By Lee Czerniak
It’s that time of year when we see the scallop season has opened, the days are getting longer and the desire to get back in the water is looming ahead. So where is all the dive gear? Did I pack it away last time I dived? Or is it still in the gear bag after the last dive at Easter?
It’s really important that your dive gear is serviced and checked thoroughly before you enter the water again. Remember that this is your life line, your safety net, so no short cuts – you want to dive safely and be confident that your gear is all up to standard.
- Your regulator is your air supply and should be serviced every year. You may find that your regulator must be serviced every year to maintain the manufacturer’s warranty. It’s not about getting a check over; it’s about getting a full service. You must make sure that the service completed is by a registered service agent who has done the manufacturer’s service course and that they are qualified. It’s the small things that make for comfortable diving that also must be checked out – things like your mouthpiece. Check: has it perished; is it still functional?
- Hoses need to be checked, especially under the hose protectors. Recently there’s been incidents of hoses deteriorating internally. This is your air supply, as well as support for your buoyancy control. Make sure these are checked and fully functional.
- O-rings need to be checked! In most situations it’s a good idea to have them replaced as deterioration can occur – especially if they have been seated while being stored.
- Buoyancy control units make your dive more comfortable, as well as being a safety unit. Check there are no leaks in the bladder and all hoses and inflator controls are working. Safety first!
- Computers are now the norm with all divers. These also should be serviced by a recognised service agent. Remember, they tell you your depth, your tank pressure, when to do a safety stop, as well as record your dive so you can safely plan your next dive.
- Masks are what we use to see this amazing underwater world. Nothing worse than a leaky mask because you didn’t check the seals, straps, etc.
- Suits make the dive more comfortable, and if for some reason the suit has shrunk, has tears, as well as leaks, then this may need some work. A good repair can save a suit.
- Fins help with your propulsion so the foot pocket and straps should be checked – a broken strap can cause you to abandon your dive. Check the blade for any deterioration or stress you were not aware of at the time of your last dive.
- Tanks are equally important and need to be tested.. Hydro and visual tests may need doing. So check that these are all up to date before you start planning your dive trips!
- All your accessories need a once over. This includes your snorkel, knife, weights, catch bag, torch and, of course, if you are keen on photography make sure this is all ready to go. Spearfishers need to check their guns, floats, etc.
Now that you have checked all your gear or had it professionally checked, you are ready for summer diving. It’s about getting out enjoying your dive safely and remembering the rules of diving. If you haven’t dived in a while, a refresher course is always a good thing. Dive to your limitations, let people know where you are going and take a buddy with you – it makes for a better dive, as well it’s the best safety measure you can have. Also you have to have someone to support the bragging story at the end of the dive!
Safe enjoyable diving everyone.