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Pre-season safety reminders
Dorkfish - 4/02/2007 12:00 AM
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Category: Educational
Comments: 2
Folks, the season is upon us once again for those who are not on coastal states. A member from another board posed an interesting safety question so I am providing you this reminder about the little things we can quickly forget about as the season begins.

Make sure you dry test your gear at home before you head out to your first dive site of the season. If it`s due or overdue for service, don`t put it`s your life afterall.

If it tastes bad it probably is...air quality is important.

Review don/ditch methods of your gear with your buddy, especially if it is the first time either of you have used/seen a particular piece of gear.

You can not rescue your buddy if your self-rescue techniques are flawed or have not been practiced recently. Time to review!

Communication can save your life or that of your buddy. Be sure you have gone over hand signals just to make sure you and your buddy are on the same page.

Diving with a buddy or solo, make sure SOMEONE knows that you will be diving, where that locale is, and when to expect you back. This will help in a worst case scenario, but let`s hope you never need it.

Descending/Ascending: if it hurts STOP and go back a few feet to let your sinus cavity equalize. Spring is the season that blocks and reverse blocks are the most common to occur.

Should you vomit, be sure to remember to hold the regulator in your mouth. Sure you`re buddy will laugh hysterically at the fish swarming the McDonald`s french fries that just popped out from your reg, but you won`t be in a rescue situation.

SAVE-A-DIVE KIT!! I can`t stress this one enough.

So many more items could be added, but this keeps the list to some very basics that I have witnessed being overlooked at the beginning of the season or with newbies. Dive safe, dive free.


Dorkfish - 4/13/2007 12:00 AM
Something was brought to my attention today when reviewing the SSI chapter questions with a student today. The SSI student manual states: Emergency Swimming Ascent. This is something that most of us know as CESA or Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent. For those who are not familiar with the acronym CESA, I`ll explain the difference. A controlled emergency swimming ascent (CESA) is your intentional effort to swim to the surface in as much of a controlled manner as possible due to some type of emergency, be it equipment problems, near OOA situation, or otherwise. This is always to be used when time is not critical (life not at stake).

The other option is a bouyant emergency ascent. This is where you drop your weights and head for the surface, while controlling the ascent as much as humanly possible since you are bouyant. This type of ascent should be an absolute last-resort emergency since you can easily get the Bends from it.
Dorkfish - 4/13/2007 12:00 AM
One way to aid in controlling the bouyant emergency ascent is to roll onto your back, so that your belly is facing the surface, and arch your back. You should also flare (spread) out the arms and legs to create as much drag as possible. Since you`re bouyant, this should help slow the ascent, but will not control it (technically this is an uncontrolled ascent).