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Wreck Diver

Knowledge Review - Part 1

Two reasons why artifact recovery is discourage when wreck diving:

  • antiquity protection
  • salvage rights/laws

Diver must pay close attention to local laws before planning a wreck dive because regulations may differ significantly, with some wrecks requiring or permit or being entirely closed to divers.

Avoid sharp objects by using an exposure suit and wearing gloves.

Avoid entanglement by remaining alert and carrying a sharp cutting tool.

Five dive planning and equipment considerations for wreck diving deeper than 18 metres / 60 feet:

  • be trained in deep diving
  • use a high capacity cylinder or a hang a cylinder at 5 metres / 15 feet
  • take the effect of narcosis into account
  • plan for reduced bottom time
  • be trained in enriched air

Two reasons for obtaining a local orientation to an unfamiliar wreck before diving on it:

  • to acquaint you with local techniques
  • to identify unique points of interest, hazards, and regulations

Special training and equipment is necessary for shipwreck penetration because it exposes you to significant risks.

Five hazards of entering a wreck are:

  • loss of direction
  • no direct access to the surface
  • restricted passages
  • falling objects
  • silt

Three aspects of a wreck that should be evaluated when diving on it:

  • points of interest
  • general condition
  • entryways

Three methods of navigating on a shipwreck:

  • follow the wrecks layout
  • feature reference
  • base line

Knowledge Review - Part 2

General techniques for wreck diving in a current include using a trail or drift line to ascend/descend. Descend hand-over-hand.

Three reasons for researching the history and condition of a wreck:

  • history may explain the wreck's location and condition
  • research reveals or confirms a wreck's identity, determining archaeological significance and hazards
  • research helps you uncover unique points of interest

Two sources that provide quick, basic information about diving on a popular wreck:

  • dive stores and dive boats
  • dive magazines, guildbooks, and the internet

Two benefits of mapping a shipwreck:

  • simplifies future dives
  • planning penetration

Four pieces of equipment for wreck penetration and their uses:

  • dive lights
  • penetration line and reel
  • slate
  • H-valve, Y-valve, or pony bottle

Four limits for wreck penetration:

  • edge of light zone
  • linear distance of 40 metres/130 feet
  • 1/3 of your air supply
  • space too narrow for two divers to pass together

Proper techniques for entering, moving through and using a penetration line in a wreck:

  • tie end of reel to sturdy piece of wreckage
  • reel diver goes first
  • look around just inside entry
  • let bubble hit ceiling and abort dive if too much silt rains down
  • penetrate for a couple of meters and wrap line against second anchor
  • as you continue maintain light tension
  • wrap line around objects from time to time
  • maintain neutral buoyancy
  • frog kick in wide areas
  • flutter kick at knee in narrow areas
  • DO NOT use penetration line to pull yourself along
  • always let reel diver go first
  • when turning around avoid entanglement
  • do not go past 40 linear meters
  • reel diver becomes last diver on return

Describe the proper responses and action for each of the following during the wreck penetration:

Loss of visibility due to silting:

  • DO NOT release the line
  • if silt does not settle, then abort dive

Lost or cut penetration line:

  • stop and allow silt to settle
  • look for natural light of entrance
  • leave reel if necessary
  • abort dive

Light failure:

  • stop, make loose contact with line, and retrieve backup
  • signal to buddies and abort dive

Air supply loss:

  • if using H or Y valve then shut down free flowing regulator
  • if you don't have enough air then secure buddy's alternate and abort dive