The use of an octopus and the buddy system while diving

24 05 2010

An octopus is one of the most recommended ways in which two divers can backup each other with air in case their own fails or they run out of it before they had expected. This way, an octopus and the buddy system allow divers to count on a second air source as long as their buddy is close enough and disposed to share their air, which not always happens.

There are some objections that are often done regarding the octopus and the buddy system. According to these objections, an octopus is not the best solution at the time of being in an emergency and running out of air, and divers should find other solutions instead of it.

Relying on an octopus and another person whom you might not even know while running out of air deep in the water is not always the best idea. The octopus and buddy system takes a good predisposition and relines from both parts which can assure that at the eventuality in which one of them runs out of air, the other will share his remaining air with the first one. If this doesn’t happen, that person could die before reaching the surface, so it is a really serious matter and those who use this system must know the other person and rely on each other.

According to statistics, many diving accidents occur when a diver runs out of air and tries to reach his buddy’s octopus unsuccessfully. Therefore, and according to some professional divers, using the buddy system and the octopus can be riskier than not using it. Once divers use the octopus based on the buddy system they might forget about checking their own air since they rely on their buddy and this leads to running out of it more often.

Another objection often said against the use of an octopus is that when one of the divers runs out of air and asks the second person to share theirs, if they started diving together then this second person will probably be also about to run out of it as well. Despite all this objections, the use of an octopus and the buddy system is still the backup system used by many divers and which can be very advantageous when used by two people who can trust and rely on each other.

Source: Dive Pilot

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The use of a buddy line

5 04 2010



A buddy line is a very useful safety device which ensures divers they will not be separated from their dive buddies. Buddy lines link one dive buddy to the other allowing them to dive freely while being sure of remaining together in case an emergency happens. Buddy lines are usually made of webbing and, although they come in different colors, yellow or red might be the best choice.

Buddy lines are intended to be used by divers who practice the sport by following the buddy system. This system consists on carrying a secondary air octopus in order to be able to share air with your dive partner in case an emergency happens. Diving partners need to rely on each other and on being able to reach their buddies if they need to share air.

There are some special conditions in which having a buddy line can make a great difference. If, for example, the water in which buddy divers are shows poor visibility and they are not using a buddy line they might easily be separated from each other or lost, but if they are connected by this device they will remain together despite these bad conditions.

Also, if a strong current comes and buddy divers are not connected by a buddy line this would most likely separate them and make it hard for them to get together again or to use the buddy system if they need it. Whenever two divers are following the buddy system, they need to make sure that they will remain close to each other or otherwise the whole idea of this system would become pointless.

The use of a buddy line is also ideal for trainings since it allows the instructor to make sure his student will be connected to him no matter what happens. This is not only helpful for the instructor but also for the student who feels more secure and safe this way. If an instructor or a diver feels his buddy line is too short, he can attach two of them together and double its length.

Photo: Aquaviews

Souce: Dive Pilot