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coralcrazed
10-11-2007, 21:19
just wondering what you guys perfer to keep on your bc in way of an above water signal? and also below water. Anyone still like the simple whistle? thanks

TxScubaBear
10-12-2007, 06:23
I keep one on my BC because of 2 things- first is it was ingrained in me from our OW instructor, second- you see a lot of positive in the forums about how people have had to use it. I also keep a DAN safety sausage, nice big 6 footer, and my DAN tag came with a signal mirror on my BC. As a long time diver friend told me- she never goes diving without the "basics".

coralcrazed
10-12-2007, 08:44
which wistle is loudest? I've seen the storm and the fox 40... any particular one louder than th other? the fox 40 is smaller than the storm but than again I'm not going to have too many things in my BC pocket.

subsur
10-12-2007, 09:04
safety sausage for above water signaling, for below the water signaling - good buddy, never had problems comunicating even in low vis conditions. however, the whistle thingy that's placed in-between BC hose and quick-disconnect joint might be useful on occasions.

floater
10-12-2007, 09:16
For above water in open water: SMB (+backup SMB depending on the dive), small mirror and basic storm whistle. Small glo-toob on night dives.

Underwater: I have a powerful cannister light I use to get other divers' attention. And wetnotes and/or wrist slate for things that can't be signaled with hands. Actually all divers should just learn sign language.

I had a tank banger but forgot it on a rental tank. I had a rattler type thing that I never used and sold as a result. I suppose I could just bang on my tank with a knife or something but don't. I remember one DM had something added to his inflator that made a quacking sound (not unpleasant). Not sure if there are drawbacks to something like that but if I needed a noise signaling device then I'd look into one of those because it seemed like it would be easy to use, effective and the sound wasn't annoying imo. A homemade tank banger would be the cheap solution but just don't forget it on a rental.

BobArnold8265
10-12-2007, 09:44
I always carry the following safety gear:

1. Safety Sausage
2. Whistle
3. Rattle for underwater. It seems loud enough for everyone but my wife to hear but that's likely "selective hearing"

MSilvia
10-12-2007, 10:49
I have a whistle on my reg, and on open ocean dives I usually have a sausage SMB, and a dive-alert LP horn as well.

coralcrazed
10-12-2007, 13:12
I have a whistle on my reg, and on open ocean dives I usually have a sausage SMB, and a dive-alert LP horn as well.
ok whats s SMB??? and an LP horn??? can I get on at ST? links I need links :smiley20:

RoadRacer1978
10-12-2007, 13:25
Have a safety sausage, Whistle and an air horn mounted on the lp inflator on my bc.

tbuckalew
10-12-2007, 13:33
I have a whistle on my reg, and on open ocean dives I usually have a sausage SMB, and a dive-alert LP horn as well.
ok whats s SMB??? and an LP horn??? can I get on at ST? links I need links :smiley20:


SMB = Surface Marker Bouy (such as a safety sausage - an inflatable tube that stands up about six feet or more and is brightly colored).

LP Horn = Low Pressure Horn - usually snaps inbetween the low pressure inflator hose and the BC. Emits a pretty loud noise on the surface to attrack attention - much louder than a whistle (and cover your ears).

Myself - have the good old fashion whistle (good backup) and signalling mirror and the safety sausage.

MSilvia
10-12-2007, 14:15
ok whats s SMB???
A Submersible Marker Buoy... a combination safety sausage and lift bag.
http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=LargeSafety

and an LP horn???
A Low Pressure inflator hose signaling device, or "Dive Alert".
http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=DA1

abcitydiver
10-12-2007, 19:10
The dive alerts (see dive alert plus in this site) are great, but you do need AIR to make them work, thats why a STORM WHISTLE is a cheap very safe backup to get a boats attention at the surface if you are out of air.

Ya need a SMB, the bigger the better, yellow is better than orange, bigger is better than smaller, and one that inflates BOTH from your regulator and via mouth is important. Remember...out of air?
A small polycarbonate mirror (not glass) makes a great, unbreakable, lightweight, streamlined signal to both a boat and a plane, they are easy to store, easy to use (come with directions) and are the backup when the whistle (.25-5 mile at best) and SMB (.5 mile visability at best) havent saved you.
So, the divealert plus works under and above water, the whistle is the above water backup, the SMB can be launched from depth and be a dive marker in a boating area, and then is a VERY IMPORTANT visual aid in rescue at the surface. The mirror is your gap insurance :-)

Scubastud16
10-13-2007, 01:58
Safety sausage clipped off, and whistle on my shoulder.

terrillja
10-13-2007, 15:15
Try to get your hands on the October 2007 issue of Scuba diving- it covers many different signaling devices, how far they are heard, and how far a smb is visible for. It is the special survival issue.

Doug B
11-27-2007, 19:24
I like my shaker stick. I use it when helping my buddy out with open water classes. He leads the group around for a swim, and I follow the group. If somebody falls behind, I shake the stick (when he is inhaling) and he knows to stop and collect his students.

The thing about the shaker stick is that your buddy can't hear it when he's exhaling... too many bubbles. The best thing is there is this little pocket in the front of my BC... almost like it was made for a shaker stick. So, I can stow it easily, and pull it out when I need it.

One of the DM's I dove with in Belize used a simple brass snap-hook as a tank banger. It was an oversize snap-hook that he stored on a d-ring. He led the dive, holding it in his hand, and used it to get the attention of the group from time to time. Only draw back is that if he dropped it.... it was gone. I guess he could have made a small lanyard.

