The case for a redundant air supply...

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Posted by kimo on September 12, 2000 at 13:24:04:

In Reply to: Happy Endings posted by Jim Hoffmann on September 11, 2000 at 19:53:17:

These cases seem more a testimony to the effectiveness of a redundant air supply,
than the buddy system. In particular, being bad buddies nearly got Jim and Tom killed.
They are not a very "tight" buddy team. Not only did they forget about their own air,
they forgot about each other. In their case, just having a buddy seemed to give them
a false sense of security. They are careless and inattentive...and appear to have been
diving without a plan. I would feel safer and more comfortable by myself (with my
trusty pony) than with either of those two.

Joe/Joan and Dianne/Mike were fortunate to have attentive buddies by their side.
Having a buddy kept a bad situation from getting worse. However, the chance of mechanical
failure seems to be often overlooked while diving (and in the classroom), and one of the reasons
I always dive with a pony bottle (even in the shallows of La Jolla Cove). At depth, in a
regulator/hose failure situation, having a redudant air system is invaluable. In a cloud of
bubbles, under 90' of water, in limited vis, in confusion over what has suddenly
happened, your buddy, although only 10' away, may not be seen. In a panic, you fin
hurriedly for the surface. If your (attentive) buddy comes to your aid, an open water
ascent while tethered to your buddy with a 3 ft hose can be very difficult and dangerous.
I have practiced it. It is something I never want to do under the stress of a "panic"

I am not debating the value of a buddy, but perhaps the value of a pony bottle is
overlooked all too often...especially by instructors/agencies/shops.

In an OOA situation, buddies can be invaluable, but I'd rather have my pony...

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