- 1 diver outfitted in a drysuit with a twin-set and suit inflation cylinder.
- Exploring a wreck, the diver ran into an issue when trying to inflate his drysuit.
An experienced diver was set for a day of wreck exploration and had prepared for such an adventure. Having a set of doubles, the diver opted for a drysuit for exposure and used a pony bottle for inflation.
After kitting-up and making the splash, the diver began to descend down the shot line. To adjust for squeeze and slow the descent, the diver attempted to inflate their drysuit with the inflate valve, but it was not filling up. A quick assessment led to the diver discovering the drysuit inflator hose was not attached to the inflator. The diver was able to stop on the shot line at about 10 msw (32 fsw) and managed to connect the inflator hose, solving the problem. The diver continued the dive without further incident.
Divers may choose to dive “dry” using a drysuit rather than a wetsuit if the water temperatures are cold or they tend to get cold on long dives. Some divers prefer to stay dry all-around and once they are trained and have purchased a well-fitting drysuit, will use their drysuit exclusively. Diving dry requires extra training as there are steps one must take to prevent drysuit squeeze, which may lead to more serious issues. Among those steps are using gas to inflate your suit, which is done so by attaching a high-pressure inflator hose (like the one used on a BCD) to the inflator on the drysuit.
While this was caught early, the risks of an unattached inflator hose range from minor discomfort due to water entering the suit, to a dangerous squeeze reducing circulation and leading to more serious problems. The reporting diver admits that a poor pre-dive check led to the mishap, and attributes the oversight to fatigue as the dive was an early morning departure. Divers should not use a drysuit without proper training. When outfitted in a drysuit, a pre-dive check, self-done and repeated with a buddy, is still a must, with the added feature of making sure the inflator hose is attached to the drysuit inflate valve.