View Full Version : better way to do safety stops. . .
04-29-2003, 10:11 AM
This weekend I was doing some mid-water safety stops (without anchor or jug line nearby). I know some guys just hover there for several minutes just keeping an eye on their depth guages to make sure they aren't too deep or too shallow.
One of the methods I use when I have my line gun is this. I would release my spearshaft and let my gun float to the surface and hold on to my shaft which is at the end of a 15 ft. line. I just look up and make sure my gun is up on the surface. and that way I know I am at a proper depth, furthermore, by letting my gun float to the surface, it is easier for the boat to see where I am located at while I am doing my safety stop.
To make myself more easily identifiable to the boat during safety stops I am thinking of using a lift bag and a reel with only 15 ft. of line on it. With the lift bag on the surface, the chances of being lost on the ocean is reduced as somebody on the boat can keep a better eye on you if you are getting pulled away by the current. I was also thinking of attaching my stringer to the lift bag to separate me from my fish to advert any problems with potential predators while doing my safety stop. What is your take on this? Anybody else use this or any other method? Or do you think a lift bag and reel is just another thing to bring down that could clutter a dive?
04-29-2003, 10:25 AM
You could also use that system to shoot your fish to the surface if you are being harassed, with the lift bag attached to your reel or not. If you attach the bag to your reel, make sure that you are holding the reel in your hand so that you can let go of it if it gets tangled while the bag is on its way up.
Kim and I have 15 feet of line tied to our safety sausages. If we want to show someone where we are while doing a stop, we just put some air in the sausage and let it go, with the tag end clipped to our BC. Wouldn't hold a stringer, but the sausage and line take up virtually no room and are very visible on the surface.
04-29-2003, 10:44 AM
Hector, good idea with your speargun, but I'm not sure a gun would float if you have a spare shaft on it.
Bob, good idea on the sausage with the line. May have to implement that myself.
04-29-2003, 11:19 AM
The safety susage is a good way to do a little hangin around. The lift bag is OK too and you just have to mark your reel line at 18 feet or so to compensate for seas. I wouldn't put my fish on it though...barracuda would love that! I like keeping my fish right with me till I'm getting on the boat.
04-29-2003, 12:13 PM
BobK has the best idea and the sausage is very visable from a distance. Anyway with some peoples luck of attracting the unwanted (sharks and cudas) , I would keep your gun loaded until the boat is right on you. It works for me.
04-29-2003, 06:19 PM
A jackass here lost a guy last fall because he did a safety stop and drifted away. After 5 hours in the water the USCG found him.
(I stopped diving with that one)
Since then I always try and do my stop with my susage tied to my jon line. I even got a small strobe that I attach to it just in case.
05-19-2003, 11:01 PM
I carry a small 3.3 foot sausage with me attached to a tech diving spool. The spool has 70 feet of line on it. Fill the bag and shoot it to the surface. It can be a lot of multi tasking to manage a bag, a gun, and hopefully a stringer. You will want to wind the spool up as you ascend so that you do not tangle in the line. Remember that you only have to put a little bit of air in the sausage to take it to the surface. We always shoot a bag when diving with a live boat. Keeps the surface support in the loop on location.
Also, I find the easiest way to maintain depth in a blue water stop with no upline is to watch the particulate in the water. If the particulates start to go up, you are sinking. If they start to go down, you are ascending! Do a reality check on the depth gauge every 2 minutes or so. It works really well. In ultra clear water, this might be a challenge due to lack of junk in the water. I donít have much experience in water with greater than 20 foot viz! I assume that there are always particulates visible to the eye, even in nice FL waters!
05-20-2003, 08:35 AM
Be it a lift bag or sausage, is a good idea if doing a hang in current. The CArter 100# sausage lift bag marker I carry will not only float the gun, but anyfish along for the ride as well. It's also useful for anchor and other "artifact" recoveries. ( A 3' bag full of shovenose is HEAVY! You just gotta love those little isolated airplane and car wreck sites.)
This takes up almost no space rolled up and bungied to the bottom of my plate.
Spools are generally better than reels for shooting bags. Less liklihood of a tangle and a quick trip to the surface.
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