Posted by Jason on August 21, 2000 at 12:17:35:
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:
Some answered this as a question of how to do entries.
There's no doubt that you want an empty BC for that.
But your situation is what to do when the shit hits. If you
think you need help to get out, the diving is over.
If there are not rocks that you worry about being dashed
against, the choice is clear. Drop the lead before thinking
of anything else, and then lose the rig. As you note, that's
a lot on your back to hurt you with when a wave tosses you around.
You can then ride the white water in. Your rig might make it in too,
you can worry about getting it afterwards.
The problem with option B is that you are still likely to
get mauled by the force of waves (as the person in the situation
described) at the bottom. Sand and debris will also be stirred up
and may foul up the reg. Losing your mask is a possibility
and it's hard to say if you can maintain orientation and
know which way to go. And last, no one can see you down there. Harder
to perform a rescue.
If there are rocks at shore, or you feel it unwise to become
a bouyant body surfer, then I would descend and head OUT. Once
you're past the surf line, currents are your only problem and you
can easily get rescued out there. I don't know of any spots on
the coast where that current will actually take you out to
sea anyway, just down shore a ways. You can rest out there and
regroup, and then head in.
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