Re: ESAs, EBAs, Air Sharing, & Alt Air

Outer Bamnks diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by Kendall Raine on September 25, 2002 at 12:10:55:

In Reply to: ESAs, EBAs, Air Sharing, & Alt Air posted by Karl S. on September 25, 2002 at 11:13:54:

I'm puzzled by this. You recognize the hazards of ESA's, yet advocate doing EBA's in open water. With an EBA you have all the hazards of an ESA without the ability to put on the breaks. Seems like the hazards you articulate only go up with an EBA.

You point out that new divers don't typically posses good buddy skills, then advocate all students use a pony bottle. This strikes me as inverted logic. Aren't you effectively saying the solution to inadequate teaching of a core skill, buddy diving, is to add more gear?! Why not spend more time and effort teaching people the core skill in the first place? Furthermore, the primary need for sharing air and pony bottles is a failure of gas managenment. True, regulators can and do fail, but it's rare. Typically people just fail to monitor gas supply. Seems to me advocating a pony bottle is treating the symptom, not the cause. While we're teaching good buddy skills, how about spending more time and attention on teaching good gas management skills?

If you teach good buddy skills to start with, you've taught students a lot more than how simply to stay tied to an alternate air source. You've introduced team diving which offers numerous safety enhancements, if done properly, over the alternatives. You've simultaneously eliminated both the need to carry around extra bulky gear and high risk drills for people least prepared to execute them properly.

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