Do Scuba Divers Need to Carry a Scuba Dive Knife When Underwater?
Originally Published @ Scuba Scoop 10 August 2010
Underwater finishing line.
Carrying a scuba dive knife looks impressive, but is a knife a necessary item of scuba equipment on all scuba dives? A knife can provide a sense of physical security, but in most scuba dives it is probably an irrelevant item of scuba equipment. A scuba dive knife could be handy when diving on a site covered with old fishing line and the scuba dive plan is to recover some of the lost sinkers for making into scuba dive weights. Prising the sinkers and fishing line out of the nooks and crannies of the underwater seascape with a scuba dive knife may be a good justification for carrying the knife. Reasons to Carry a Scuba Dive Knife Some other reasons for a scuba diver to carry a knife could be: * Diving in heavy seaweed, such as kelp * Search and recovery type dives where ropes and the possibility of getting tangled may be present * Drift dives where there could be the possibility of getting tangled in the rope dragging the scuba dive flag * Equipment failure may lead to problems underwater where a knife may need to be used to cut-away equipment. Maybe the weight belt buckle can’t be opened due to damage; or a similar problem. * It could be useful for dive masters or scuba instructors to carry a knife in case students may need some assistance with equipment. A Scuba Dive Knife and the Marine Environment One of the reasons for many scuba divers to carry a knife is to pillage the ocean. Carving off oysters, coaxing crayfish out of a crevice or opening anemones to feed the fish are all uses for a knife. Using a knife for this type of activity should be discouraged. Interaction in this manner by scuba divers with the marine environment is not good. It not only kills off the life, but also decimates the environment for future divers. The image of a rugged scuba diver battling a ferocious, teeth filled shark is something that should be left to the realms of fiction. Not only would it be near impossible for a scuba diver to kill a shark with a scuba dive knife, it would be extremely dangerous with a wounded shark flapping around. Communicating With a Scuba Dive Knife It may sound a bit strange to communicate underwater with a scuba dive knife, but it is possible. The knife can be used to gain a dive buddy’s attention. Banging a knife on a steel or aluminum tank is one of the best ways to get the attention of another diver. A simple message previously developed with the scuba dive buddy could be used. It would even be possible to tap out Morse code on the tank! There are specific reasons for a scuba diver to carry a knife. However, a knife should really only be carried if warranted by the expected diving conditions. Thanks to Suite 101 and Bruce Iliff for this informative piece