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Drysuited recreational divers have no need for ditchable weight.

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A few years ago I dropped a weightbelt at 20 metres at an inland site (caught on the ropes linking the objects together).   Since that time I have always used a weightbelt retainer comprising a bootlace or similar knotted in a loop - one end goes around the buckle end of the weighbelt and the other on the lower strap of my BCD.   If I need to drop my belt it is simply two actions instead of one.   I use this system on my drysuit and on my semi dry.

Safe diving
Eric Clarke
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Quote: from Dominic on 3:20 pm on Aug. 15, 2002
Drysuited recreational divers have no need for ditchable weight.

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I agree! The key word is recreational. It would have to be a catastrophic BCD & Dry suit failure to make me want to ditch any weight. Besides when I dive twins I don;t carry too much extra lead anyway.
 

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Nice one Dominic, its been a while since we've had any debates on YD.

Ok, heres my take on things...

I'm not sure why 'Recreational' is the key word here, I would of thought that 'Drysuited' was the keyword...

It was my understanding that all drysuited divers be they recreation or Technical should be diving a well balanced rig, by well balanced I mean that the diver should be weighted so they can hang and retain neutral bouyancy at about 3m with no air in their bc/wing or drysuit and with approx 50bar in the tank(s) and that at that point lung capacity alone should be controlling ascent or descent.

If this divers rig was as described and then for some horrible reason there were a series of catastrophic failures which first wouldn't allow inflation of the wing/bc followed by then not being able to inflate the drysuit.. Eeek! then hopefully the correctly weighted rec or tech diver (should) be able to swim it to the surface, at which point and only at this point could I imagine wanting to ditch any weight as I wouldn't want to have to keep finning just to stay afloat while waiting to be picked up.

I would of thought it much more dangerous for a technical diver to ditch or lose weight than for a recreational diver, as I would imagine that the Tech diver having been deeper and therefore probably having a greater level of nitrogen saturation than your average recreational diver, that the ditching of or losing of weight followed by an uncontrolled ascent would be very dangerous indeed.

The difference I think with a techie is that they have a much higher level of training and a greater degree of redundancy in their equipment and therefore hopefully be able to cope with many more situations, maybe even using a lift bag or dsmb as a last resort to achieve the initial lift from the bottom

A tech diver could also be carrying stage bottles and if so I imagine it would be impossible to swim these up to the surface and would need to be ditched. "Ah what about him needing that air for his stops?" I hear you ask, well in my opinion (and it is only an opinion) if that diver was in a position where everything that could of gone wrong has gone wrong and his choices are now, miss some stops on the way to the surface and keep the fingers crossed OR stay nailed to the seabed, then I think that divers choice is limited to one.

So to cut a long waffle short, if a drysuited diver recreation or technical carries any ditchable weight at all it should be a minimum amount on a well balanced rig.

If this all makes sense then I take full credit, if its all wrong then my evil twin brother has taken over my computer and is trying to make me look stupid online.

(Edited by Dave Williamson at 9:22 am on Aug. 16, 2002)
 

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Quote[/b] ]I'm not sure why 'Recreational' is the key word here,
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Mainly because they tend to have relatively little deco to do, and don't have such massive twinsets they have no need of lead


I'm fully of the opinion that there's no need for ditchable weight as well. But I keep being told, even by First Class divers in my club, that a quick-release weight system is a necessity - the subject got re-opened recently as a couple of members clip their belts to their BCs to prevent loss, which they've been told is dangerous.

When you have two sources of buoyancy, each capable of getting you back to the surface, and a redundant source of air, I fail to see any need for ditching lead. Hence the question.

Even more so when it's a club rule that you have to take a dSMB with you on every dive. If the worst comes to the worst somehow, and you're unable to get neutral, you deploy your dSMB. And then you can ascend by finning upwards and hanging on the reel when tired or doing stops, and still get back to the surface safer than an uncontrollable ascent following ditching of weight.
 

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</span>
[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Quote: from Dominic on 9:37 am on Aug. 16, 2002
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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]I'm not sure why 'Recreational' is the key word here,
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Mainly because they tend to have relatively little deco to do, and don't have such massive twinsets they have no need of lead
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You've confused me with the above statement Dom, can you explain a little more what you mean mate?
 

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I specified recreation instead of technical because:

Techie divers can have such quantities of cylinders they couldn't have ditchable lead even if they wanted any.

Recreational divers don't usually have to worry too much if they don't stop on the way up, so it avoids a blanket "Missing stops could kill you so weight shouldn't be ditchable" argument, and keeps it a bit more open to debate. Hopefully, anyway [
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On reading the above comments .. I have now adopted the system that Ericdv metioned above... this was after an incident which happened to me about 3 weeks ago whilst I was diving on the M2. I have used a soft shot wieght belt with a side pull release buckle on it.. I have never had any bother with it for over 5 yrs whilst diving with it..... The M2 was a different story... whilst descending on the temp shot I quickly spotted the top of the conning tower - vis was around 3 metres as I plummetted over the edge to level with the hull.... all of a sudden I found myself in a loose entanglement of monifilament netting.. never saw it at all.. until it too late... I managed to free myself after inflating my stab and cutting free.....dumped air... carried on the dive... after all Id wanted the M2 for a couple of years for my list.. The wreck of the M2 is magnificent and I would recommend it to anyone down this way and who has a keen intrest to see a fully intact unique submarine wreck with a  difference... this one has a small aircraft hanger fitted forward of the conning tower.. I fully circled the wreck taking in its solemn proudness as stands alone on the seabed, it was a bit longer than expected, max depth 35 m .. but worth the deco time in my eyes.. as I and my buddy frank reluctantly left the wreck to hit our 9m deco stop .. all was fine and we deployed the DSMB... fizzed off for a minute and then proceeded to hit 6 for the rest... this also went uneventful.. until we gave the signal to hit the surface... and as I did so .. I felt a feeling which sent a shiver down my spine as my shot belt suddenly slipped from around my waist and before I could grab it .. watched it spiral to the seabed and heard my fast ascent alarms bleeping away from my watch and computer as I went from 5 metres to the top in around 3 seconds.

