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The case for using Gas Blocks by public safety divers

Discussion in 'Public Safety Divers/Search and Rescue' started by rkinder, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. RainPilot

    RainPilot OC/CCR Instructor Trainer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: UAE
    Some of these points are why I use the KM48 as a FFM, no need to remove the mask when bailing to an alternate second stage.
  2. rkinder

    rkinder Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Seneca, SC
    You are correct about not needing to remove the mask when bailing out, this resolves the problem of losing vision when going to the pony, but you do lose communications, unless going to another pod. In fact I had a diver several weeks ago that bailed out to my long hose while using a 48, he failed to properly monitor his pressure due to task over load. Task overload (Panic) is what causes many accidents. In this divers case I had him complete safety drills prior to entering the water, this included disconnecting his pod and going on my long hose. Which was a good thing, as this was a totally new configuration for him, NEW MASK (KMB-48), NEW DRYSUIT, NEW DIVE PARTNER, NEW LOCATION. This all caused a higher than normal SAC rate, in addition due to the non fogging nature of the 48 I feel it caused him to not properly read his SPG, in that he gave a response to the how much air question af 1800 psi in a 95-LP less than 10 min. before reaching 400 psi. His breathing rate did not indicate that he was consuming air this fast, so I lean to his miss reading the gauge. While he never ran out of air we switched over to ensure a completion of his safety stop.

    Having now seen a diver need to ditch the pod with limited experience, I can tell you that a gas block would have been a better choice. This diver then followed instructions, went home and practiced, and practiced bailing out to an alternate regulator until it became reflexive. His next two dives where handled much better, but in the end he had to agree that with his limited experience that a Gas Block to a Pony would have been a better choice.

    No matter what equipment you chose to dive with we all need to practice our emergency drills until they become reflexive. Panic is what kills divers, failure to train in conditions and depths encountered in the course of normal diving both PSD and recreational. in varied visibility, leads to panic. Equipment will never take the place of training followed by real experience perfecting your new skills.

    Stay Safe.

    Thank you for posting.
    northernone and RainPilot like this.

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