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July 2007    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 22, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Regulators: Two Recalls and NOAA's New Favorite

from the July, 2007 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

There have been a couple of regulator recalls in recent months. Apeks found a potential problem in its yoke clamptype regulators with serial numbers 7010001 to 7053528. The threads werent cut cleanly, so there is a possibility for the screw to fall out. You can return the regulator or just the yoke clamp screw to your local Apeks dealer for inspection. Get more information at www.aqualung.com, or call (877) 253-3483.

Check your regulators first stage if you recently had the swivel replaced. Innovative Scuba Concepts (ISC) has recalled 170 regulator swivels it bought in Taiwan and sold to dive shops between January 2006 and March 2007. The HO110 swivels could separate while underwater and cut off the air supply. It happened to one diver, who had to turn to his buddy for aid. Theres no serial number, date or production code listed, so look for the marking HO110 on your swivel and take the regulator back to the dive shop that fitted it for you. If it was sold by ISC, youll receive a cash refund. For more details, call ISC at (800) 472-2740.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced its new regulator pick. In the June issue of Undercurrent, we wrote about NOAAs new rules and regulations for government divers in response to the death of two Coast Guard divers in Alaska last summer. One major change was giving the boot to all regulators Coast Guard divers had previously used for cold-water diving. After testing of multiple regulators, NOAA found Oceanics Delta IV to be the most reliable.

It consistently came up first for meeting all our criteria, and it wont freeze up in cold water, says Lieutenant Eric Johnson of the NOAA Diving Program. The Delta IV is an environmentally sealed diaphragm regulator and its first stage has Oceanics Dry Valve Technology, designed to stop moisture and contaminants from entering and to prevent corrosion of internal components. NOAA bought 350 of the regulators and now requires its 500 divers to use that model when diving in water temperatures of 50 degrees or less. Johnson says the Navys experimental dive unit is using them, too. The Delta IV is also commercially available for sport divers; Oceanics suggested price is $510.

Cold-water divers should definitely invest in a good regulator that wont freeze up underwater. Two people died last April because of that problem. Jason Balsbough and Daniel Frendenberg, both age 21, and Sherry Eads, 43, went diving in a quarry in Gilboa, Ohio, where the water temperature was 38 degrees. Another diver called 911 to report the divers were down. Balsbough had regulator problems but was able to surface by himself. Frendenberg and Eads were too deep and their regulators were too iced for them to breathe.

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