Kelly's Save-a-Dive Tips
Ever been out on a boat and snap goes your mask strap? Or driven forever to get to a dive site only to hear a constant hiss from where your first stage meets the tank? What’s a diver to do?! Well, bring out your save-a-dive kit, of course!
My save a dive kit as an instructor and tech has grown over the years, but there are a few staples that I never leave the shop without.
1. O-rings and Zip Ties
I carry an awesome little water tight keychain with a whole variety of o-rings for tank valves (see our blog here about how to change one out), hose ends and swivels. It even has a built in brass pick so I don’t damage the equipment I’m trying to fix! Those tank o-rings get a lot of use and abuse and while we do keep an extra on our rental tanks on the valve cap thread, it’s always good to have your own spares. And what isn’t held together with o-rings is held together with zip ties! Mouthpieces, inflators, flags, make-shift lanyards, zipper pulls, etc. The possibilities are truly endless.
2. Mask and Fin Straps
Especially with older straps or for those who insist on over tightening their mask strap, breakages can happen! And while you can do a lot with zip ties, it can make your dive much more enjoyable if you have a spare strap handy. Since straps can vary so much between brands, I carry a slap strap instead. That’s a neoprene back that uses Velcro to adjust the tightness of your mask. Works for all brands! For fin straps, I use a strap that attaches over the post of the fin strap buckles. Again, works for all brands!
3. Open End Wrenches, Hex Wrenches, Screwdriver, Port Plugs
I once had a wireless transmitter on my first stage that would not stop leaking. I didn’t have the correct o-ring on me (be sure to replenish those o-ring supplies!), but was still able to go diving because I could use my open ended wrench to take it off, install a port plug, and tighten that port plug down with a hex wrench. You want to be careful with tightening hoses and port plugs down – it’s a very light torque (40 inch pounds for you number people out there). As with your first stage, there’s no need to crank it on!
Among the other things in my save a dive kit are a first aid kit, spare inflator and high pressure hoses, a power inflator, extra defog, snorkel keepers, and a spare mask or two. You’ll quickly find out what other little odds and ends belong in yours when you find that you need one out at the dive site!
If you have an interest in getting hands-on training about how to save a dive, give us a call and we’ll schedule an Equipment Specialty course for you! In the meantime, tell us what you have in YOUR save-a-dive kit!
January 10, 2015 @ 3:17 pm
I keep needle nose pliers and silicone grease in mine as well. Silicone grease can help if you have a moustache and are having mask sealing troubles... And the pliers are genuinely handy. Also don't forget about the diver's tool you take diving! That knife can also come in handy topside.