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Buddy Checks - Do You still bother doing Them?

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<font color='#32CD32'>Not looking for a slating, but as I've got more experienced (and yes I know, maybe more complacent) I've focussed less and less on buddy checks.

I've seen some posts lately talking about buddy checks, but I'm not sure of their value once in the water - I agree it might remind you on the surface (to connect your dry suit hose for example), but to expect that after a 60 second buddy check a person would know your kit inside out is ridiculous.

My thinking now is that as long as my air is on, everything else can be sorted out in the water.

So, with an experienced diver, that I already know, I'd not bother with a buddy check, merely ensure that my gas is on.

I do however, tend to talk through a buddy check with a new buddy.

What about you guys.

Juz
 

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<font color='#000080'>My regular buddy (j.w.) and I used to but then got a bit slack. Had a slight incident, nothing major but would have been prevented had we done a buddy check. It gave us the kick up the backside we needed to overcome our complancency. With the advent of new kit for the pair of us, we now ensure buddy checks are carried out.

All the best,

Ian
 

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I must agree with Juz, as my diving tended towards to technical side I don't really worry too much about buddy checks. I mainly dive with the same buddies so I know their equipment layouts but if I am with someone I haven't dived with before I make a special menatal note of their releases and talk to them about AAS, etc. However, its mostly a case of "kick the tires and light the fires" these days.
 

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Grumbler-chief in Residence
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Ah the old buddy check,

I am mostly with you on this one, I think part of this comes from moving into mix and always diving stages. There is no way on this planet I am going to stand up with all that stuff strapped to me and start going ....... breath, weights etc And I have a sneeking suspicion that if I turned to Mark and said lets do a buddy check, his first reaction would be to give me a well deserved slap.

We do a rudimentary bubble check on the way down, but mostly problems are sorted out on the bottom. I tend to check myself as I kit up, it is rare that I forget something, but not unknown. I think once you get to a certain point you have to rely on both yourself and your buddy to have the nouse to put your kit together correctly, with, of course, the odd highly humerous error. My last one being to forget to turn on the Argon bottle connected to the dry suit. It gets jolly tight from about 35M, 4 tonsils time. Hanging onto the shot and frantically pointing behind you eventually gets the message accross (before any wag points out I should be able to reach the knob, I could but through my watering eyes I was unable to work out which bit was the knob and which the end of the first stage).

Andrew
 

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wibble
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[b said:
Quote[/b] (andyp @ April 16 2004,14:04)]I could but through my watering eyes I was unable to work out which bit was the knob and which the end of the first stage).
<font color='#000080'>ROLFMAO!

I like to do one every time, no matter who im with.  We change our setups so often i cant afford not to know.

Looks a bit poor in court too "did you buddy check?"......"no mi'lud"
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Porg @ April 16 2004,14:21)]I like to do one every time, no matter who im with.  We change our setups so often i cant afford not to know.

Looks a bit poor in court too "did you buddy check?"......"no mi'lud"
<font color='#32CD32'>I don't use different set ups. I have a set up that works for me and use that. I have 2 sets - UK and abroad, but then everything is in the same place on each.


I'm not sure this is relevant to be honest. Everyone  chooses to do it or not, the injured party would be at as much fault. They could have asked to do one - in which case I would, or they could choose not to dive with me.


Juz
 

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<font color='#8D38C9'>Depends who I'm with. If I'm teaching or taking an inexperienced diver in, it will be a full buddy check & brief everytime!! If I'm diving with my regular buddies, will check if air is on & then a quick (10 second maybe) refresher of releases. If I (or them) have any change to their regular kit, be it something new or missing, will let them know about this in more detail.

Jen
 

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Lucky Man
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Like to do one as a matter of course usually, unless have dived with the buddy lots of times and know that no kit config has changed lately.

I can understand people with so much kit strapped on they can barely shuffle into the water being reluctant to stand and do one, but can't help feeling some sort of check is better than nowt.

I know it's tempting not to bother once you've a few dives under your belt and especially when you done a lot recently (skipped a few on my last liveaboard for example), but I reckon that's complacency rather than good judgement.

On this board we've got posts horrified by the number of people dying diving, some of them very experienced.
And we've got posts that go some way towards saying "I'm too good to bother buddy checking" - doesn't add up to me.

YMMV - not having a dig at anyone, just my thoughts on it.

