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Safety is more important than data collection.

Some dives done by the Team are challenging, and it is imperative that all divers be properly equipped, and not take on tasks for which they are not physically and mentally prepared. Strong currents, low visibility, long swims, hazardous topography (wreckage, pointed rebar, sharp metal edges, fishing line) and frequent seperation from the buddy are common difficulties of the Team dives. It is the responsibility of each diver to accept only those tasks that he/she feels comfortable with. During a dive, any member of any buddy team may call the dive and cause the buddy team to return to the boat for any reason. Any tasks not accomplished on the dive can be made up at a later date, so the diver should not hesitate to stop the dive.

For emphasis, several safey practices covered seperately in other sections of this document, are repeated here.

Mandatory Practices:

  • Required Equipment:
    • a buoyancy compensator (BC) with working inflator system
    • a second regulator (octopus, air2) for sharing air with a buddy
    • a ditchable weighting system
    • a surface marker with a 15 foot line attached
    • a compass
  • The Team will always use the buddy system in diving
  • Time and depth of each dive will be addressed in the dive briefing and shall be adhered to by all members.
  • Monitoring of gauges and buddies will be practiced prudently.
  • For dives reaching depths greater than 50 feet, each diver will make a three-minute safety stop.

Cancelling dives:

Dive operations can be cancelled prior to start or during execution by the captain of the boat for any condition, including weather, which he/she deems unsafe for the Team.

Dive operations can be cancelled prior to the start of the dive conditions deemed unsatisfactory to achieve the team objectives by the Team Coordinator and Dive Coordinator either before leaving the dock or once the site is reached. Examples are extreme current or very low visibility. If another site can be done as an immediate subtitute, within the rules of the funding grant, it shall be done, otherwise rescheduling to another day will be required.

Weather Conditons:

No open ocean dive operation shall be conducted when a small craft advisory is posted by the NOAA weather bureau. Small Craft Advisoriess are imposed when winds are predicted to exceed 18 knots, and seas to be 4-6 feet or greater, and will appear in bold red on the link above. For purposes of this procedure, the most recent NOAA forecast prior to the scheduled dive time (usually the early morning update between 3:00-5:00 a.m.) will be the operative forecast.