News Around The Club
TUDC Happenings over the Christmas period
Just a quick note to let members know that dive shed will not open on Thursday December 26th as we (and hopefully you!) will be on holidays. As such, you can hire all your dive gear on the 19th and have it for TWO FULL WEEKS!
This is your last edition of TANKED news for 2013, and you won't be hearing from us again until February as things get pretty quiet over the festive period. Have a wonderful Christmas/New Year, stay safe, and we'll see you all in 2014!
TUDC finalists in Tas Community Achievement Awards
Earlier in the year we were nominated for the Ricoh Environment award as part of the 2013 Community Achievement Awards for our ongoing Marine Debris Clean-Ups. A couple of weeks ago we attended the presentation dinner and it was the most excellent of evenings. Unfortunately we didn't go home with the award, however it was still a great honour to be named as a state finalist. Congrats to the Bookend Trust for taking out the award!
SAFETY NOTE: use of delayed surface marker buoys - by Richard M
We recently had an incident on a dive where a diver was getting ready to deploy her delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB). This involved unrolling it and unlocking the reel so that it would feed line out freely upon filling and release. Another diver in the group thought he'd help her and unknown to her, inflated the buoy, unfortunately whilst the reel was still locked taking the whole rig to the surface; if the owner hadn't had the presence of mind to release the reel as soon as she felt it ascending, she would have suffered an uncontrolled ascent. Fast ascents are very dangerous and carry a significant risk of burst lungs, decompression sickness etc, both potentially very serious conditions.
DSMBs are a very useful tool for letting those on the surface know where divers are positioned, however, if not used properly, they do carry a risk of entanglement and uncontrolled ascent and must never be used by divers who haven't had experience of, or practiced their deployment previously.
Whilst it is good practice for two divers to deploy a DSMB together, ie one holding the reel or spool whilst the other inflates the bag, it should never be done unless the deploying diver agrees and has indicated that they require assistance
Please, please, please don't try to assist other divers with DSMB deployment unless you've discussed it as part of the dive plan and/or they ask you to help; maintain eye contact throughout the procedure so that you both know what's going on and ensure that there's no loose line to get entangled in. Then and only when you're happy that both of you know what's going on, inflate the DSMB and release, holding the reel (or spool) well away from both divers.
'Drawing the Line' - film screening
This week, the Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council is hosting three screeings of the documentary film Drawing the Line.
The film discusses the concept of Australia's marine parks, and attempts to bridge the gap between the fishing industry and consumers of seafood. As active users of Australia's waterways, some members may be interested in seeing this film. Check out the film trailer HERE for more info.
Each screeing will include an open discussion and Q & A session featuring an expert panel.
- Thursday 12th December - Triabunna - Triabunna District High School Hall, from 7:00 pm.
- Friday 13th December - Hobart - Stanley Burbury Theatre, UTAS, Sandy Bay Campus (access from Churchill Avenue), from 7:00 pm.
- Saturday 14th December - Launceston - Sir Raymond Ferrall Centre, UTAS, Newnham Campus, from 7:00 pm.
[DIY] Improvised Goodman Handle for torches - by Richard M
Most of us will carry a torch from time to time, indeed some of us never go in the water without one. I've heard that Sparkie even takes one in the shower when he's at home but then he knows who wired up his lighting. On a night-dive, you'll be using your torch the whole time but this inevitably means that you are left with only one hand free, which can then be awkward if you have to perform any tasks which require more than one hand.
You can hang your torch on a lanyard attached to your BCD but from my own observations, these often become an entanglement hazard, with a torch hanging off 30cm or so of webbing and then inevitably wrapping itself around other things, like SPG hoses, octopus regulators, cameras or even the dive boat ladder etc and I've seen some mighty tangles result. So far, these in themselves haven't hurt anything apart from the diver's patience however it isn't hard to imagine the danger this could present in the event of an emergency.
Technical divers discovered the merits of mounting a torch/light so that it sits on the back of the hand a long time ago, this is known as a Goodman Handle and is usually fitted to the light-head of a umbilical/canister light, with a large canister battery clamped to the BCD/wing harness, feeding power to the light head which is fixed to a flat handle so that it's mounted (usually) on the back of the left hand, by simply pushing the fingers and hand into it.
The advantage to all this is that because the hand fits into the handle and is held there with little to no effort, it leaves the fingers free to do pretty well 90% of what they can do when the hand is unencumbered and without risk of dropping the torch or having it hang down on the end of a lanyard without getting caught up in other dive gear or worse still, on shotlines, anchor ropes, DSMB lines etc.
So where to get a goodman handle? Well obviously the easiest way is to buy one, either head to your local dive shop and see if there are any on the shelf, or failing that, get one ordered in. The only issue with this is that they are normally made for specific makes of canister light, although some diligent searching on Google will usually turn up something, more often than not, from overseas. Some, such as the neo glove type handles can be used with more conventional, cylindrical torches although in various reviews, you will read complaints that many of the glove-types aren't sufficiently robust.
After my first dip in the water in 4 months, following a post knee-surgery, 6 weeks overseas and then 3 weeks with the mother of all man-flu, I jumped in the water at Tinderbox to try out some newly acquired kit, including a new, compact (3 x AAA) LED torch. After mucking around one handed, due the torch being held in one hand, I figured that some sort of Goodman handle would be the GO but really didn't fancy spending $70-100 on something from the tinternet; looking at the thing in my man-shed, along with all the other gear, I was struck that it is about the same diameter as the neck on a 12L Faber tank and then it clicked; back in 2005, when it seemed like a good idea, I bought a tank handle (it wasn't) for about $10 or $15, which fitted around the neck and, if I remembered correctly, I still had it somewhere. Half an hour of searching later, I found it and yes, it was an almost perfect fit for the torch.
Two minutes later, I had it fitted to the torch, four minutes later, I had it unfitted and in the vice being drilled with two holes for some left over bungee cord (I love bungee), then a hole to fit a boltsnap and voila - the finished article. When not needed, it can hang out of the way on a shoulder D-ring on my BCD.
The bungee simply slips around the wrist so that I don't drop it accidentally. As you can see, I can wear it but still keep 80% of the dexterity in my hand, where it can stay for the whole dive. Conventionally, they're worn on the left hand, to keep the right (usually the masterhand) free for other tasks.