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Swiftwater SCUBA Rig Idea

Discussion in 'Ideas and Stories' started by floridakid, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. floridakid

    floridakid Solo Diver

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    Just had a random gear configuration idea and wanted to see what others thought.

    For the purposes of this discussion, let's define "swiftwater" as a current of more than 4 knots. Also, to my knowledge, Rescue 3 no longer includes "Swiftwater Scuba" in it's Swiftwater Rescue Technician program. It is not longer included due to the extreme danger involved in swiftwater scuba operations. In addition, a "rescue" that requires "swiftwater scuba" is in a vast majority of cases not a rescue, but a recovery.

    That being said, any thoughts on, rather than a more traditional recreational BCD, or BP/W style setup, what do y'all think of a front-mount tank, mounted with the valve either at, or just below, the center of the chest. The harness consist of 5-points (Shoulders, Waistblelt, Single crotch strap) meeting in the area of the belt buckle. The webbing could be sewn in the back or attached to a backplate for additional weight. The buckle would be of a quick release style with all 5 points being released at once upon activation of the quick release. The tank's primary point of attachment would be the quick release buckle. In addition, a bungee would secure the tank to both shoulder straps would stabilize the tank. If the quick release is pulled, the shoulder steps would slide through the bungee and allow the harness to be ditched in one motion without difficulty. Any weight that would be required would be worn on this harness as well. The regulator used would either be a modern regulator, modified to prevent purging in the current, or a vintage, double-hose reg would probably work without modification. Liquivision saline-filled goggles could be used as they are low profile enough to prevent them being torn off in the current. A horse-collar style BC could be worn under the harness with a CO2 inflater, so no attachment with a tank is necessary.

    The advantage to the front-mount tank is the traditional whitewater swimming style, that is so familiar to Swiftwater Rescue Technicians, could be used without the back-mount tank catching rocks. The diver could eddy-hop with this rig without much difficulty in order to properly position themselves in the river. However, the glitch with this system is the increased drag when the diver transitions into an aggressive swim. Once the diver is on the bottom, the tank is shielded under the diver from the faster moving water above and the diver is therefore more streamlined.

    At this point this is only an idea, and I have not even drawn it yet. So what do you think.
     
  2. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
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    We risk everything to save a viable life. We risk little to save little and we risk nothing to save nothing.

    It’s tough enough to rescue someone and get them revived in little to no current. We don’t need to add to the body count when currents are running strong.

    I’m not saying your idea is a bad one because we need people thinking outside the box. I’m just saying that I disagree with it. As much as we want to we can't save them all. Remember that people being stupid is what causes most of the team callouts. Our best and safest way to go is public education. The problem is way too many ego’s that override that education and common sense.

    Note: Double hose regs are not cool in swift water.
     
    wtcreaux likes this.
  3. floridakid

    floridakid Solo Diver

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    Yeah, I totally agree. Like I said there is a reason swiftwater scuba has been left out of a lot of curriculums. Furthermore risking a swimmer in swift-moving water to recover a body is frowned upon in many circles.

    Basically, I was bored and had an idea and wanted to see if anyone thought it was useable, lol
     
  4. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
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    Hehehe. Keep thinking outside the box. That's how great ideas become reality.
     
  5. DiveGusto

    DiveGusto Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Way out West - the cold ocean, rivers, & lakes of
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    Your thinking along the lines of the Zeagle tactical-rapid-diver, w/razor. Doesn't have the release system you want. My thought is if you need that type release why are you even in that high a flow. I see it more as a compact rapid response suitable in limited situations.
     

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