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April 2018    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 33, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Diving Gear to Stand Well Clear Of!

from the April, 2018 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now


Small cylinder with regulator


Subscriber Bill Domb (Riviera Beach, FL) wrote to Undercurrent to alert us to yet another of those small cylinders with regulators designed to appeal to just about anyone wanting to tool around shallow waters. A plethora of these products, which can be dangerous for uninformed users, has been hitting the market, and we might expect a rise in lung-expansion injuries, especially since pressure changes are the greatest in the shallows. The seductive allure for someone untrained in the art and science of scuba might be fatal.

While some require a hand pump to refill the cylinder (good luck with that), the latest, SeaGow, for which there is a Kickstarter appeal for funds, uses a compressor to provide 4500 psi (300bar). For their "investments," participants get to buy the device at deep discounts.

Besides our advice to stay away from buying or using one of these if you are not scuba certified (because of the insidious dangers of pulmonary barotrauma, arterial gas embolism, and emphysema), we suggest you stay well away from someone using such a high-pressure compressor. A tank explosion could injure anyone incautious enough to be standing nearby.

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