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MASK on top of head?
Kirkpfeil - 4/25/2007 12:00 AM
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Category: Educational
Comments: 11
I am seeing more and more (including some dive manufactures advertising) divers when not wearing their mask; placing their mask up on the forehead/top of head. Is this not a sign of a distressed diver. Some of small things are extremely important and should be stressed more adimately. I am frusterated by a world of signals that we have a tendancy to be inconsistant with those very signals. Shouldn`t we be placing them around our neck if we don`t want to wear them? Or am I mis-informed? Happy and Safe Diving!!!


DiveBuddyChgo - 5/03/2008 12:46 PM
Mask on top of the head keeps my bald spot from getting sun burned.
DiveBuddyChgo - 4/09/2008 6:06 PM
I put my mask on my forehead. If its that rough on the surface to lose it. Then I leave it on my face and leave the regs in my mouth. But I can see a new student losing the mask easily. A mask on the forehead is not a sign of distress. But waking arms and frantic screaming usually is a distress sign.
free_electron - 5/06/2007 12:00 AM
When i`m at the surface on a perfectly flat calm sea, with my 8 foot SMB fully inflated , my BC inflated and i`m happily bobbing along waiting for the dive boat to come pick me up after the dive i see no reason not to put the mask on my forehead. Around my neck its annoying, keeps getting in the way . Keeping it on is annoying too. And if i need to take a quick peek below for a passing whale shark the mask is quickly put in place again ( much faster then when its around your neck ) this `diver in distress` has been forced on us so hard .. a diver in distress throws away his mask all together either yanks it completely of , or its hanging around his neck. I have similar feelings about the whole snorkel thing. ... forcing people to dive with a snorkel attached to their mask in a current is just plain stupid. Carry a snorkel If you must, but stick it in a pocket of your wing. that way it doesnt get caught on all sorts of stuff , or rips your mask off in a current.
SkinandScuba - 5/02/2007 12:00 AM
I lead by example and my mask is only on my face or around my neck when I`m in the water. As mentioned in some of the other comments it is easy to loose a mask that is on the forhead, the second is no diver in trouble keeps the mask around the neck. Nowhere in the books will you find that it is a sign of distress. Most dive skippers in South Africa will assume distress when they see divers with masks on the forhead.
MonkeyDiver - 4/30/2007 12:00 AM
Out here in the California surf a mask on the head is a sure way to loose it. Some people have designed "keepers` in case they loose their masks, but I find the best way to safely remove and store a mask in the water is just shove it down around my neck. KIIS!
Kemperite - 4/28/2007 12:00 AM
We were charged a case of Pepsi for a tank standing up or a mask on a forehead. Here`s a big point: A mask is lost most easily when it is not in place. I encourage students to ask WHY when people say things without reasons. I teach Instructors to have a WHY ANSWER when they say things. My WHY ANSWER for this WHY is one day a public safety dive team was doing a high profile recovery with the media in tow and live video feeds to the local stations. The lead diver put his mask up on his head and was looking like the big diver guy that he was for just making the recovery. After the body was removed one of the police boats on station took off and left a large wake that came directly toward this police diver. It knocked him off balance and the wake washed over him and took his mask to the bottom of the murky site all while he was the object of the camera`s affection. He no longer puts his mask on his forhead in an effort to save cool points - you could learn from his TV embarrassment.
Greg - 4/28/2007 12:00 AM
One of my old instructors made us buy a 12 pack of coke for the next day if we had our mask on the top of our head. I just lead by example now and advise my students not to do it and why. When they see me pull it around my neck instead of on top of my head, they do it that way also.
DalelynnSims - 4/26/2007 12:00 AM
If as a dive professional you don’t like to see mask pushed up on the forehead then consider telling them another, more important IMHO, reason for not doing so. Remember that learning things until they become second nature is what we are striving for in diving therefore if placed in a precarious situation they react correctly without much thought.

Information such as: If you wear the mask on top of the head in heavy surf it is more likely to be knocked off and you can suffer the loss of the mask. In surf entries I have seen mask knocked off even when placed on correctly.

We must not forget that students learn better if they understand all the underlying reasons and ramifications for the information we are presenting. I do agree that mask on the forehead is only one of the distressed diver signs and I for one give them only a second glance while on duty. No other signs, no problem as I have bigger fish to photograph.

Best Fishes!! [
okmister1 - 4/26/2007 12:00 AM
We had a long debate on this subject on a myspace board a few months back. A mask on the head is only a small sign of distress that will almost certainly be accompanied by thrashing, yelling etc. Or does anyone really think that a distressed diver will calmly push his mask up and wait for help? We never really came to a conclusion on the subject except that the people screaming bloody murder about people with their masks up tended to be irritating.
Wreckdiver - 4/25/2007 12:00 AM
I dive in NC and you don’t see this much here because it is a harder area to dive in and not many people like to dive places like this. But when people dive in FL and in the Caribbean there are more “VACATION” divers and do this more often. I agree the Dive Masters and boat captains should enforce this more often.
GarryyB - 4/25/2007 12:00 AM
Yeah at my local dive shop,If you are caught with your mask on top of your head,you will be in big trouble and may get time out of the pool during training.It is very impotrant to watch for the signs of a distressed diver!!!!!!!!