SCUBA UNIT REMOVAL AND REPLACEMENT SKILL TIPS
Why BCD Removal?
- It’s very unlikely you’ll ever need to remove your scuba unit underwater. I’ve had to remove it once when I had some serious digestion problems during a dive with some students. I had to excuse myself, hide behind a sponge barrel and do my thing…
- In very rare emergencies, such as when your buddy’s stuck, entangled and running low on air, you may remove your scuba unit with him and bravely perform a controlled emergency swimming ascent to call for help.
- If you haven’t completed a proper Buddy Check and your tank strap is too loose, your tank may come off the BCD. It is possible you may have placed the tank too high or too low which can be very annoying during the dive. You may then simply remove your scuba unit and fix that issue
Where to practice BCD removal?
Practice scuba unit removal and replacement is confined water, in water too deep to stand in. Do not attempt to practice this skill without supervision.
How to remove your BCD underwater:
- Kneel on the bottom and fully deflate your BCD.
- Stretch the shoulders straps for easier practice.
- Unclip the chest and belly clips and the Velcro band. Remember to use your left hand, making sure the weight belt stays untouched.
- Hold the BCD firmly with your right hand, as close as possible to the scuba tank.
- Remove the scuba BCD starting with the left hand, rolling the BCD to the right side. This way you make sure you won’t get entangled with your primary air source hose.
Put the BCD back on:
- Make sure the Velcro bands aren’t attached.
- Place all hoses at the back of the BCD.
- Start with the right hand first. Move it in and hold the BCD firmly right next to the scuba tank.
- Place the BCD back on, just like wearing a vest, and check that no hoses are trapped.
- Stretch the shoulder straps again and streamline yourself
BCD Removal tips:
- Before starting the skill make sure your BCD is fully deflated.
- Hold the BCD firmly with your right hand, next to the tank, as low on air scuba tanks may be buoyant and tend to float up.
- Always start removing the BCD with your left hand. This prevents you from entangling the regulator’s hose around your neck.
- At the end of the skill make sure every thing’s back in place.