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Thread: SMB and Night Searches

  1. #1
    TadPole DiverDan28's Avatar
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    SMB and Night Searches

    My brother is going on a live aboard. He doesn't have an SMB yet so I was going to get him one. My question is that if a diver is not found by nightfall, and they are still searching does a SMB have a thermal signiture? Another question I have is durning the day is there a color that is seen more than others? Orange vs Yellow vs Green etc etc. I hope it never needs to be used in a circumstance where a search is called for. He got me into diving so I'm paying him back slowly in replacment gear, and would like for him to have a nice one. I'd like to buy him the nautilus emergency radio but that's out of my price range right now. What's my choices? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Megalodon
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    Here's a good article about comparisons: http://www.scubadiving.com/gear/acce...-and-found-sea It's a sales pitch too, but still good.
    If you're diving at night, a SMBis still useful but doesn't have a heat signature as such. A SMB is all about visibility.Some do have a reflective band on them, but at night, your best friend is a whistle and a light and maybe a strobe .Blow the whistle loud, hard and repeatedly and flash the light every way you can.Another good source of info: http://forum.scubatoys.com/showthread.php?t=7232

    I once saved a man in Wichita just to watch him dive...(inventor)

  3. #3
    Guppy
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    The DAN SMB has a radar reflector built into it that will help in both day and night searches. Another option would be an open bottom SMB that you can shine a dive light inside of to make it visible at night.

  4. #4
    Grouper
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    I have one of these attached to either my dive flag or my SMB for night dives http://www.leisurepro.com/p-aqulsf/lazer-stik-battery-powered-marker-light-flashing?Page=1&Term=Dive%20Marker%20Light&Hit=1 It really lights up the flag/SMB.

    I also have a Dive Alert on my BC (clips in between the LP hose and the inflator). That sucker is seriously loud.

  5. #5
    Shark Zeagle Eagle's Avatar
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    Like Navy said an SMB does not have a heat signature. The better ones come with a radar reflector though and a place to put a light or chem stick. SMB's are relatively inexpensive and this is not a place to scrimp. Get the biggest and best that you can afford. I will not do open water without one.
    --Zeagle Eagle

  6. #6
    Guppy beluga's Avatar
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    Another vote for the DAN SMB. Mine has over 3 years of service and 250+ dives. Still works great. It is also one of the biggest ones on any boat and inevitably leads to a little joking around about a big sausage.

    http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detai...an_Signal_Tube

  7. #7
    Barracuda Founding Member
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    The DAN SMB is very good. It's thicker than many of the cheaper options which can help. Also at night you can take your dive light and push it against the tube and it will glow.

    Best is a good strobe. I like the TekTite 200. Used them for years for all kinds of diving. Also if the searchers have night vision(USCG) you will can see a good strobe for many miles.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Grouper
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    Just thought of one other thing, though it's strictly for night dives that I'm driving to. If I'm night diving and feel there is any real chance of getting carried by current I take a flare gun along (unloaded of course).

  10. #10
    Shark Zeagle Eagle's Avatar
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    How does that flare gun thing work Charon? How do you keep the flares dry?
    --Zeagle Eagle

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