Safe diving all,
Dave.
 

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GUE Tech and Cave Instructor
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With almost everyone I dive with(Particularly students), I do a Full buddy check. (I use BAR) but when I dive with the guys I normally do Mix dives with, then it becomes a "Personal" check. I will check all my regs, all my inflates, all my dumps and releases. My buddies are doing the same on their kit, we don't need to do it out loud to each other, as our kit is pretty much identical.

John
 

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This seems to miss an important point - the kind of diving you are doing.

I seem to remember the TDI course notes say that technical diving can involve divers on different deco stops so should be considered a solo activity (or words to that effect). When I have my technical kit on I'm too keen to get into the water and get the weight of my kit off my back and start cooling down to go through extended buddy checks to prevent the kind of problems I should be able to deal with myself. It also happens that I use my technical kit in the Uk.

When abroad and using a single tank and BC then I do spend a bit more time on making sure everything is working with my buddy even if I know her kit inside out.  
 

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Full check on myself every dive - I know only too well how easy it is to forget my weight harness, leave my zip open etc etc. Full buddy check only with new buddies. Otherwise it's a case of just asking "Everything turned on and working?".
 

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If I'm diving with my regular buddy (my wife), then we usually do a quick check for air/releases/everything in the right place.  If I'm diving with anybody else I tend to be a bit more thorough.

I recently did a few dives with guy in Dahab.  He was a competent diver and I felt happy to dive with him, but we still did the full buddy check every dive.  Just as well, because he'd forgotten to do up his cylinder camband before one dive
 

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I always do a buddy check, simply because I'm the only person in the club who breathes a long hose and has a OPH - last thing I want them to do is go for my necklaced backup or waste time looking for clips that aren't there
 

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The Bridget Jones of Diving
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I do a full personal buddy check when I rig my kit up, and then a final check when I go into the water. I figure it's my own responsibility to make sure that my kit is up and working ok.

If I was diving with someone with less experience, I would do a full buddy check to make sure that every thing was in order, as there's lots of stuff to check, and its easy to forget something.
 

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wibble
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<font color='#000080'>I never presume that someone hasnt changed their kit, i also never presume that they havent forgotten to do anything.  Too much at risk to presume anything really, isnt there?  
I swap regs halfway through a dive.  On two occasions where a check hadnt been made i have seen my buddies eyes "bug" at the fact that i had just taken one reg out and put another in.  They presumed i was manifolded.  On one occasion i had someone offer me an alternative air source, till i pointed out my unmanifolded bottles and contents gauges.

And my comment about "did you do a buddy check" "No mi'lud" is valid since people will be killed by simple human error of maybe forgetting to connect their suit, jacket or maybe switching on their pony.  

Having a member another local club who had been buddied with a member of my ex-club standing in court at an inquest and being asked "did you do a buddy check" and this poor bastard having to reply "no" was enough to make it a club rule in my old club that you HAD to do a buddy check no matter what, even if it was only a BART (buoyancy, air, releases, toys) check.  Im not going into particulars with this incident, it was many years ago, but the legacy of it lives on.

It takes 2 minutes.  I hope im worth 2 minutes of your time.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Porg @ April 16 2004,19:25)]BART buoyancy, air, releases, toys
<font color='#8D38C9'>I like that might have to start using that one  


although should start with the most importnat bit Toys!!
 

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wibble
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[b said:
Quote[/b] (beanie @ April 16 2004,19:29)]
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Porg @ April 16 2004,19:25)]BART buoyancy, air, releases, toys
I like that might have to start using that one  


although should start with the most importnat bit Toys!!
<font color='#000080'>Nah you do that bit last so you remember which bits of kit to salvage...........
 

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Mark W
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FWIW I usually do one (the BAR method) but one thing I do do (after having dived with people who've made this mistake) is get them to jump up and down a little to make sure their cylinder's not going anywhere.

I remember having to help rescue a woman in cayman who's cylinder was down by her fins and her neck was craned back because her reg and BC DF was the only thing holding the cylinder to her.

The Boyfriend had apparently re-looped the cylinder buckle, but I had to get her to take her BC off at 10m while kneeling on the sand while I re-did the buckle (he'd totally f**cked up so a complete re-bind was required) and then with a pointy finger then thumbs up, told them to go back onto the boat. She was so apologetic and he was just dumb so there you go ;)
 
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