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Carrying a spare mouthpiece as safety gear

Discussion in 'DIR Diving' started by Alex Denny, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Alex Denny

    Alex Denny Active Member

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    Apologies if this question should be in another part of the forum but this seems a good place to put it as tech divers tend to be the ones to think about this sort of thing...

    Context / scenario - last year, diving in sidemount in Holme Bank chert mine, I maide a planned regulator exchange from the long hose to the short hose (bungee'd around my neck as standard).

    I had identified previously that a couple of hoses were too short on this setup and the regulator was therefoe held a bit snugly against the side of my neck and had to be pulled around (and the left cylinder adjusted) to make the reg comfortable.

    [Note: I should have adjusted the problem with the setup before the dive and I have done so since, but as divers so often do, I had decided to 'live with' the problem for the weekend rather than lose the weekend's diving. Fixing the issue is not the subject of this post but rather the context for my question.]

    When making the regulator exchange, I pulled the reg around but the tension in the bungee broke the cable tie on the regulator mouthpiece which was also pulled off the reg and, because bad luck comes in clusters, the mouthpiece fell down a veridical shaft never to be seen again.

    Anyway, my kit has long since been adjusted, so the exact circumstances are unlikely to be repeated, BUT the loss of a mouthpiece must be an issue other divers have faced before. Under the circumstances, it seemed only right to abort the dive, but this could possibly have been avoided a) if my kit had been better adjusted, but b) if I had a spare mouthpiece and cable tie with me as redundancy / backup.

    Does anyone actually carry these items during a dive, or is it overkill? If carried, how/where do you keep them to keep the mouthpiece and cbble tie togerher without dropping them as soon as you open your pocket? And has anyone ever actually tried fitting a mouthpiece in water with dry gloves on?

    Thanks
     
  2. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    I take cable ties on a dive with me, they live in my wetnotes which I keep in my drysuit pocket.

    For the mouthpiece, I would just dive this as a ‘failed regulator’ and abort the dive. You could carry spares but where does that end? Will you carry a spare diaphragm for the second stage, a spare hose etc. ? These can also fail and can also be swapped underwater in an emergency but the list of spare parts gets bigger and bigger. It’s not a bad idea, in fact if I was a dive guide taking a group of tourist divers around I’d say it was a pretty good idea but for my diving I’m happy just calling the dive.
     
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  3. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    I know this isn't what you want to hear, but I'm saying it anyway.
    This is when you should have binned the dive. You knew there was a potential issue and took an unnecessary risk.

    As to the question you do want answered, as JB says, call the dive. I wouldn't carry a mouthpiece on a dive, although I do have one in my spares box.
     
  4. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    I do not carry a spare mouthpiece whilst diving and have never needed one on a dive.
    I do not carry any cable ties and I question my dexterity to apply them with gloves.
    I do carry a spare mask and that has never been required.
    I do carry a spare reel and SMB and that has been used a few times.
    I do carry a spare double-ender and it has proved useful on many occasions to gather things others have 'discarded'.
    I do carry a spare goody bag as I have found lobsters can fair poorly when in the same bag as crabs.
     
  5. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    I carry a spares kit with me, left in the car, sometimes taken on a bigger boat if there's time to do fettling. In that spares kit there's a plethora of odds and sods from O-rings through triglides, bungees, mouthpieces, cable ties, various clips, string, SPGs, SPG tube thingies, O2-grease, lube, tools, plugs, etc. If I'm going on a longer trip I'll throw in a load of spare hoses and a spare stage reg set.

    IMG_4060.jpg

    If something happens in an easy access place like Holme Bank, I'll just get out and wander back to the car, although for Dinas it'll be pigging annoying and take some time to do the round-trip -- probably need to change too.

    Due to the limited slack time of a boat dive, it'll probably end up with the dive being binned or severely truncated. Just have to accept that.

    As it happens, I do have a couple of spare tie-wraps in my bum-bag for sidemount. Never used them and, TBH, don't think I would bother due to the cold-weight gloves.


    And, of course, this is why we dive to the rule of thirds, so you should have enough gas in your "other side" to get the hell out of Dodge.
     
  6. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Question: has anyone tried diving without a mouthpiece, i.e. with the bare reg in one's gob? Did it work?

    Maybe something to muck around with in a puddle?
     
  7. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    It’ll be uncomfortable cut no reason it wouldn’t work. You may need to do it through ‘kissing lips’ which I wouldn’t want to do for a long period of time
     
  8. becky9

    becky9 Diving bore!

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    Yes I've dived without a mouthpiece it's ok but does get tiring after a while. I've also used the hose directly without a 2nd stage, that works too but you need to get the valve feathered just right so it's just workable. Totally pointless but proves it's doable - you'd just swap 2nd stages around if absolutely required. Darren did that last year when his o2 reg decided to implode with 30 mins deco to do x
     
  9. becky9

    becky9 Diving bore!

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    No I tell a lie he swapped the whole reg over... but same applies x
     
  10. Alex Denny

    Alex Denny Active Member

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    In water??

    Absolutely. And I won't make (exactly) the same mistake again. I've since 'fixed' the setup and we all try to learn from our behavioural mistakes. I can't promise I won't ever do anything daft again, but I'll try not to.

    Like wibs said, I had plenty of gas on the other side for a safe exit and I did, indeed, abort the dive as soon as the mouthpiece was lost...
     
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  11. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    Yes, perfectly doable. If in salt water you probably want to get the reg serviced afterwards but if freshwater then you might not need to.

    I’ve heard that piston regs stand up to this better than diaphragm regs.
     
  12. becky9

    becky9 Diving bore!

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    As Jason says, yes absolutely. 30 mins of o2 deco left to do, the choices are: swap the reg, extend the deco by 50% sharing the teams O2 or do it on 50% - all except the first keeping the team there for way longer than necessary if you can simply just swap the reg. Its the sane choice. x
     
  13. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    You don't want to make a habit of doing it but as a workaround to solve a problem it's a sensible choice.
     
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  14. becky9

    becky9 Diving bore!

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    Yep, you know the steak story, but in the scheme of things id rather be back on the boat than get a free steak. Not so bad in croatia but in the uk when he swapped the reg its a no brainer. x
     
  15. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Also the low risk option as there's the team to back you up. Swapping the 50% & 100% regs if diving alone isn't such a good idea --- oh that incident pit where the option of removing one of your twinset stages springs to mind....!
     
  16. furryman

    furryman hmmmm
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    When I did my Helitrox Deco rebreather course, the instructor pointed out that in his view a spare mouthpiece was potentially very useful.
    Again *in his view*, the only part of a rebreather that has no backup is the breathing circuit, and the mouthpiece is an easily breakable and easily replaceble bit (scrubber/hose/lung/valve failure being pretty final, leading straight to bailout, of course!)
    He therefore carried with him a spare mouthpiece and a cable-tie in a laminated packet in a pouch.

    Each to his own, I guess.

    His preferred diving style involved long deep dives chasing lionfish for the pot around deep tropical wrecks.
     
  17. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    I found an interesting tip the other day about where to keep the mouthpiece, Guy Shockey keeps his in his pocket slipped over his sea spanner, the mouthpiece can't come off one end as the spanner head is too large and it can't come off the other end as the boltsnap clipping off the sea spanner stops it.
     
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  18. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps he has also done a course with Rich Stevenson and heard of the cable-tie that failed on the Carpathia resulting in Rich needing to hold the loop in place for a lengthy ascent.
     
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