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Thread: Not a typical question...Dry suit & weights

  1. #1
    Guppy
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    Not a typical question...Dry suit & weights

    I've recently started diving dry and took a class. However, they hadn't addressed a problem I had while on a dive.

    I moved to a BP/W at the same time I switched to a dry suit, so I am wearing a weight belt/ankle weights until I figure out where and how I will be distributing weights.

    While diving at about 8 meters, all of a sudden I found myself headed for the surface (uncontrolled). Fortunately, I was diving a quarry and there was a tree trunk next to me, which I grabbed.

    I quickly checked my wing for air. It was empty. Then I curled myself into a ball and tried to vent air from the suit. It was empty. Next, I did a tactile count of weights on my belt. I was missing two of the kilo weights (rented belt with velcro shot bags).

    I signaled my buddy that I was OK and wrote a note to him on my slate. As luck would have it (or not), he wasn't over weighted, so I couldn't borrow any of his lead. I wrote him another note to find and bring me a big rock from the bottom. He found one and I was able to make my way to the safety stop. All ended well.

    My question is; Had the tree not been there, and my partner couldn't find a heavy object, what other options might I have had (aside from flaring)? I realize now that I have a serious equipment issue, which will be resolved before I dive again.

  2. #2
    Grouper
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    Sounds like you handled the situation well. No panic and thought of a solution. Nice work.

    When you suddenly have positive buoyancy, your options are:

    grab something (which you did)
    add weight (which you did)
    dump air (if possible)
    swim down (will work if not too positive - but you gotta come up sometime)
    flare
    steal someone else's weight belt when they aren't looking.

    ... or a combination of these.

    Seriously, if you're heading for the surface in a buoyant ascent, you're fast running out of options. Prevention is way better than a cure.

    Cheers

    TD.

  3. #3
    Guppy
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    I've been racking my brain trying to come up with other possible solutions. Aside from preventative measures, I'm coming up blank.

    Once, while doing a warm water dive training, my struggling partner managed to kick off my weight belt. Not a big deal since I only had 2.7Kg on it. None the less, upon reflection I started thinking about about the dangers of a weight belt with a dry suit.

  4. #4
    Grouper
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    I intentionally wear my crotch strap OVER my weight belt. This helps prevent accidental loss of the weights. I consider this essential when I'm decompression diving.

    If I need to dump my weight belt, I undo the fastex clip on my crotch strap and then release the weight belt but I hope this will only ever need to happen when I'm on the surface.

    Cheers

    TD.

  5. #5
    Grand Master Spammer Founding Member
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    Hard weights threaded onto a belt almost never go missing in such a manner. Just saying.

    But yeah, there's not a whole lot you could have done. If there really was no air in the BC and none in the drysuit, there's not a lot of options to displace less water. One possible option MAY have been to open your neck seal and purposely flood your drysuit... that may have been an option, depending on the actual water temps involved and how long your scheduled stops were.

  6. #6
    Barracuda Founding Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CompuDude View Post
    Hard weights threaded onto a belt almost never go missing in such a manner. Just saying.

    But yeah, there's not a whole lot you could have done. If there really was no air in the BC and none in the drysuit, there's not a lot of options to displace less water. One possible option MAY have been to open your neck seal and purposely flood your drysuit... that may have been an option, depending on the actual water temps involved and how long your scheduled stops were.
    I don't think I would have thought of that one. I realize it wouldn't be very fun but it's a good idea CD.
    Flatliner
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  7. #7
    Barracuda
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoey View Post
    I've recently started diving dry and took a class. However, they hadn't addressed a problem I had while on a dive.

    I moved to a BP/W at the same time I switched to a dry suit, so I am wearing a weight belt/ankle weights until I figure out where and how I will be distributing weights.

    While diving at about 8 meters, all of a sudden I found myself headed for the surface (uncontrolled). Fortunately, I was diving a quarry and there was a tree trunk next to me, which I grabbed.

