April 23rd, 2008

A yellow SMB – difference between a bad dive and serious trouble.

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Depth 200 feet (60m), deco obligation 48 minutes and your buddy just signaled that his O2 bottle is empty! This deep drift dive has just become a bit more complicated. The dive plan was for a 25 minute bottom time and 48 min of deco. However your buddy now has a 76 minute deco obligation and no gas to do it with! You are now in real trouble.

You planned ahead and are prepared for emergencies so a dingy with extra deco gas is following the team’s bubbles. But how do you signal the boat to ensure the spare gas so desperately needed will make its way down to your deco hang? The yellow Surface Marker Buoy (SMB) is the answer.

Wreck divers who dive in strong currents send up orange SMBs as a matter of course. This lets the crew up the top know where the divers are drifting as they complete their deco. But it does not alert them to an emergency down below. Sending up a yellow SMB will ensure an instant response and assistance from the crew. The chase boat can now send a safety diver down to assess the situation and bring extra O2 to your buddy. Diving deep wrecks, especially in current prone areas without two SMBs could spell trouble.

Carrying a second bag is relatively easy. Dive Rite includes a sleeve with all SMBs and lift bags. This sleeve can be mounted on the bottom of a backplate or TransPac, keeping the yellow bag out of the way until needed.

Pete Nawrocky

National Field Sales Manager

One Response to “A yellow SMB – difference between a bad dive and serious trouble.”

  • Great article. I will link back from my site. Please post more often if you have time. Thanks!

    resume, February 15th, 2009 at 7:21 am