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Uncontrolled ascent!! - Loss of a Weight Insert for Mares Prestige BCD pocket

Discussion in 'Mares... Just add Water!' started by scubaseeker, Aug 16, 2009.

  1. robbo the rod

    robbo the rod Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Dubai, UAE
    Hello All,
    I'm a relatively new diver (20+ dives).
    I'm looking to do alot of courses/dives this year and next, on the way to DM.
    I'm now starting to buy my own kit. The MARES kit really appeals to me (now I've found the dealer in Dubai)
    Next kit on the agenda is the BCD and I've got my eye on the Hybrid.

    Reading this though, it seems like some people are experiancing a 'pain in the arse' with MARES int weights.
    I want to make sure i'm fully concentrating on my diving and the courses and really don't want to be worried about failing kit while I'm wet (I also can't be arsed f****** about with a system that doesn't work having paid good money for it)

    I can see the last reply to this was Feb 2011.
    Has there been any progress on this with MARES? Has the problem been recognised and is en-route to being fixed, or is it fixed on new equipment?

    I'm all up for personalising the kit you use and therefore I am willing to spend a little more on small modifications to ensure the int weights work all the time, everytime. But this means they've still got to function like they were designed for. The sound of removing an integrated weight and then cutting the cord (holding that weight in place incase of accidentally falling out) sounds stupid.

    To be honest, I might just buy a cheaper BCD and stick with a weight belt (even though their a pain).

    Any replies or advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. ThomasScherrer

    ThomasScherrer Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Denmark
    it is the DIVERS own responsibility to ONLY use equipment he is VERY sure is perfectly in good working order, this is clearly a case here, the diver admits beeing aware of a possible issue BEFORE this happens.

    a rapid uncontrolable accent is VERY dangerous ! and one of the most causes of DCS and divers do die from this. Lucky this only hapened from 7m..
    if it was 30 m and speed was too fast, you may die or get very sick for a long time.

    Dropping halve of you needed weight, should not give a rocket accent, if weight size is correct (many people use too much weight)
    it should be possible to quickly empty air from BC, use fast drop pull,
    and spread legs to slow down, if still too fast, try to swim down, so your accent rate gets under max speed, then you will be fine.

    Another trick, you got halve of your weight in each pocket,
    why not change this a bit, so only 1/4 of the needed weight is in each bc pocket,
    and then the rest 1/2 of the needed weight in a belt with a good and safe lock system, so that one can not be dropped by accident.

    if a bc weight pocket is loaded with less weight, it is also less prone to fail.
    one extra trick, dont use the pull outs, but put weights in the zipper pockes,
    and simply inform you buddy about this, in case he need to drop one or two of them.

    weight belts are a pain, when they are too big and too heawy
    and so is a bc with all the needed weight in it,
    so spreading weights and using weight in bc and weightbelt at the same is a good idea
    for many reasons.
  3. pereza

    pereza Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: san francisco
    I ‘m really trying to convince myself that there is no problem with my Mares dragon mrs weight system because it served me well from my OW to my rescue training. However in the last month have lost one of the weight pockets two times. First time happened right before jumping from a boat, fortunately the operator saw it, and put it back. Having read this thread before I told myself: I just need to be more careful… and also tried to loose the weight pockets fully loaded (13 lbs each) when dry buy jumping and shaking with the bcd on (some one mentioned doing this with his/hers daughters‘ bcd with no success). So I was happy and confident again.

    Second time happened last Sunday around 55 feet. I was looking for Pacific giant octopuses and I felt a strange change in buoyancy. I rapidly tucked my arm under a boulder, dumped air from my dry suit and started planning how to not loose control in my ascent. My dive buddy was behind me and went back and found the pouch. I hold on to it (impossible to put it back in place underwater, at least for me in comparison to a Sea Quest Pro Q ) and manage to have a controlled ascent. After my surface interval I put it back in place and continue with a subsequent dive but I was paranoid the whole time.

    Now, after the incident I took the time to inspect the release system and the pictures bellow show what in my opinion is a really bad design (or a bad reduction cost decision I happen to be a designer myself). I’m glad I found out it was about to fail, in addition to the self-release problem (some one mention material failure with the webbing before).

    I buy mares mostly because a well balanced designed and engineered products history (use to love the brand). But I think it is irresponsible from Mares to keep blaming the user when there is a growing amount of malfunction testimonies. WE ARE THE CUSTOMERS, does anyone remember?

    Needless to say no more diving my dragon (eff that, life is priceless), and no more Mares’ products until some one takes responsibility. I guess that also means no two new Mares Hybrid (too bad they look awesome) and as much bad rep as I can give them.

