Diver credits staying calm and good training in handling cracked hose incident.
My equipment received annual service prior to our trip to Bonaire. After a morning shore dive with no issues, my husband and I went for an afternoon boat dive. We were the only passengers along with the divemaster and captain on board. I was using air, and the tank pressure prior to the dive was 3,000 psi. During the descent, at about 50 fsw (15 msw), I noticed that my high pressure hose had developed a hairline crack along the length of it. On the hose, approximately a two-foot long section had a thin fissure allowing a vertical pattern or “wall” of air bubbles to stream out of the hose.
The divemaster came over to assist immediately. No assistance was needed, really. I relied on my training, did not panic – although I did curse into my regulator. I signaled the divemaster and my husband that they should go ahead with the dive and I would go back up to the boat.
I ascended slowly to the boat ladder, breathing normally through my regulator in spite of the torrent of bubbles coming from the split hose. When I got back onboard, my tank still had about 1,500 psi of air remaining. On the surface, the hose appeared to be intact. Upon closer inspection, however, I could see a very thin “line” along the section where air was escaping. Before I turned off the air, that section of hose hissed and I could feel the air escaping.
Although my gear had been serviced prior to the trip, and this was only the second dive after servicing, “stuff happens”. The high pressure hose was 13 years old and perhaps I should have replaced it earlier even without any apparent issues. The morning dive that same day went absolutely fine so there was really no way to tell ahead of time that the hose would fail.
I realize this isn’t a huge incident as diving problems go, but it was a first for me. I was pleased to note that I didn’t panic, that I realized immediately I could ascend safely, and did so. I was able to get the hose replaced the same afternoon and no had no further issues the rest of the week.
Edited by Jeanette Moore