    I quickly checked my wing for air. It was empty. Then I curled myself into a ball and tried to vent air from the suit. It was empty. Next, I did a tactile count of weights on my belt. I was missing two of the kilo weights (rented belt with velcro shot bags).

    I signaled my buddy that I was OK and wrote a note to him on my slate. As luck would have it (or not), he wasn't over weighted, so I couldn't borrow any of his lead. I wrote him another note to find and bring me a big rock from the bottom. He found one and I was able to make my way to the safety stop. All ended well.

    My question is; Had the tree not been there, and my partner couldn't find a heavy object, what other options might I have had (aside from flaring)? I realize now that I have a serious equipment issue, which will be resolved before I dive again.
    Well, if the water is not too cold, and you do not owe Deco time, you can pull open you neck seal and flood the suit. That will fix it. But you have to balance the risk of the rapid ascent causing DCI or AGE vs. hypothermia from flooding the suit.

    Seriously. But it is your call.
    PADI Dive Master, Master Diver, and Cavern. SDI Solo Diver. DSAT Tec 50. TDI Trimix.

  8. #8
    Guppy
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    I intentionally wear my crotch strap OVER my weight belt.
    I've heard both camps on this thought. Both the naysayers and the proponents have valid points. Having experienced what I have, I have quickly become a proponent. Thanks for reminding me as I had forgotten this.



    Quote Originally Posted by CompuDude View Post
    Hard weights threaded onto a belt almost never go missing in such a manner. Just saying.
    I'm thinking that 'no weight belt' is a pretty good option

    One possible option MAY have been to open your neck seal and purposely flood your drysuit... that may have been an option, depending on the actual water temps involved and how long your scheduled stops were.
    Thanks, and definitely something to consider depending upon conditions/profile!

    Without looking at my log book, I believe the water temps were somewhere in the neighborhood of 8C. At the depth I was at, I think I could have tolerated sitting at the safety stop wet. Rather than completely flooding my suit, I could have let just enough in to keep myself neutral. On the way up I suspect I would need to continue to vent and possibly add some more water.

  9. #9
    Grand Master Spammer Founding Member
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    Well, it's a danged if you do and danged if you don't. If you have a deco obligation and will get bent by skipping it, then you pull the seal because you certainly don't want a fast ride to the surface in that shape, certainly you will be seriously hurt. Shorten your safety stops as needed and ascend very slow once you vent the suit by pulling a seal. But do try to keep them for as long as you can.

    In my drysuit course I was taught to pull the seals if you can, the neck or wrist seal, for me with drygloves a neck seal would need to be pulled.

    I have had an instructor tell me in a deco course that he would require me to pull my seal and flood the drysuit to experience that condition, in the Winter time as that was when I considered doing the course. There was no other option given to me other than to flood the drysuit and he was serious. He wanted to be sure that you experienced every condition possible before he'd pass you on his course, that meant everything from OW on up would be retested on skills.

    My one time of having a problem occurred at 100 roughly and was caused by a leaky inflater, I pulled the hose and was able to dump the air and stop the ascent within 20 feet. It happens so fast you'd be amazed.

    Most serious drysuit divers dive a bit over weighted so that on a safety stop they can add a little extra air and stay warmer, granted those serious divers are usually technically oriented but it applies to rec divers IMO. So I'm about 2 lbs heavy fairly often, sometimes 4. In the Winter I'm heavier because I carry more air in the drysuit. I'd suggest you put on a couple more lbs.
    Matthew P. Cummings
    Moberly MO

  10. #10
    Barracuda Founding Member
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    I had this happen to me when I first used a drysuit, not too long ago. We were gradually ascending on a line that ran at a 45 degree angle. I started to realize I wasn't heavy enough, but still had some air in my drysuit. I made the mistake of grabbing something before venting, and grabbed line, which then made my feet shoot towards the surface. So there I was holding on to the line for dear life, upsidedown, fighting to stay down. Eventually my buddy who was diving doubles, got to me and tried to drag me down to a more manageable depth. Eventually he had to let go, and I became a missle. Lesson learned.

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