Incident analysis by Sarah Conner on the article Taking control: Twin troubles. Sarah Conner is an Advanced Instructor and former BSAC regional coach.

Being experienced divers paid off; although neither of you could fix your situations underwater, you were both able to stay calm and think about the best way to manage the situation under restrictive time pressure. Sometimes experience with kit can be an impediment as well as a strength – we get so accustomed to our equipment, we sometimes forget to give it regular inspections.

Incident analysis by Sarah Conner on the article Taking control: Twin troubles. Sarah Conner is an Advanced Instructor and former BSAC regional coach. In addition to being an accredited HSE commercial and cave diver, she is qualified to use hypoxic trimix on open and closed circuit.

Replacing worn or ageing items before they finally break or become dangerous is always a good idea, as is keeping up to date with changing equipment. You may have always organised your kit in a particular way, but industry design changes are often lead by improvements in safety, such as most front-loading weight pouches now using a quick-lock system instead of Velcro. Velcro wears through more quickly, as you discovered!

Unless you are an instructor or regularly take further development courses, it’s all too easy to fall behind in developments relating to kit or technique. Today’s rebreathers feature a lot more redundancy than their older counterparts, again developed as a response to studying incidents. We are taught to follow manufacturer’s recommendation with servicing or changing of parts, but if we end up using items from a different maker (such as oxygen sensors), it’s worth checking how frequently they suggest items should be changed.

Prevention is always better than a cure, but understanding how to help a buddy in trouble is an essential skill. If you’re diving with someone whose equipment you don’t know that well, make sure you carry out a really thorough buddy check to understand how you can help them if the situation demands action.

If you’re diving with or managing someone with technical equipment, it’s best to be fully briefed and to have practiced up-to-date rescue skills for the kit in question, especially rebreathers. Every rebreather make is different, so this sort of skill should be rehearsed for each new type of rebreather with which you dive.

Help us to keep diving safe – you should report any diving incident in confidence to the BSAC Incident Report (All incidents used in the report are anonymous)

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Article source - SCUBA magazine issue 63

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