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April 2010    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 25, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Self-Rescue Tips from Readers

from the April, 2010 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Our readers are a helpful and resourceful bunch. After publishing two recent stories about dive rescue and safety methods, your tips keep coming about the best ways to flag down help when the dive boat is not waiting at the surface.

Regarding our Cell Phones as Safety Tool article in January, Jim Rogers (Silverdale, WA) recommended a McMurdo Dive canister to house a Come Get Me kit. The canister (www.mcmurdo.co.uk) is good down to 500 feet and can mount right on your BC tank strap or be carried in a pouch mounted to your BC or leg. I had mine modified by adding a four-inch section so that my Standard Horizon HX850S Marine Radio (www.standardhorizon.com) will fit inside with the antenna attached. The radio is waterproof, has built-in GPS, emergency strobe and will squawk your position with a press of the emergency button. Personal Locator Beacons are great but once you enable them, you cant talk to anyone so you dont know when the cavalry is coming. With the radio, at least I get the chance to call the dive boat 200 yards away in the fog without putting the Coast Guard on alert. If need be, the emergency button acts just like a PLB.

Chuck Tribolet (Morgan Hill, CA) has his own kit for worst-case scenarios. I dive with a lung-powered Acme Thunderer whistle (www.acmewhistles.co.uk )and a loud, tank-powered Dive Alert whistle (www.divealert.com), both attached to my BC inflator hose. A Solarforce L2 flashlight is secured next to a safety sausage on my BC strap. It has a lithium battery with a five-plus-year shelf life, and its only job is to attract the Coast Guard helicopter after the sun goes down (www.sbflashlights.com). I have two Orion SkyBlazer II boat flares in a UL SL6 flashlight housing to attract a helicopter or boats attention, even in daylight (www.orionsignals.com). I wouldnt dive without this gear in anything bigger than a duck pond .

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