Out of Gas Scenario
- In an out of gas (OOG) situation, it is critical that divers are able to reach the surface using their buddy’s alternative supply (AS).
- The preferred method is AS Take which is taught throughout the BSAC Diver Training Programme (DTP). This requires the OOG diver to remove the donor’s regulator from stowage and then breathe from it.
Primary and Secondary Donate
- An alternative AS method is for a diver to donate a regulator to the OOG diver.
- The regulator donated can either be the main (Primary Donate), or another (Secondary Donate).
- Divers who wish to use Primary Donate (PD) or Secondary Donate (SD) should have received formal training in this method.
- Divers planning on using PD or SD techniques must discharge their duty of care to their buddy.
- For divers who have only previously used AS Take, it will be necessary for them to conduct appropriate dry runs and surface drills to familiarise them with the technique.
- When diving with a buddy who is not comfortable using the PD or SD techniques, then the diver should be ready to adapt their configuration so that the AS Take system is used or be paired with an alternative buddy.
- Both divers must be comfortable that they can effectively obtain an AS in an emergency.
- The final decision to permit BSAC divers to use PD or SD lies with individual Dive Managers and the Diving Officer.
- Neither PD or SD are permitted with entry level divers who have not received specific in-water training in the technique. The minimum permitted level is BSAC Sports Diver or equivalent.
- Taking of the regulator out of the donor’s mouth is not an appropriate method and must not be used.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Q: What is “Duty of Care”?
A: All divers have a duty not to put their buddies at risk. This is known as Duty of Care. Asking a buddy to deviate from core AS techniques without appropriate precautions increases the risk if they become OOG. Briefing the recipient just before water entry that you will give them a regulator if they are OOG is not adequate to discharge a diver’s duty of care.
A more appropriate method is for both divers to perform a dry run of the AS technique to ensure the recipient is confident they can get a regulator in an OOG situation. This should be followed up by a repeat on the surface of the water after entry. This has to be done only once at the start of a multi-dive trip, but must be done with each new unfamiliar buddy.
Q: Can I just tell my buddy to take the regulator from my mouth?
A: No. This is not an appropriate method and must not be used.
Q: Do BSAC offer a Primary Donate course?
A: Yes, as part of the Twinset Diver and Sidemount Diver courses, and as a standalone workshop for already qualified Twinset/Sidemount Divers.
Q: Can I teach PD or SD as part of the core Diver Training Programme (DTP)?
A: No. AS Take should be taught in the DTP as it has been shown to work across all equipment configurations.
Q: Who can teach Primary Donate?
A: The process for becoming qualified to teach PD is covered in the Twinset Diver course, Sidemount Diver course and Primary Donate workshop Instructor Manuals.
Q: I have been taught buddy breathing. Is this an acceptable technique?
A: No. Buddy breathing is a risky technique that unless practiced very regularly, adds considerably to the stress during a real incident. Safe Diving requires every diver to carry an AS.
Q: I have been taught to present the AS in the pre-2002 BSAC Diver Training Programme. Is this an acceptable technique?
A: This method was taught and mastered in the previous training programme and it equates directly with ‘secondary donate’, so meets the requirements for that technique. However, since AS Take has been taught since September 2002, divers who still rely on this technique should ensure that anyone they are buddied with is briefed and practiced in its use as detailed above.