View Full Version : Minimal safety equipment

10-05-2007, 16:16
Hi folks;

My kids (12 and 15) are becoming certified and we're planning our first family trip to Key Largo. Although I was certified long ago, I have not been active, so I am taking a refresher class.

Our interest is in coral reef ecology, and I foresee all of our diving being in relatively shallow water (60' maximum depth) with no wreck or cave diving--at least not for several years.

It's obvious that one could justify carrying lots of different gear depending on the type of diving. However, for us, I'm having a hard time justifying anything beyond the basics.

What is the bare minimum equipment you'd need/want to safely dive the shallow reefs in Key Largo?


Charles R
10-05-2007, 16:19
Loud whistle, SMB, Knife or shears that would be minimum in my book

10-05-2007, 19:40
Add a flashlight and mirror to the "minimum" list.

A little above and beyond. Make it a DSMB that can be inflated on the surface as well. Add the spool. (tie yourselves together in the worst case scenario) And you might as well stuff a couple white trash bags in each of your BC's.

10-06-2007, 02:19
Here in QLD Australia the legal bare minimum is whislte, knife (or shears/cutter), and saftey sausage.

Your not supposed to go under without each diver having one of each - and opperators hire gear either has to have it already rigger, or make it clear you need to have your own to dive.

10-06-2007, 15:18
a whistle would be the minimum in my opinion. If you do boat dive, I would add a compact safety sausage. The one thing I would make sure they have though is gloves.

10-06-2007, 17:31
Thanks to all for the replies.

I'm sure it makes perfect sense...., but, why insure there are gloves on the boat?


10-06-2007, 17:46
Whistle, Knife even a small tusa (mini) knife as a bare min to go on the hose maybe, a safety sausage as aussie dive operators tend to leave yanks on the reef in QLD from time to time and a light id go for a mini Q as a relaible and cheap option that easily fits into the BCD and has good battery life if its their B'Day then shoot for a purge both are easily inserted into the bottom of a safety sausage incase of emergency.

I agree that a signal mirror should be mandatory but i cant say i use one, in fact i use mini flares in an otterbox when Im skin diving/spearfishing more than 1000m from boat and put them on a Atol Float or in my jacket.

I have assumed an occy reg as standard these days as i remember the early days of diving without one for a long time as well as dive flag float.

The most important thing to try and provide/teach is good sense when we were kids things werent as busy on the water and while I'll assume your kids probably think they are as bullet proof as we thought we were there are alot of drongos out there that dont think about the Junior divers or arent as skilled as they should be.

My two bobs worth anyway.


10-06-2007, 18:10
Like everybody else said...whistle, safety sausage and mirror. Unless you go to the wrecks, most of the diving is between 20 and 30 feet. And about gloves...alot of places won't let you wear gloves because you are not supposed to touch anything. Let the kids know not to touch. There is plenty of fire coral around.

10-06-2007, 21:16
Gloves are a good idea if your going up or down an anchor line. Lots of stinging critters can leave you an unpleasant surprise on an anchor line. As for the safety gear a safety sausage and whistle at the bare minimum. I usually don't dive with a knife unless I'm diving on a wreck or in an area with the potential for lots of old fishing line.

10-06-2007, 21:53
for a mirror, you can use those tiny tiny CDs.. that are like alkmost the size of a gamecube game? if you have a diveshop that sells seaquest, ask them for a brochure cd (we used to have 100s) and uca nshove that in ur bc pocket!

but yea... signal sausage... mirror.. a knife... should be good. and a whistle is nice as well