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flotation bag (salvage) color preference
NinoB - 3/24/2019 7:14 PM
Category: Equipment
Replies: 5

I’m looking to purchase a flotation bag for amateur recovery purposes. As a ’c-card’ advanced open water diver, I don’t plan on retrieving anything heavier that 50# for the time being. I’ve noticed bags typically come in either "orange" or "yellow" color. I’m guessing that based on the light/color absorption characteristic of water, a yellow color might be preferable below depths greater than 30 feet or so. Would any of you be able to verify this for me? Thanks!
Eric_R - 3/24/2019 9:15 PM
I have a neon orange bag that keeps it’s color well at depth. I’ve used the yellow and their visibility is great!
MDW - 3/24/2019 9:40 PM
Either should be visible at depth. Why is vis a concern, though? Wwhen you are lifting things, won’t the bag be basically right at the end of your arm and you’ll be holding it, so why do you need to see it well or know what color it is?
LatitudeAdjustment - 3/26/2019 7:08 AM
From MDW: so why do you need to see it well or know what color it is?

I’ve sent things up I didn’t want to be near or under, the surface crew retrieves the lift so black isn’t going to work in the North Atlantic. My bags are yellow.
MDW - 3/26/2019 3:43 PM
He was asking about yellow vs orange (black was not one of the options in his question) for use below 30’ (not at the surface). My point is that there should be little difference between yellow or orange and it may be a moot point since the visibility of the bag at depth should not be much of a concern.

You’re right, though, a black bag would not be easily seen at the surface. Also, at the surface (depending on who your surface support is) there may be a difference in meaning between the meaning of an orange bag vs a yellow one. Some people regard one color as "normal" and the other as a distress signal. When sending things up unaccompanied, be sure to agree with your friends on the surface that color does (or not) mean something in particular.
UnderwaterMartini - 2/13/2021 9:20 AM
Orange is normal here.

Yellow is weird, and will have a tablet clipped to it often enough.