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SMB Yes or No
Mal - 12/11/2019 8:45 AM
Category: New Diver Q&A
Replies: 6

Hey all, new to this forum and a newbie diver OWS last spring. I’m going on my first trip south this winter as certified diver planning several dives in the Caribbean and was wondering about investing in an SMB to go with my gear any opinions would be valued.
LatitudeAdjustment - 12/11/2019 10:44 AM
Always and the bigger the better!

I knew a diver with thousands of dives who never used his SMB, decided to streamline his gear and left it on the boat. Coming up from the dive he got distracted and lost touch with the group. While two boats looked for him he was busy using his weight belt to bonk Silkies on the head who were looking to see if dinner was ready yet.

My daughter and I were doing a drift dive off WPB, the DM was looking for bugs and would tie the float off on the reef, the swells broke the line, he didn’t noticed and the boat was following the float :(
About the time we went up the boat realized the float was following the wind and not the reef. When we surfaced there was no boat in sight, my daughter tries blowing up her SMB only to find she had snagged it and it leaked which is the reason I now keep mine in a pocket. The boat did see the limp sausage above the waves :)

In Fiji our group got swept away by a current we hadn’t been told about, the boat said the only reason they saw us was the SMB

If nothing else get a yellow haz mat garbage bag that you can hold but those have to be held which is another thing you don’t need while drifting.
binobanana - 12/11/2019 9:50 PM
They pretty handy! Signaling on surface or floating shot fish to the surface! Dive flag lines do fail, always good to have one or two of those!
Scott_R - 12/28/2019 9:28 AM
Yep, and as far as the "investment" goes, it is pretty cheap insurance.
Mal - 1/27/2020 2:30 PM
Thanks, everyone for the advice. I did a skills refresh pool session this past weekend and purchased a reel and SMB. I ordered a thigh pouch to keep it neat. I was advised to avoid deploying it at depth until I have been properly trained to avoid rapid ascent and entanglement issues. I did some practice on the surface inflating with different methods during the pool session. Looking forward to my first Caribbean boat diving as a certified diver in a couple of weeks. Any and all advice is always welcome.
UnderwaterMartini - 12/06/2020 3:34 PM
I just let other divers be my smb. I’m never the first on the boat.
Mal - 1/10/2021 12:14 PM
From UnderwaterMartini: UnderwaterMartini - 12/06/2020 3:34 PM
I just let other divers be my smb. I’m never the first on the boat

Perfect plan, just say YES to the SMB!

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