DIVE ENTRIES: reg vs. snorkel? (long)

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Posted by HAL on August 11, 2000 at 14:26:28:

I'm a southern california diver and would like some input on an entry technique I was shown about a year ago. First of all, I was PADI certified in 1991, basic ow and advanced. I was taught to make boat and shore entries/exits using my regulator. From what I've seen and read, this is the accepted way. About a year ago my girlfriend decided to get her basic open water certification. Since we where going to be dive buddies I also signed up for the class.(any excuse to get in the water!) The dive instructors(2) were highly recommended from other divers. They were NAUI,PADI and LA County certified, very experienced, and thorough(5 full days of class, 5 days of pool, 10 beach dives and 4 dives from the boat.) This was a basic ow PADI course with extras. They did, however, teach the entries using the snorkel instead of the reg. Their reasoning was if, for example, you were doing a giant stride entry from a boat into water with 4-5 ft. swells, and upon entering the water you sank 3-5 ft, you could possibly, if a wave past over you at the right time, be at a water pressure of being 10 ft. under. If you took a full breath at this point, then the wave passed over you, and suddenly your on the surface(which could happen very quickly in rough water), and have not released enough air fast enough, you could risk a lung expansion injury. Same goes for a rough water shore entry. I've used this technique (with snorkel) for the past 50 dives and have had no problems. I'm sure many people will disagree with this practice, but I would like to get some thoughts from experienced divers and instructors.
Thanks ahead of time, HAL

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