Users of AP Diving jackets with an AP200 inflator need to be aware that loosening of the plastic securing nut where the inflator hose connects can result in rapid, undemanded inflation of the BC.
To avoid this issue, nuts are to be checked for tightness when BCs are issued or withdrawn. If a loose nut is discovered then this should be passed to a qualified technician as simply tightening the nut may not resolve the problem.
In the event of an un-demanded inflation, and subsequent ascent, all are reminded of the actions that they should carry out:
Breathe Out – this will slow the rate of ascent and reduce the risk of a gas expansion injury
Disconnect Inflator Hose – using the quick release fastener
Several Suunto Zoop Novo dive computers used for AT diving have been discovered to offer reduced no-stop dive times compared to similar devices. DSM 14-18 has been released to allow similar computers to be identifed and directs that they are not to be used for AT diving.
There exists a possibility for the Oceanic diaphragm style regulators sold or serviced between October 1, 2017 and May 25, 2018 with a new HP Poppet to significantly restrict airflow at low tank pressures (below 500 psi), posing a drowning hazard to consumers. Any regulator with the new HP Poppet must be fitted with the new style.
For further information & instructions on how to have affected regulators rectified visit https://recall.oceanicworldwide.com/
During a recent rescue drill, a defective throw line was discovered with a very low breaking strain. Riber Products Limited (RIBER) who supplied it have identified a batch of 208 throw bags which could be at risk.
To ensure that throw bag rescue lines are fit for purpose they should be opened and checked. In particular:
The entire length of the rescue line should be examined for joins or other discontinuities. This can best be done by feeling along the length of the line with bare hands to identify rough patches or lumps.
Any knots, splices or other methods of securing the ends of the line to handles, quoits or other parts of the equipment should also be checked for integrity.
The throw bag should be inspected and tried at regular intervals and repacked according to the manufacturer’s instructions, as otherwise the line may not deploy freely from the bag when required.
Any throw bag rescue lines found to have joins or discontinuities should be removed from service and the original manufacturer /supplier informed.
Further details can be found in the latest Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) Safety Bulletin dated Jun 18 (click here)
Following a number of recent incidents, the HSE have recently issued a warning concerning the risk of catastrophic failure of old aluminium scuba cylinders. This concerns cylinders manufactured between 1963 and 1995.
The action required is :
Check to see if any of your cylinders are manufactured or suspected to be manufactured from aluminium alloys HE30/AA6082 or AA6351. Check for specific alloy-related markings or for a manufacture date (the earliest date stamped on the cylinder) prior to 1995. If you believe that a cylinder may be made from either of these alloys, then you should assess the risk of continued use by considering the cylinder’s age, history of use and previous testing.
If you cannot determine the alloy and appropriate information as described in BS EN 1802—e.g., if you cannot easily read markings on the cylinder or if markings are missing—you must remove the cylinder from service, safely release the gas and render the cylinder incapable of holding pressure.
If you are unable to confirm that eddy-current testing was performed on an HE30/AA6082 or AA6351 cylinder, remove it from service, safely release the gas and do not use the cylinder until eddy-current testing can be performed.
Two recent incident reports from an AT diving centre have highlighted issues with submersible pressure gauges (SPG). Fortunately both failures occurred on the surface rather than in water and the only injuries were minor.
Although not the case in this situation, these incidents serve as a useful reminder that this is a time of year when kit failure is relatively common as divers return to the water after a winter break. It is always worth giving your own personal and club equipment an extra rigorous inspection to ensure that it is ready for the diving season.
During the Q&A session at the end of the JS Diving Safety Conference, it became apparent that some units and expeditions had encountered problems with diving equipment issued from the AT Loan Pool at Bicester. A number of these have also been highlighted in PXRs and JS Incident Reports.
These incidents are now being actively investigated by ATG(A) who are putting in place measures to ensure that they do not happen again.
In order to reduce the risk of future issues and ensure that issues identified on expeditions are addressed, ATG(A) have asked that units and expeds are reminded of the following:
Units/expeditions collecting equipment from the loan pool are to send an SME with a minimum qualification of Dive Leader. Without this equipment will not be issued. For units wishing to draw a FACTAIR F2235 then proof of training will be required.
Equipment faults are to be highlighted using the procedures in AGAI Volume 1 Chapter 11 (link requires Defence Gateway account). The full text is copied below:
11.123. Equipment Damage Reports. Incidences of any damaged or failed equipment must be notified to the unit QM who is to conduct an investigation, or, in serious circumstances or in cases of serious injury, convene a Board of Inquiry. Damage Reports are to be included in the Post Exercise Report (PXR) and also reported through the appropriate Formation ATDO to HQ ATG (A) as soon as possible. Equipment involved in any accident or incident where an investigation is likely must be withdrawn and secured for the investigation by the unit. The balance of stores is to be returned on time with a letter of explanation (copied to HQ ATG (A)).