Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
April 2019    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 45, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
What's this?

Serious BC Issues: A Mares Recall, and a Major Design Flaw

from the April, 2019 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Mares has issued a voluntary but urgent recall on the power inflator mechanisms of its XR range of BC buoyancy cells. "Under certain circumstances, the deflation button could come unscrewed, which could result in loss of the seal at the mouthpiece," its recall statement read. "This in turn would result in loss of buoyancy that could potentially lead to an accident and serious injury or death."

If the deflation button comes loose while a diver is underwater, air will siphon out of the BC, meaning the diver will need to either drop weights or swim up very energetically to make it back to the surface.

Florent Locatelli, product manager for Mares' XR range, told Undercurrent that his team discovered the flaw during internal testing of the BCs. "The first time, it happened to one of our testers in the pool, and then to me when testing it in the pool. I started to investigate and found the problem on several inflators we had not yet shipped."

He says there have been no reported injuries or deaths. "We were lucky to find out the problem superearly; we've sold very few worldwide [so far]. But issuing a recall was mandatory to prevent anything happening."

The recall applies to newer models of the Ferplast inflator, with serial numbers ranging from 8A-02001 to 8A-07630; that number can be found inscribed close to the direct-feed connection. Also, the recalled inflators don't have an X engraved directly next to the inflator nipple. If you've got one of the affected inflators, return it to a Mares dealer for a free replacement. More recall details are at content/Mares/Files/Inflator-Recall-Consumers- SM21Mar2019final-W.pdf

Another deadly BC defect not yet subject to a recall was just reported to us by an Undercurrent subscriber, who wants to remain anonymous because of his status in the dive industry. He wrote to tell us of a Promate BC he just bought (but never used) with an inflator hose that is glued, rather than screwed, to the buoyancy cell. Same thing with the dump valves. If he had been wearing it in the water, seawater could affect that glue, making both the hose and the valves part company with the buoyancy cell, and leading to possibly catastrophic results.

Apparently this faulty Promate BC is not a oneoff occurrence. Our informant alleges that Promate supplies similar BCs to other companies that rebrand them with their own logos. So, because this manufacturing flaw could affect many BCs under multiple brand names, you should definitely check your BC's corrugated hose and dump valves to make sure they're properly fitted to the buoyancy cell and not simply held together by glue.

I want to get all the stories! Tell me how I can become an Undercurrent Online Member and get online access to all the articles of Undercurrent as well as thousands of first hand reports on dive operations world-wide

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2024 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.