Sending Up A Sausage! – How to safely and effectively launch a DSMB

DSMB’s, or Delayed Surface Marker Buoys, are a diver’s best friend. Used for communication with surface crews or boats while the diver is still at depth.

They can be used to signal the need for a boat pick up, as a distress signal, a marker of a location (maybe of that sunken treasure you found?), or to indicate the need for additional air on long decompression stops.

Basically, they are tubular buoys made out of PVC or similar materials, and attached to a line reel or spool. They are typically orange, red, or yellow, sometimes with various colors used to communicate various messages.

DSMB's come in many different forms.

DSMB’s come in many different forms.

At many dive spots you’ll see them vary in colors and manly be used to signal for passing boats, before divers accent.

It’s one of those safety items commonly used, and often required, during boat or drift dives, where they are used to signal a diver’s or dive team’s position as they surface, and are typically launched during the safety stop.

Launching one can be a bit tricky, though, as they influence your buoyancy, but also due to the risk of getting tangled up in the line and getting pulled to the surface by the DSMB. This guide will teach you the basic steps to launching a DSMB safely.

SETUP OF A DSMB

First things first, setting up your DSMB.

Here you have to main options.

  1. Attach your DSMB to a spool.
  2. Attach your DSMB to a reel.

Using a spool or a reel both have pro’s and cons:

The spool is lighter and smaller, meaning the whole setup takes up less space in your configuration. Second, a line reel will have some form of locking mechanism that can potentially jam, sending you the surface if it jams as you launch the DSMB.

Finger Spool / Line Spool

The reel provides a more stable platform to launch your DSMB, it is easier to wind as you make your ascent but does require a lot more space to store. As above most reels have some form of locking mechanism which is great for stops but can, in some cases catch as you deploy the DSMB if you are not paying attention.

Dive Reel

 

DEPLOYMENT DURING SCUBA DIVING

When it comes time to launch it, here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. As DSMB’s are often launched during safety stops, that means you most likely need to launch it mid-water, so make sure your buoyancy skills are up to spec. When it’s time to launch, find your perfect hover point, and expel a small amount of air making yourself just a tad negative in the water.
  2. Take out the DSMB and unpack it, taking care not to drop the reel. As it has no lock it will run out its full length of line before stopping, which will be a mess to coil up again once you’re out of the water.
  3. Holding the DSMB and line spool / reel in your left hand, use your right hand to pull open the bottom of the DSMB.
  4. Tilt your head slight, bringing one of your regulator exhaust valves close to the opening of the DSMB, taking care not to get the line entangled with your regulator or regulator hose.
  5. Take a moderately deep breath, hold the opening of the DSMB over the valve, and exhale. Your exhalation gas will run from the exhaust valve and into the DSMB.
  6. Repeat this once or twice as needed, until you feel a strong tug from the DSMB (use your breathing to counter the positive buoyancy of the DSMB or release a small amount of air from your BSC), then release it, holding the line spool / reel in your right or left hand and allow it to un-reel line as needed.

Once the DSMB breaks the surface, reel in a bit of line so it is taught and the DSMB stands straight up on the surface, making it as tall and visible as possible.

Remember to check your depth and dive computer from time to time. Rather take a minute longer deploying your DSMB than you accidentally pop to the surface.

There are of course DSMB’s on the market that has a crack bottle fitted, such as the DSMBCi from AP valves. This requires no tilting of the head, keeps the line away from you regulator. It does make for an easier deployment but comes at a price.

TRAINING IN THE DEPLOYING

Many agencies now provide a DSMB training course. These courses take you through the whole DSMB process and give you a safe environment to practice deploying your DSMB.

Many divers will tell you to use your alternate second stage to fill the DSMB, but there are several advantages to the method described above, where you use your exhalation air instead.

First, filling air into a DSMB makes it positively buoyant. By using your exhaled air, there’s no shift on your overall buoyancy. Second, this method allows you to fill your DSMB even if you’re diving with a technical setup, where your secondary second stage is stored in a necklace around your neck.

Practice makes perfect, of course, so make sure you practice this before needing to do it for real, and keep practicing from time to time to keep your skills honed.

A pool or a local dive site is perfect for this. But make sure to let any shore based bystanders know that you’re only training, so they don’t misinterpret it as a distress signal and start calling the coast guard.

MAINTENANCE

Yes! Your reel, line spool and DSMB do need some basic maintenance to make sure that you have years of hassle free operation.

On every weekend diving there is always someone that has a problem with their reel. Line snagging, reel jamming and so on.

My question is always ‘when was the last time you serviced you reel & line?’.

The answer, 99% of the time is ‘service?’.

  1. There are a few quick and simple steps that you can do that will prolong the life of your reel and line. It will help to prevent reel jams and line tangles.
  2. Pop your reel into a fresh bucket of water, leave it over night.
  3. Reel out the line completely, you can do this in a number of ways, I put mine around patio furniture. This help you to check the quality and the state of the line (abrasions, rotting etc).
  4. While you have the line completely off take the opportunity to grease, tighten and clean the reel itself.
  5. When it is all dry wind on the line taking your time to make sure the line is evenly spread and suitably tight.