    IMG_1015.jpg IMG_1016.jpg IMG_1017.jpg IMG_1018.jpg
  4. ErikNYC

    ErikNYC DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: New York, NY
    No updates...

    I was just about to buy my BCD, but I'm going with a different brand. I heard of this issue on another site as well. :confused:
  5. ErikNYC

    ErikNYC DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: New York, NY
    I bit the bullet... I purchased my Mares BCD last week. So far so good. I'm taking the right steps making sure I lock the weights in place correctly. Any issues I will surely post right away...
  6. Dom Perignon

    Dom Perignon Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Montréal, Québec
    Hello Robbo,

    just got back from a diving trip and had 3 incidents where one of those Mares MRS plus pouches drop out on me (3 out of 10 dives). I read many other incident reports and can't believe that Mares has not responded.

    I hear your pain, as this has happened to me a total of 6 times (4 times at the surface, twice in 15-20 ft of water, where I managed to recover my lost weight at the bottom of the ocean). I feel lucky that it did not happen deeper, as too many scary stories I've read on SB and on other sites.

    I agree that we should all wear a belt as well (redundancy) and students/newbies should not use those. But come on Mares! Don't wait until someone gets hurt or worse before doing the right thing.

    Here's a summary of the last 3 incidents.

    The first one dropped while I was swimming over to the boat, before a dive. The pouch just dropped, without any kind knocking (my BCD was inflated, tank and weight pouches on, and I was pushing my floating gear to the boat). Both pouches (5 kg ea) were placed in correctly and the buckle snapped with a click (I had deeply aware of the potential danger b/c it had happened to me before). Another diver found my pouch on the ocean bottom before I found out about it.

    Back on the boat, some divers mentioned this happened to them as well on their Mares MRS plus system. Others could not believe it and blamed it on all of us installing it improperly.

    So in front of everybody (21 divers), I inserted the pouch, snapped the buckle to everybody's satisfaction. I even asked people 2 divers to manually check it. Just wanted to make I had witnesses.

    And when I entered water (big stride), one of the weight pouches came out. Could not recover it. Bye bye.

    The next day, I had to switch some weight around (5 kgs on tank, 3 in pouch and 2 in pocket). I asked two people to make sure I was placing the pouch in correctly and that the buckle was snapped correctly. Entry + dive went well. The weight came off AGAIN while I was swimming back from the boat (again, pushing my floating gear). Note: the first pouch being at the bottom of the ocean, it was the other pouch that came off. And I had placed it on the opposite buckle, since I was suspecting some defect.

    How can two different pouches fall off from two different buckles?

    Yeah, I know, there are thousands of people who went on thousands of dives and never had a problem with the MRS plus system. But I have read over 75 accounts of Mares weights falling while searching online, plus my own 6 incidents.

    I wish that Mares would get serious about this. Respond to all people who make posts, advertise the problem and the solution, issue a recall... Whatever is needed.

    In the meantime I won't feel safe with Mares.
  7. flots am

    flots am Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wherever you go in life, that's where you are.
    I just realized that this thread is from August.

    You already know that for whatever reason your weights won't stay in.

    Why exactly are you still using it?

  8. dolphintam

    dolphintam Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Miami,FL
    I actually had this problem with my Mares BCD and it has happened three different times!! so now ,until I can buy a new one (not Mares,sorry!), I just put the weights into the pockets directly and use a weight belt too,which, as someone mentioned before, defeats the purpose of a weight-integrated BC. Apart from that,the BCD is very comfortable, but I was very concerned when this happened and will not buy a Mares brand BCD again.I did not over-weigh the pockets and it only happened with the right side one.
  9. Tikidiver

    Tikidiver Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: United States
    I have a mares icon mrs plus with a 150 dives on it over the last two years, I lost 3 pockets(both the original small ones and one longer one) so far and have dropped them around 7-8 times, it's a very poor design, the handles stick out to far and when your swimming they do hang out/down, they are easily dislodged.

    I've had tow lines pull them out and caught one penetrating a wreck, last two I lost on separate occasions, both were on rough seas 3-5', had them come out getting bounced around the latter(6 lbs in the pocket). It says on the longer pockets max 13 lbs, more like 3 lbs as that's all I'll be putting in them for now on till I can get another BC. These weight pockets are a definite hazard and should not be used by inexperienced divers, not to mention the cost of replacing them.

    Ironically I was diving the Spegiel Grove in Key Largo last month and a guy had the same BC, he was missing a pocket.

  10. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Taipei, Taiwan

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