Posted by ScubaGlenn on November 15, 2000 at 12:39:47:
In Reply to: Ditchable -v- Non Ditchable weights posted by MHK on November 14, 2000 at 09:55:15:
At the very least there should be enough ditchable weight to establish bouyancy on the surface. While performing pool exercises in my rescue class I noticed how a rescue effort can be further complicated if a victims BCD needs to be manually inflated. Or, if there is something physically wrong with the BCD (ie hole) where it will not hold air or inflate. While removing equipment is fairly easy and doesn't complicate things too much, even while providing rescue breaths, it can be a hinderance when the victim is still negatively bouyant with weights ditched.
Certainly putting all of your eggs into one basket is not a good idea. Integrated BCDs allow for easily ditching half of the BCDs weight. Incorporated with a weightbelt more distribution can be accomplished as well as greater comfort. Those of us with non-integrated BCDs are left with the use of belts where it's all gone with one quick release buckle. I haven't seen a diver accidentally loose a belt, however it is entirely possible loose either due to the diver loosing holding of it while adjusting it at depth or somehow snagging on something. I've seen weight pouches fall out at depth on integrated systems(luckily we found the pouch during return) but the diver was still able to maintain depth with a little downward kicking or dumping BCD air. A loss of weight belt would be more difficult to control without outside assistance from kelp, an alert buddy, etc.
Since I use a weight belt I've got some non-ditchable weight strapped to my tank in addition to usually diving with a steel 95. I've trimmed down the excess webbing on my weight belt to avoid snagging (I've seen plenty of divers with enough excess webbing for two belts sticking out. The non-ditchable weight left with me is not enough to keep me from being positively bouyant at the surface
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