Stay Tight

If you are going to dive, be tight. Make sure nothing is loose.

My three biggest mistakes diving involved a loose dump valve on my BCD (Lil’ Cayman), a loose yoke adapter (WPB Wreck Dive), and a loose hose connection (Lake Denton class dive).  Let’s go through each, one at a time.

In 2009 while diving at Little Cayman Beach Resort off Bloody Bay Wall nothing happened. The dive went off without a hitch.  As I was getting back on the boat I was assisted by the crew. Before I got back to my seat I heard a pop and then the sprinkling of things landing on the deck of the dive boat. The crew member confirmed that something indeed had gone wrong. The dump valve on my low pressure inflator[LPI] (this one dumped air off the left shoulder when I pulled the LPI down) had decided to fall apart. All the pieces were recovered and with some help from the crew I was able to put it back together. My dives were saved… and so was I.

Had the LPI decided to “pop” while I was diving out past the wall, where the depth drops to many hundreds of feet, I would have been in great trouble. The air in my BCD would have quickly escaped. I would have become negatively buoyant quick. I would have dropped deep before I could react and when I reacted would I have done enough to save myself?

In my head I have thought about the solution to this problem over and over. Swimming towards the wall as I uncontrollably descended and then climbing my way back to the surface. It is not a pleasant thought. So instead I rely on prevention. Before I dive I always check my dump valves insuring that they are tight, not loose.

But remember, just make sure your “pressure” connections aren’t too tight. Just enough tight. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Have someone show you.


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