24 Skills – Skill Session 4

Underwater weight removal

Underwater weight removal

As I am doing my IDC shortly I am reviewing the 24 skills that must be demonstrated on an Open Water Course. This is so that I have them clearly defined in my head and I know how to do them flawlessly.  Here are the skills from Session 4

17. Weight belt removal and Replacement (underwater)

Start by kneeling on the bottom of the confined area. Make sure that your BCD is fully deflated. Open your belt and hold the male end in your right hand and the buckle in your right. Pass your hands behind you. Pass the buckle to your right hand. Bring the belt around to your front. Keep the belt close to your body. To put the belt back on move your hands behind you. Pass the buckle to your left hand. Leaning forward makes it easier to put the belt on. Bring your hands back to the front and make sure that the belt isn’t twisted. Fasten the belt and make sure that it is adjusted correctly.

18. Scuba Unit Removal and replacement (underwater)

This is one of the tasks that I have struggled with before. But taking your time and being orderly can make this skill easy. Start kneeling with the BCD fully deflated. Slowly unclip the chest straps of the BCD. Unfasten the velcro cummerbund. Loosen the left shoulder strap. Remove your left arm from the strap. Take your right hand and grab the bottom right hand side of the BCD, hold it firmly. Now reach across with your left hand and grab the right hand shoulder strap.   Now pull the scuba unit around to the front, while doing this bring your right leg up. Keep the scuba unit close to you so that you don’t “float” away. Take your right arm out of it’s shoulder strap. Well done you’ve removed the scuba unit. Now to put it on work backwards. Put your right arm through its shoulder strap. Leading with your elbow put it through the left shoulder strap. Take care so as not to twist the strap. Once both arms are through the shoulder straps it is just a simple case of refastening and tightening up the different straps. Make sure that you secure the SPG and gauges.

19. Scuba Unit Removal and replacement (surface)

Establish positive buoyancy, you don’t want to be sinking as you perform this skill. Make sure your snorkel is in. Disconnect the chest straps and the velcro cummerbund. Loosen the BCD left shoulder strap and take your left arm out. Now pull the scuba unit around your right hand side, this will mean that the scuba unit has been completely removed from you. Maintain a firm hold of the BCD to help you maintain your buoyancy. Before putting the BCD back on make sure that you clear all hoses, clips and straps out of the way. Place the right arm through the right shoulder strap. Hold the bottom of the BCD with your right hand and pass the BCD behind your back. Now push your left elbow through the left shoulder strap and pull the BCD on. Make sure that you don’t twist the shoulder straps. Now fasten the velcro cummerbund and secure the centre straps. Tighten up the shoulder straps and make sure the BCD is fitting well. Now make sure that all SPGs and gauges are fastened.

20. Weight Removal and Replacement (surface)

Make sure that you have positive buoyancy. Swap your snorkel for your regulator. Now leaning forward into the water makes this task easier. Grasp the belt firmly in your hands and unfasten it. Pass both hands behind your back and move the buckle into your right hand. Bring the belt around to the front keeping it close to your body. Now to put it back on, just do the reverse. Pass the belt behind you, pass the buckle into your left hand, leaning forward pull the belt around you. Fasten the buckle and make sure that it is secure.

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