Posted by Joseph H. Catmull on August 21, 2000 at 10:12:49:
In Reply to: Beach entry/exit techniques in heavy surf--full or empty BC? posted by Jusfer aka Eins on August 20, 2000 at 21:57:12:
I'm going to very clear here, because there inexperienced as well as experienced divers who may be reviewing this thread, and the previous thread that inspired it.
In the initial thread, a self-admitted novice diver was thoughtful enough to write of his near-drowning experience at Leo Carillo. The diver indicated he was caught in powerful surf, and was unable to breathe through his regulator, for unexplained reasons, such that he needed to pop up to the surface for an occasional breath.
This fact he was unable to breathe through the regulator is critical. It makes all the difference in the analysis: if one is unable to breathe underwater, it follows that one should surface before losing consciousness, in order to survive. In order to remain at the surface (surf or no surf, beach dive or open water, river rafting or jacuzzi bathing), the advantage of positive buoyancy over negotiating rough surf with nearly 40 lbs of gear strapped around you is simply not a matter for debate.
Ditch the belt and inflate the BC (or alternatively, ditch the BC), per your training. To do otherwise, in my opinion, is to take an unnecessary chance with your life.
Otherwise, if you're not drowning, and you have air in the regulator, I would vote for Option B.
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