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The Valve and the Quarter Turn

Diver Underwater

“Went diving yesterday with someone who was recently certified in July. I must admit because I usually dive with known divers, I can get pretty complacent with predive buddy checks; often simply consisting of “Is your BC inflated?”

As we were gearing up, the new diver asked if we did our checks before entering. (It was then that I realized it had completely slipped my mind and I probably would not have done so.)

When we were getting situated, I watched as he checked his primary, then his secondary. I went over and told him to watch his SPG while he performed his check.

As he did, I noticed the gauge jumping up and down. He didn’t know what this was telling him. I asked if he was trained to back off his valve a quarter turn and he answered yes.

I then explained why it needs to be turned either completely on or off and why this is an issue. He had only turned his valve a quarter turn on and I explained how this would become an issue at depth. He was open and thankful to learn this tidbit but how is this still being taught?

As a prospective diver in class, you are absorbing information and taking it as law. If your instructor tells you to back it off a quarter turn, you will do it. (My instructor also told me to do so, as well as use the valve to blow off my dust cap.)

Shouldn’t this be mandated across ALL agencies and/or be updated so that all instructors are informed? Something so seemingly harmless can and have had devastating consequences.”

The dive as reported by Joe Lee

Location: the breakwater of Hilo (Hawaii). FSW 34. Calm winds, waves. 1-2 ft., low tide. 80 Ft. visibility. At depth, a faint current existed. Shore dive entry from the wall. Step off at 5-8 ft, sloping gently into deeper waters.

Reproduced from Facebook as posted from Joe Lee in Hawaii with permission.

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