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Surface Marker Buoy deployment with long hose and necklace while sharing air

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Soakedlontra, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Soakedlontra

    Soakedlontra Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Puget Sound
    I would like to ask divers who use a long hose and a necklace if it wise to deploy a surface marker buoy while sharing air. Would you do it if you are in a real low air emergency situation? My buddy and I are trying to figure out a way to do it safely. If I am low on air and I have his second stage attached to a 5ft hose in my mouth he doesn't have any other choices than inflate the SMB with his octopus attached to the necklace. So he would have to take his octopus out of his mouth and either pulling the necklace so there is enough room to mess with SMB or take the necklace off his neck...
  2. randytay

    randytay Master Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: USA
    We use the one which is orally inflated.
    gypsyjim likes this.
  3. Hickdive

    Hickdive Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Glasgow, UK
    Get an oral-inflate dSMB then you needn't use any regulator.

    That said, the number of incidents I read of where people start down the incident pit, get themselves almost sorted out and then task-load themselves into a bigger incident by attempting to deploy a dSMB as well makes me think there are times when proceeding to the surface without one would be the safer option. Ask yourself what hazard are you avoiding by deploying one at depth when already dealing with a problem? It might be just as well to wait until you and your buddy are safely on the surface where you can deploy it without any great difficulty so the boat can see you.

    Ideally, everyone would be skilled and practiced enough to share air and deploy a dSMB simultaneously but in the real world that isn't always the case so deal with the immediate problem of being OOG and postpone the problem of being seen by the boat until you don't need to worry about either of you breathing i.e. on the surface.
    turnerjd, fjpatrum and Soakedlontra like this.
  4. Soakedlontra

    Soakedlontra Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Puget Sound
    That's what I think too. The idea to deploy the SMB while sharing air, beside being seen by a boat captain, is that the ascent would be easier...So if we don't use it for that purpose than we have to practice direct ascents in the water column without having the line of the SMB as a visual reference.
  5. Steve_C

    Steve_C Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC USA
    This is a really good question even for us regular octo folks. Will discuss with buddies in the future. In my case I have a DSMB and a reel. Oddly enough I think it would be easier at say 80 ft near the bottom. For those dives I carry a small 19 cuft pony that is slung. Initial air share would be with spare reg since that is quicker. Would hand off the pony. Shoot the DMSB which will only need a modest amount of air to start up. Once the DMSB is up we would start up going back to air share if needed to meet stops. The need for the DMSB would vary greatly. Most of my dives are from anchored boats off the east coast. If the out of air situation has put us away from the anchor it would depend. If we are inshore, shallower, little current, and seas pretty flat there is less need. Further offshore, with 3-4 ft seas, and some current there is more need to let the boat know where you are going since we could easily be a ways off by the time we reach the surface.
  6. GShockey

    GShockey DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives:
    Location: Vancouver Island

    This is an important and required skill in all GUE open water training. It can be done in a safe and effective fashion but there needs to be a few things in place first, such as excellent buoyancy control, proper trim, and good positional control in the water column. It is important that you are able to do this because you don't always get to pick the time and location of an OOG emergency and it may be very important that you signal your boat very quickly. Diving in the PNW I can imagine it wouldn't take you very long to envision this.

    Since you are in the PNW, you should contact Koos du Preez, your local GUE instructor, or anyone at Gue-seattle.org to jump in the water with some divers who can demonstrate this for you with no mess and no fuss. You will be pleasantly surprised.

    Good that you are asking these sorts of questions...:)


  7. Soakedlontra

    Soakedlontra Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Puget Sound
    We don't use pony bottles so it makes the whole things more complicated.

    ---------- Post added February 1st, 2013 at 10:22 AM ----------

    So until we have an "excellent buoyancy control, proper trim, and good positional control in the water column" if we have to share air and do a direct ascent it would be better not to mess with the SMB?
  8. eelnoraa

    eelnoraa DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco Bay Area
    Yea, oral inflact is way to go. And it should be deployed by the diver who is NOT OOA (the one on his necklace).
  9. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace

    The more things you add to your plate, the more control you need. If you are having problems controlling your ascent while sharing gas, then adding an SMB deployment to the mix is going to make that at least temporarily worse (maybe better once you have it up). That's why we learn the skills in isolation -- practice each thing until it is done well, and add them together when each is smooth and reproducible.

    If you are unfortunate enough to encounter a real out-of-gas situation before you have those skills mastered, you will have to make decisions at each step as to what you can manage. If you initiate an air-share and things are going well, you can consider shooting a bag to give yourself an upline for reference. If you are yo-yoing all over the place, you're probably better off just trying to control yourselves and avoid a ballistic ascent.

    The trick is to get the emergency procedures in place and solid BEFORE you ever encounter a real need for them. Which it sounds as though you are doing!

    BTW, I use the Halcyon oral inflate bag. You can inflate it with very cold lips, because the big metal flange makes it possible to seal well even when your face is numb.
    Soakedlontra likes this.
  10. rjack321

    rjack321 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, WA
    Just get to the surface at a reasonably controlled rate without anyone holding their breath. Don't worry about safety stops or SMBs or anything else. Get to the surface, make sure everyone is positive. Ditch weight belts if you have to. Then worry about signalling the boat or how to get back to shore.

    We have had far too many drownings in Puget Sound which would have been avoided if the victims had just gone up expeditiously, avoided any breath holding, and ditched their weights at the surface so they remained positive and floating.
    fjpatrum, Quero, danvolker and 3 others like this.

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