It’s not rocket science but it really will help with all those niggles!

Information source: DiveStyle Diving limited and Dive-In Magazine

Summer Sizzler

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You can even book it all online! Click Here 

10% Discount On All GoPro Accessories – In Store Only

10% Discount on all GoPro accessories until the end of July 2013!

No matter what accessory you need we are here to provide it!

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All HERO3s come with Wi-Fi built-in, plus a redesigned casing with a flat lens which has led to two improvements over its predecessor, the HERO2.

 

 

 

 

 

Amazing Oceanic OCS Dive Computer Deal

OCEANIC OCS NOW ONLY £440.00 (SRP £445.00) – Buy Now!

OCS_billboard_new

The OCS Dive Computer is the latest release from Oceanic. A watch sized unit that has been designed to be a stylish everyday watch as well as a fully featured dive computer.

A split standard LCD and dot matrix display provides a clean and clear screen to see all the essential information pre, during and post dive. The housing is made froma lightweight but strong composite material with a stainless steel back cover and bezel.

The major features include Oceanic’s Dual Algorithm technology to allow the user to adjust the computer to perform the same way as the majority of other dive computers currently on the market. Great if you regular swap buddies who have different makes and models of computers. The OCS also accepts up to 3 nitrox mixes which are switchable during the dive and a digital compass provides easy navigation underwater.

Dive profiles can be downloaded to your PC with the optional interface.

Features

  • Watch, Norm (Air / Nitrox) Gauge, and Free Dive
  • 4 Push Buttons
  • Wrist watch
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  • Personal Conservative Factor Adjustment
  • 12 Tissue Compartments
  • Automatic Altitude Adjustment
  • Deep Stop
  • Automatic Safety Stop Prompt
  • Audible Alarm
  • Alarm Acknowledgment (U/W Deactivation)
  • Ascent Rate Range
  • OceanGlo Backlight
  • Diver Replaceable Batteries
  • Low Battery Indicator (Graphic)
  • Calendar / Clock
  • 24 Hour Time to Fly Countdown
  • Calculated Desaturation Fly Countdown
  • OceanLog PC Download (Optional Extra)
  • Pre-Dive Planning Sequence
  • Temperature Display
  • Nitrogen Tissue Loading Bar Graph
  • Oxygen Loading Bar Graph
  • Variable Ascent Rate Bar Graph

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Oceanic VEO 1.0 Dive Computer £125.00 + Free postage

The ultimate entry dive computer from Oceanic

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OCEANIC OCS
The Oceanic OCS is an elegant wristwatch dive computer featuring an intuitive operating system, Dual Algorithm®, advanced digital compass, 3 Nitrox mix capability, and so much more. All in a strong, lightweight composite housing reinforced by a stainless steel case back and bezel.

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Cant see the Oceanic dive computer you want? Give us a call and give us a challenge!!

Offer ends Tuesday 28th May at 18:00

DSMB workshop/ Speciality on Wednesday 22nd May.

Do you know how to use a DSMB safely?

PADI DSMB Speciality for £55, including certification, Wednesday 22nd May only.

As you start to venture further afield with your diving, you will quickly learn the importance of alerting people on the surface to your position underwater. A delayed Surface Marker Buoy (dSMB or SMB) is an essential piece of equipment for any diver – Whether you need to summon the boat to pick you up after a dive, find a missing buddy, ascend without a fixed reference line, warn off boat traffic or even request extra cylinders.

This course will teach you how to easily, safely and reliably deploy a dSMB; giving you the peace of mind that you are comfortable using this essential (though initially daunting) piece of equipment whenever you may need to.

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May Madness!!

May Madness Is Here!!!

The sun is out, the warm evenings are finally here and the dive season is well under way!

We want you to be part of the scuba diving fraternity so we have some fantastically tempting offers to help get you there.

Make 2013 YOUR year of adventure.

Offers are valid until the 30th May 2013. So get your skates on!

Offer 1 – 10% discount on SCUBA courses:

  • Open Water Referral (SRP £245, now £220.50!)
  • Full Open Water (SRP £345, now £310.50!)
  • Advanced Open Water (SRP £235, now £211.50!)

Offer 2 – 10% discount of SCUBA specialities:

  • Drysuit Speciality (SRP £140, now £126!)
  • Equipment Specialist (SRP £95, now £85.50!)
  • Enriched Air Diver (SRP £85, now £76.50!)
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  • Emergency First Response (SRP £95, now £85.50!)
  • DSAT Gas Blender (Nitrox SRP £99, now £89.10! or Trimix SRP £159, now £143.10!)

Offer 3 – Free Courses:

  • Book and pay for your Rescue Diver with DiveStyle and we will give you your Emergency First Response FREE of charge (£95!).
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To take advantage of the offer call 01189 761729 or mail info@divestyle.co.uk

Terms & Conditions

  1. The May promotions are not available online.
  2. You must complete the purchased course within 6 months to qualify for the offers.
  3. No other discounts an be applied to the offers.
  4. Offer ends 30th May 2013