Thursday 20 November 2014

Long Hose Diving from the beginning.

Currently teaching a TDI Advanced Nitrox Course to one of our Divemasters here at Scuba Tech Diving Centre and we found ourselves having lunch in the sunshine discussing the merits of using the long hose configuration.

Now, the long hose Hogarthian configuration is used in all technical Diving and Sidemount diving standard equipment set up and yet, for recreational scuba divers and beginners, we still start off using the standard 75cm regulator hose/ 90cm alternate configuration.

What is the Hogarthian Long Hose set-up all about?

The Hogarthian is actually named after its creator, William (Bob) Hogarth Maine.

Bob was a cave diver that developed the Hogarthian Set up as a means to more efficient dive practices, keeping things simple and ultimately... safer!

The Hogarthian regulator set-up comprises a second stage on a short hose (60-75cm usually depending on the size of the diver using it) which is hung from a bungee around the neck.

The long hose is usually 1.5 to 2.1 metres in length and comes under the right arm, up over the left shoulder and around the back of the head to the mouth in a big circle. This is your primary regulator but also, the one you would donate in an Out of Air emergency.

Why is Hogarthian Long Hose configuration better?

You always have an alternate air source around your neck, so if you were to lose your primary regulator for any reason, you have something easily accessible to breathe while you relocate it. This offers you the life saving gift of time to sort the problem.

In Out of Air situations, you donate your primary regulator and switch to your back up around your neck, which has the advantage of giving the out of air diver, what they can see is a working regulator. In a  panic situation, it is not unheard of for divers to grab the regulator out of your mouth. With this system, all you need to do is dip your head forward to free the long hose and switch to the secondary regulator around your neck.

An added advantage is the long hose offers a bit of room for manoeuvre and it is workable even if you have your emergency inside a wreck or other overhead environment.

You also avoid that pesky dangling alternate air source that gets loose regardless of how well you clip it up to get a cleaner, tidier, more streamlined set-up.

Why don't we teach this from the start?

This brings us back to the question of why we wait for technical diver training before most agencies implement this system of diving?

On the very first training dive we ask our trainees to "lose" their regulators behind their backs and control their breathing while they relocate them. Why not KISS? 

Keep It Simple, Stupid!

If they lose the reg, swap onto another working regulator so they have time to solve the problem. In a hostile environment, we need all the help and simplicity we can get, so it makes sense... doesn't it?

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