Most divers are cautious and attentive in the way they prepare for and conduct themselves while diving. They know the rules and limits, they check their equipment over carefully, and they don’t push the limits too far or too often. When it comes to injuries, we’re probably more likely to get hurt playing softball or soccer than we are to suffer an injury on a dive. But when that unusual circumstance comes along, it’s important to have a plan. After all, we can’t stay underwater forever, and some problems need to be resolved pronto. We need to think about what could possibly go wrong on a dive, and have a plan for what to do if that “worst-case scenario” should arise.
With that in mind, we’ll take a look at some of the most challenging situations a diver can encounter. For each one, we define the scenario, identify the risk factors, examine the likely causes and suggest strategies for avoidance. Then we’ll explore the various tactics to deal with the problem just in case it sneaks up on us.
Stuck Autoinflator Valve
Pausing to make that minor adjustment to your buoyancy, you gently press the autoinflate button of your buoyancy compensator (BC). Instead of adding just a “puff” of air, the valve jams and begins to empty the contents of your cylinder into your BC. It’s think fast, or face an uncontrolled ascent.
Risk Factor: Rapid or uncontrolled ascent, with attendant risk of pressure-related injuries.
Likely Causes: Probably the most common cause of a stuck BC inflator valve is poor or neglected maintenance. Some divers just don’t give their BC the post-dive attention it deserves. If a BC is not rinsed or soaked after diving in salt water, salt crystals and mineral deposits can form that can later cause the valve to stick in the “on” position. Another potential cause of a stuck BC inflator valve is sand, silt or other sediment in the valve mechanism. This can occur if the device isn’t properly secured and drags on the bottom.
Avoidance: Proper care of your BC goes a long way toward preventing stuck inflator valves. After each dive, or each day of diving, thoroughly rinse and/or soak the BC in fresh water to dissolve any salt crystals and to remove sand, silt and other debris.
Dealing With It: The fastest way to solve the problem of a stuck inflator valve is to disconnect the low-pressure hose from the inflator. Failing that, grab the lanyard for the dump valve and hold it open. Should an unwanted ascent begin, continue venting the device, and flare your body to maximize drag and slow your ascent.
Grabbing hold of a stationary object such as an anchor line might allow you to sort the problem out and regain buoyancy control.
BC Won’t Inflate
Learn more at :: https://infolific.com/leisure/scuba-diving/worst-case-scenarios/