Octo vs. Pony Bottle

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Posted by Dick Analog on April 05, 2005 at 15:16:10:

In Reply to: latest accident brings up a good point posted by Ross-O on April 05, 2005 at 13:29:38:

That's an excellent recommendation, Ross. We'll do that on our next dive. We have each done a couple of ascents with buddy's octo since certifying last October, going from 25ft to the surface at the Avalon dive park. It seems to help if you do that kind of a drill in familiar surroundings, rather than in a strong current dangling from an anchor line, for example.

And it's interesting to me that this subject has come up. I've been thinking a lot lately about OOA situations. My buddy and I are pretty good about sticking together, but as we all know, it's still easy to get separated from your buddy by a few kelp stands or a small rock wall, even though you're only 15-20ft apart. If you are in an OOA situation and likely feeling some degree of panic, that 15-20ft of separation can seem like an infinite distance if you can't get your buddy's attention or get to him/her quickly. That's why I've been thinking about a totally independent and redundant system like a pony bottle. I know it's quite a bit of extra gear to strap on and lug around, but as an engineer who appreciates redundancy, it sounds more and more attractive to me the more diving I do.

I'd really like to hear from some of the experienced divers out there who could weigh the pros & cons of octo vs. pony bottle.

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