Why learning BCD removal ?

Where to practice BCD removal?

How to master BCD removal?

BCD removal  tutorial video

BCD removal  tips

Why BCD Removal?

  1. 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…
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. Kneel on the bottom and fully deflate your BCD.
  2. Stretch the shoulders straps for easier practice.
  3. Unclip the chest and belly clips and the Velcro band. Remember to use your left hand, making sure the weight belt stays untouched.
  4. Hold the BCD firmly with your right hand, as close as possible to the scuba tank.
  5. 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:

  1. Make sure the Velcro bands aren’t attached.
  2. Place all hoses at the back of the BCD.
  3. Start with the right hand first. Move it in and hold the BCD firmly right next to the scuba tank.
  4. Place the BCD back on, just like wearing a vest, and check that no hoses are trapped.
  5. Stretch the shoulder straps again and streamline yourself

BCD Removal tips:

  1. Before starting the skill make sure your BCD is fully deflated.
  2. 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.
  3. Always start removing the BCD with your left hand. This prevents you from entangling the regulator’s hose around your neck.
  4. At the end of the skill make sure every thing’s back in place.

Learn more about other open water course scuba skills here


  1. Bought this BCD for my Open Water Cert. I love it compared to the Dive Shops school BCD’s. (they were nice but they were rental quality) I love the quick weight release system, the fully adjustable cummerbund, and the manual inflate setup. Very good for basic beginner BC. Pockets are big, attachment points are plentiful, and the purge pulls are in easy to reach areas.

    Also, the seller shipped quickly and everything was as stated. The only problem I had with it was the manual is too short and a bit vague. An exploded parts diagram would have been fantastic.

  2. I replaced a US divers BC with a Zeagle BC. Reason for the Zeagle was because the Fire Department I work for went to the Zeagle and I like the fit and durability. I have now doubt it will be the last BC I will need to purchase. Excellent BC!!!I also purchase the pony tank straps which work perfectly with the BC. I like the fact that you can move these straps where you want them.

  3. just completed 1st phase of scuba in the pool. I had a really difficult time with the bcd removal. as I removed the bcd and rotated it around my body, I kept floating away from the bottom!!! I ended up trying it 5 times, twice the regulator was ripped from my mouth, once I got a severe leg cramp trying to kneel, hold the bcd and stay on the bottom and finally was successful on the 5th try. The instructor wasn’t much help.

    Any good tips on completing the bcd removal without floating from the bottom?

  4. Hi Steve.
    Sorry to hear about your experience.
    would it help if I say I was just as bad? I really sucked as an open water student, though I really loved it.
    Now, removing a BCD underwater is not as easy as it sometimes seems, and luckily we rarely have to do it.
    Judging from what you have just told me I guess you may have had some air trapped in your BCD, which made it float to the surface pulling the reg out of your mouth.
    I guess you were using a weight belt and not integrated weights right?
    If so, and if you want to try it again to be completely comfortable with it ( as you should) consider adding weights to the BCD on your first try, this will keep it under control and make it easier to get the skill done.
    Once you know what you’re doing, try removing your BCD without the weights and see how it works for you. Regardless, make sure your BCD is completely deflated.
    do not attempt this skill without supervision of a professional, and only preform it in shallow water.
    Hope that helps ,
    waiting to hear from you

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