A Scuba Diving Accessory that might just save your life
Safe Scuba Diving is all about risk management. We accept the inherent dangers of humans trying to act like fish, and we manage those dangers with training and technology. In this video, I'm discussing the one scuba diving accessory I refuse to go diving without… the DSMB.
Sit back and tune in for a story of a well planned dive gone wrong. Hear how super-experienced scuba diving Instructors were swept out to sea, to face a certain and salty death only to be saved by a 6-foot inflatable neon sausage. And there are many more stories that end the same way. ‘I was saved thanks to my safety sausage!'
I don't even refer to a DSMB as an ‘accessory' in the real world. For me, and especially the styles of diving we do here in South Florida, they are every bit as essential a piece of scuba equipment as a BCD or Regulator. And yet, they are very hard to rent. Surprisingly, around the world, it is not very often you find a dive center that will rent you an SMB. Sure, they'll rent you a $500 regulator or a $300 BCD, but not a $30 DSMB!
Why not? I think most dive operators know that their Dive Guide/Leader is carrying a SMB and that most of their Divers will follow the guide, so that is good enough for the group. I strongly disagree with that presumption. What if you get separated? What if you don't want to follow the Guide? No. For me, it's one diver, one DSMB, minimum.
Also, because they are not as obvious a piece of kit as a scuba mask or fins, they tend to fall down the priority list when new divers are shopping for their first set of dive gear. And yet they are one of the cheapest components of a standard scuba equipment set up! Not to mention readily available and easy to travel with!
There's even a humorous clip in this video of me and two of my former bosses who owned a dive center in the Caribbean, ducking out of work for the day to go on a fun drift dive. Our boat Captain, who I'm sure suffered from not-so-mild myopia, failed to spot all three of us, SMBs out, waving in the air and shouting his name! Now, if Myopic Mike only just spotted us with three SMBs out and waving, what chance would we have had without them?!
SMBs, DSMBs, Safety Sausages… whatever you prefer to call them. This scuba diving accessory has had its value proven to me time and time again. We're talking the why you should never be without them, but also what are the differences in styles of market buoys. I have a whole drawer full of marker buoys. And for my Technical diving pursuits, where redundancy is key, I'm always packing two different colored DSMBs.
So Divers, please, for your Buddy James, if I can ask you to add ‘Got my DSMB' to your buddy check list, I will sleep even better at night!
On a personal note, I'm very excited that we get to share our Divers Ready! scuba content with our partners here at Scuba Diver Magazine. Divers Ready uses YouTube to help certified divers take their scuba experiences to the next level through inspirational videography, practical knowledge sharing, and relevant tools so they can make their next dive better than their last dive. To check out more of our content, you can HEAD TO OUR CHANNEL HERE!
Dive safe, dive often.