivel. It could've been something on the wing, plate, the mask strap, or even changing the dive bag. For people that rely on routines, muscle memory or maybe OCD.. when you change something there's added possibilities for something to go sideways.

    My take away on this even is to check twice when changing things, get a fresh pair of eyes if available.

    Good on you getting your behind back on board. That's what really counts.
  5. Angelo Farina

    Angelo Farina Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Parma, ITALY
    Well, for shallow water diving a double tank is perhaps excessive. What you need is what I always use, even at less than 10m: a single cylinder with double valve, and two completely independent regs.
    I always considered an Octopus to be a quite dangerous device: in my experience the second stage hanging around is more often causing problems (such as free flow) than solving them.
    For being safe, the only reliable solution is to have always two independent regs, with two separate valves, also when using a small-capacity single tank.
    PS: I never hard-screw my second stages, I always simply hand-screw them, so in case of necessity I can unscrew, swap them, etc. without any tool. Never lost one, but once experienced some air leakage, which was immediately fixed by screwing in the hose with hands (I was still on the Zodiac).
    rsingler likes this.
  6. johndiver999

    johndiver999 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Gainesville FL
    We often hear people talk about how they can't imagine themselves being alone and underwater with no gas. They talk about how they are careful, they watch their gauges, that they pay attention to maintenance, have quality gear and the reality is that with all those things going for them - there is just very little chance that things are going to go wrong.

    But this incident clearly shows how those types of "positive affirmations" don't prevent accidents. People are not perfect, gear does fail and stuff can easily get damaged or knocked loose on a pitching dive boat with heavy equipment slamming around.

    Maybe we can all convince ourselves that we wouldn't emulate a playful kitten and chase shiny things into a dark corner, but the regulator falling off is a serious emergency, even if the diver does everything perfect from that moment forward.

    I know for a fact, I have forgotten to tighten a second stage and caught it much later than I should have.

    People say the same thing about the potential need to ditch ballast underwater. They just can't imagine a scenario where it might be advantageous/required to accomplish in seconds. If you are negative, with no way to inflate the BC and no air, the surface is a loooong way away, especially if you have a bag of lobsters clipped off.
    eleniel, woodcarver and uncfnp like this.
  7. Rollin Bonz

    Rollin Bonz Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Georgia, the state, not the country ;-)
    Heck Yeah! Happened to me at 130ft... Had a small leak at my second stage, switched regs, shut down the proper tank, checked the connection, second stage came off in my hand, showed it to my dive buddy laughing, dive buddy (BM with a pony) freaked out, I screwed the second stage back on, opened valve, tested, continued the dive!

    SM FTW
    eleniel and raftingtigger like this.
  8. doctormike

    doctormike ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New York City
    I was responding to the post about the benefits of sidemount. Nothing wrong with sidemount, but if that's an option, it makes sense to consider the advantage of BM (access to all of your gas no matter what happens to one regulator). They are both double tank configurations.

    And while you might say that ANY sort of redundant gas supply is "excessive" in a situation where CESA is an easy solution (shallow open water dive), in this particular case, redundancy would have been VERY helpful. Fortunately the OP kept cool and handled the problem well. Are you saying that this case isn't an argument for redundancy?

    While it's not a solution that a lot of people use, at lease one VERY experienced diver recommends "tiny doubles" - that is, backmounted manifolded double tanks with the same total gas as a single 100, but with the benefit of redundancy and a simple, solid package.

    Your solution is another one - I assume you are talking about an H-valve. I personally think that a set of small backmounted doubles is safer and easier to manipulate in case of an emergency. With a single gas source, any fast leak (like a blown LP hose) is gonna drain it fast, even if you do manage to guess right and shut off the correct valve. And an H-valve is certainly not the ONLY reliable solution.
  9. MaxBottomtime

    MaxBottomtime Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Torrance, CA
    It's more an argument for assembling your gear correctly. If a diver gets into a situation where redundant gas is necessary they should look at the root cause of that failure and make sure it doesn't happen.
    Bob DBF and JohnN like this.
  10. doctormike

    doctormike ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New York City
    Wait, what? Isn’t that a general argument against the concept of redundancy?

    If I’m really careful to always build my rebreather correctly, and address the root cause of failure, I don’t need bailout?
    Lorenzoid likes this.

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