I think my lucky angel was sat on my shoulder that day..pause for thought... .what if that belt had gave way before I had managed out my deco... I guess it was only the cumberbund on my stab that held it in place throughout the dive I think ..  and I learnt a lesson from it too ... in the years that I have dived I have never had to release/ditch a wieghtbelt.. to hit the surface... I now look on a wieght belt as a point of cautionary consideration ... that could cause a fatal accident if it decides to go its own merry way - I have never seen a wieghtbelt on the market that has a safety 2 way release system... only the one... for quick release... my belt now will be secured to my stab .. and the standard fastext buckle will hold it there for added security... its a little something extra to add to the buddy checks... but then again I guess.. nothing to hitting the top without the deco stops....

Oh and isnt lead bloody expensive these days... !!


Regards and safe diving all
 

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quote]Quote: from Dominic on 9:37 am on Aug. 16, 2002[br

Even more so when it's a club rule that you have to take a dSMB with you on every dive. If the worst comes to the worst somehow, and you're unable to get neutral, you deploy your dSMB. And then you can ascend by finning upwards and hanging on the reel when tired or doing stops, and still get back to the surface safer than an uncontrollable ascent following ditching of weight.

Interesting Dominics and Daves points,
Probably like most I consider dumping a weightbelt pretty dire and defined to a "Arse tweaking" situation, only done as a last resort when all the other options are exhausted and you don't think youre going to reach the surface.  

Agree It's important to make the differentiation between Technical and Recreational diving. In general terms as a "recreational" Sport diver your diving within No decompression limits. The consequences of ditching or loss of a weightbelt and making an ascent without a problem on the surface in this scenerio I believe are more favourable.( not suggesting for a minute its not a serious undertaking) Clearly the closer to the No Decompression limits you are and the faster the ascent rate stack the odds against you.

I think one of the strengths of YD is sharing experiences

I had the misfortune to ditch my weighbelt on a particular shore dive in Lake Windermere on a cliff face drop off. Having hit the mud bottom at 30m in poor vis as well as becoming completely disorientated I found I had lost my buddy and that I was kneeling thigh deep in mud.
Not liking it very much down there on my own I decided to make a normal ascent to the surface. I was in fact stuck in the mud and unable to fin up, iring air in my BCD still didn't seem to produce positive bouyancy and I wasn't going anywhere. I have to say at this point probably a little narked I had the definite feeling I wasn't ever going to see daylight again.

I released my weighbelt making sure it wasn't going to snag on anything and initially nothing "seemed" to be happening in that sort of slow motion world,nothing seemed to be happening for what seemed like ages.
Within a few seconds I could feel some momentum. At this point in a maelestrom of bubbles I was heading to the surface like a Polaris missile. Oh thank god it was starting to get lighter with the reassurence I was heading in the right direction. Dumping air from my BCD furiously to put the brakes on I remembered the theory that if you flare your body on a fast ascent it was supposed to help slow you down, it did work!!!!. I came out of the water I believe at a pretty alarming rate, I was just glad to be in the daylight topside again.

In my particular case I had only been down 5/6 mins so maybe this put  the odds were a bit more in my favour thankfully I avoided a bend or embolism I'd like to think that my actions put the odds a little in my favour.

I find it pretty unnerving at the suggestion that a SMB could be used as any means to help you attain the surface, forgive me if i've got the wrong end of the stick here?  Maybe I'm being over simplistic but you would be in a pretty dire weighting situation if you had to vertually winch yourself up.

The Techny divers considerations accept are different, Loss of weight and an uncontrolled ascent really does mean S**t happens, if you've missed stops,  not a thought i'd like to comtemplate.

Digressing a little bit,
I remembering reading a thread in one of the U.S. Newsgroups, centred on OMS bungied wings. The point was put forward what would happen if the wing punctured, surely whenever you attempted to put air in the bungie's would squeeze it out?  Maybe Andy can scuttle this theory?
:wink:
 

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Nice debate...
In my opinion dumpable weight should be banned, it causes no end of problems, especially whilst teaching, with people catching the release on wrecks and losing it, to students not tightening the belt enough & it slipping off.
If you have a drysuit you have backup bouyancy, if in a wetsuit use your smb, winching out does work, if you read "Caverns measureless to man" by Sheck Exley, it describes how they used to adjust bouyancy by adding air to a Plastic gallon can fastened to the gear by a short rope...
A 25kg min. lift smb or lift bag, will get you out of any sticky hole, ok it seems like the end of the world when glued to the bottom, just shoot the bag, reel & fin, and up you come, it doesnt matter if Rec. or Tech it all works.

As for the OMS theory, the air only gets squeezed out if the hole is at the top, if you hole your bladder, put the hole to the bottom, and inflate, even if it means coming up backside first, at least the air stops in the bladder.

I personally carry 6 pounds of dumpable, its called my torch, But I would bag it up rather than drop it..
 
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