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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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July 1999 Vol. 14, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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No Talcum Powder Please

from the July, 1999 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Using talcum powder on your drysuit? Then here’s a caution. Diver magazine reports that a 34-year-old English diver died when his drysuit inadvertently inflated, sending him nearly 60 feet to the surface in 30 seconds. He suffered cardiorespiratory failure.

The cause of the stuck valve? A buildup of talcum powder on the inside of the drysuit inflation valve and salt deposits on the valve stem on the outside. The deceased had borrowed the drysuit, which was of a brand he was considering purchasing, from a friend.

There are lessons aplenty here. The only effective way to deal with a stuck drysuit or BC valve is to disconnect it from the air supply (in this case, venting the suit’s neck seal would not have been sufficient to arrest the rapid ascent).

Furthermore, carefully service inflation devices and valves whenever you’re having your regulator serviced.

And, if you’re going to borrow equipment, check it carefully before you use it — even if it’s from a friend.

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