I've started carrying a safety sausage, clipped off, in the ocean. No real need for it in the quarry. What's funny (or scary) is that I've never inflated it for practice. I think I'll try that the next time in the pool. I need to know how to inflate it, relatively quickly, should I really need it.

I've got the Dive Alert on my low pressure inflator. Never really had to use it yet. and I have a whistle on a d-ring.

I'm also going to look for a small signal mirror.

My BC pockets are small and thin. Not much room for more than a small knife in one side, and a pen size flash light on the other. I've been thinking about adding a small "external" pocket to my BC... to store the whistle, mirror, and a "doo-rag" to keep the sun off my head should I need it.

mitchy
11-28-2007, 15:46
I like the shaker. I put a few pennies in an old plastic 35mm film canister. Great for 10ft to get dive buddy's attention. Whistle and sausage for surface.

tarheeldiver
11-28-2007, 16:55
Smb and for underwater I use the H2YO noisemaker which is very effective

Navy OnStar
11-28-2007, 20:04
Having signaling gear is great but no matter what you have there is an easy way to make them even more effective.

If the people who are looking for you know what you have, they are more likely to actually notice it.

I am a Navy Helicopter Pilot trained in Search and Rescue, in preparing to launch for a SAR we have formulas that take into acount what kind of signaling equipment we are looking for and it adjusts the size of our patterns.

So leave a list of what you have with someone at home/on the boat to increase you chances.

sas
11-28-2007, 20:19
I've noticed pictures in catalogs which show that some hoods (Mares comes to mind) have a reflective patch above the face opening. Has anyone seen hoods like this in action? Is the patch reflective enough to serve as a sort of signaling device?

Matt

whitenoise
11-29-2007, 10:04
Try to get your hands on the October 2007 issue of Scuba diving- it covers many different signaling devices, how far they are heard, and how far a smb is visible for. It is the special survival issue.

Further to terrillja's advice, have a look at Lost (And Found) At Sea - Scuba Diving Magazine (http://www.scubadiving.com/gear/accessories/lost_and_found_at_sea) for some useful information.

MSilvia
11-29-2007, 10:19
Is the patch reflective enough to serve as a sort of signaling device?

Not really a signalling device, but it can make it easier to spot you if a searchlight is being used. Some patches are advertised as radar reflective too, but they're so small and flat I doubt they're very effective.

Navy OnStar
11-29-2007, 16:50
Is the patch reflective enough to serve as a sort of signaling device?

Not really a signalling device, but it can make it easier to spot you if a searchlight is being used. Some patches are advertised as radar reflective too, but they're so small and flat I doubt they're very effective.

The Navy SH-60B and the SH-60R both have a surface search radar. I have personally been able to pick up a school of dolphins with it from 15 miles away, single 55 gallon drums (3/4 submerged) from 40 miles, and a submarine periscope from 65miles. But if I didn't know you had a radar reflector with you I probably wouldn't look very hard for a radar return from a lost scuba diver. Although that big metal tank on your back would probably reflect nicely if it were oriented toward the radar.

Maybe a space blanket would give off a big return??? They are compact when folded and nice and reflective when open. But if the return is too big....might think you are a boat.

Again, signaling equipment is even more effective If those that are looking for you know you have it. If I was told you had a radar reflector (or a space blanket for signaling/radar reflector) I would definetly look at all the returns.

Not sure of the type of radar the Coast Guard uses or how sensitive it is but the Navy stuff is amazing.

Roughwater
11-30-2007, 02:06
I have a safety sausage, torch and LP horn (that works above and below the water). Not overly loud above the water, but it's something.

whse56
12-30-2007, 12:04
safety sausage, storm whistle (amazingly loud), and going to pick up a reflective mirror

Iceman
12-30-2007, 17:44
I've found it much easier to find someone who is trying to be found and who uses more than one method.

By trying to be found I mean acting the opposite of fitting in with nature like you do when you are actually diving. Do several things to stand out as not being a natural phenomenon.

Use a SMB/Safety Sausage. Use your whistle. I happen to like the LP inflator Dive Alert.

Use something that flashes light in the searcher's eyes. The Rescue Laser does a very good job. A laser pointer does not. Something simpler and cheaper is a signaling mirror; but it only works in a sunny day.

A Rescue Laser; a DiveAlert; a whistle; a flare gun; a SMB, or two; and a signal mirror are all good things. Carry as many as you can.

Formerly 45yroldNewbie
12-30-2007, 18:19
I read somewhere that you can use one of those small CDs like those used by salespeople work great as a mirror. You just hold it at arms length and aim it by looking through the hole at your target. Yes you need sunlight but it is a simple and cheap "mirror". I have collected several since reading that advice and now have them in my dive bag. I also have a whistle and an SMB for the surface. I'm looking at the Dive alert as well.

Jay_SMART_Diver
12-31-2007, 16:22
I have the two color (orange/yellow) safety sausage on a finger spool, Mini Hammerhead for UW, Dive Alert 1 for Above water, Fox 40 whistle as a back-up to the D/A1, Poly signal mirror red on one side and mirrored on the other side in it's own neoprene case (I think made by Trident). I really want the new Dive Alert 3 (under and above signal) but they're still on backorder from Dive Alert.

Duckydiver
12-31-2007, 19:54
I have a DAN SMB with all of its accesories. A Dive Alert Plus, And a Storm Whisle as a back up