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  • Divers using hookah rigs need no certification

    Posted by patrickj on 12 augustus 2009 om 14:52

    Divers using hookah rigs need no certification
    Divers using hookah rigs need no certification

    By NEIL JOHNSON | The Tampa Tribune
    Published: August 11, 2009[/I]

    TAMPA – Two of the three Tampa Bay area people who died hunting lobsters in the Keys the past week were using a hookah diving rig that lets divers breathe underwater without air tanks and does not require the certification needed to use scuba gear.

    The equipment has been around since the 1960s and uses a compressor floating on the surface to pump air to divers through hoses connected to their masks. They let divers stay underwater for as long as the compressor has fuel, compared to the limited time a scuba tank lasts.

    They are called hookah rigs because multiple hoses run from the compressors.

    Some models let divers go as deep as 90 feet.

    Louann Green, 33, of St. Petersburg was diving for lobster Saturday afternoon near Big Pine Key with a hookah rig when she ran into trouble.

    Searchers were unable to find her.

    Last week, Brian Harlin, 25, of Brandon was diving for lobster on the first day of the season when he drowned.

    Monroe County sheriff’s deputies said Harlin was diving in the Indian Key Channel with his family about 8 a.m. Thursday. He was in the water with his father, and they were using a hookah rig, when an air hose dislodged during the dive.

    Both men made it to the surface, but as the boat approached to pick them up, Harlin began to struggle in a strong current and slipped underwater. When he was pulled aboard the vessel, relatives tried to revive him, but couldn’t.

    Harlin was brought ashore at a boat ramp, where paramedics were waiting. They took him to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead, deputies said.

    Diving with a hookah carries the same risks as scuba diving, such as getting an air embolism or decompression sickness, said Randy Shaw, training manager for the National Association of Underwater Instructors, which certifies scuba divers.

    A diver rising to the surface too quickly and without exhaling can be killed by the air expanding in the lungs whether the air came from a scuba tank or hookah rig.

    In addition, divers using hookah rigs need to know how to run the compressor and keep it functioning.

    “You don’t just throw the inner tube in the water and start diving,” Shaw said.

    But divers can buy and use hookah rigs without taking a diving class, though all manufacturers recommend buyers take courses and the NAUI offers a hookah certification.

    Classes teach divers such things as how to clear a mask of water while submerged, how to drop the weight belt a problem is encountered and how to head to the surface.

    Dive shops will not fill scuba tanks unless the diver is certified from an organization such as the NAUI. The requirement isn’t law but is something the dive industry has agreed to follow, Shaw said.

    Because owners of hookah devices don’t need to visit dive shops for air, there is no way to enforce a requirement for certification, he said.

    For most diving accidents, it’s the diver, not the equipment, Shaw said.

    “Poor training or lack of training,” he said.

    Lobster season draws thousands of divers to the Keys, especially in its early days when divers haven’t plucked most of the lobsters from the water.

    About 10 to 15 divers drown every season, Monroe County sheriff’s spokeswoman Becky Herrin said.

    Inexperience, lack of training or unfamiliar equipment can play a role in the deaths.

    “It can come back to a lack of training and doing things they shouldn’t be doing,” Shaw said

    Bron: Divers using hookah rigs need no certification

    patrickj reageerde 14 jaar, 3 maanden geleden 1 Lid · 1 Reactie
  • 1 Reactie
  • patrickj

    12 augustus 2009 om 14:55

    Re: Divers using hookah rigs need no certification

    Ik vond het bericht nogal vreemd. Zelf ben ik nog nooit naar enig brevet gevraagd waar ik ook ging vullen. Dus dat je als je een duikfles bezit wel een brevet zou moeten hebben is een beetje vergezocht.

    Uiteindelijk komt dit toch weer bij de verantwoording van de duiker/hookah diver zelf terecht. Het verbaasde me echter wel dat sommige van deze dingen tot 30m diep kunnen. :omg:

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