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Archive for the ‘Maritime’ Category

SCUBAPRO SUNDAY – The Men with Green Faces

Sunday, July 25th, 2021

I remember watching this movie/ video more than once when I was getting ready for BUD/S. It was old, but I used it to look for clues on what would happen and what exercises I should be doing to get prepared. I still like to watch it once a year or so just for fun and to help motivate me to stay in shape. Its, also great to hear the guys talk about being quite professional and that they are doing the job for their brother standing next to them and not so they can write a book when they get out. Maybe they should start having people watch it before they start training.


SCUBAPRO Sunday – Air2 vs Octopus Regulator

Sunday, July 11th, 2021

You learned to practice specific skills when you first started diving. One of the main reasons you learn skills like buddy breathing, clearing your mask, and other drills like this are designed to help you relaxed in and under the water. Buoyancy management was one of those skills. When you start diving, you continuously use your buoyancy control system during the dive. Most people begin by being a lot heavier than they need to be and control themselves by adding or dumping air, so you use those controls a lot. You also practice buddy breathing, but again most of the time, it is just to help you relax. But you need to make sure you practice your skill a lot, so you know what to do when you need it. There are two basic ways to share your spare air sources—the octopus or alternative air supply system. In an out-of-air scenario, responding appropriately will make the difference between a successful dive or a disaster. So, having an alternate air source as part of your regulator system is mandatory. Most divers (hopefully) will never have to use their secondary air system. Even if you never have to use it, it will always be an essential part of your gear if you ever run into a situation where your buddy runs low on or out of gas or you have a malfunction on your primary Regulator.  If this ever happens to you, you will be thankful to have a well-working alternate air source.

You have a couple of choices regarding which type of alternate air source you can have. There are two basic types. The octopus or octo is the common term used to describe your secondary air source regulator. It is a second regulator that you carry and is usually yellow, with a yellow-colored hose to make it stand out in an emergency. Usually, it is tucked away on your right side, ready for emergency use.

The next choice is the SCUBAPRO AIRs2 that stands for Alternate Inflator Regulators. In 1979 SCUBAPRO created an integrating second stage regulator and a balanced inflator in the same compact housing, and the AIR2 was born. In 2006 they introduced a restyled fourth-generation AIR2 which is more streamlined, modern, ergonomic, and overall lighter than previous generations. AIR2 is more than a simple inflator. Its components design takes advantage of the best regulator technology to guarantee maximum efficiency and reliability. As an inflator, AIR2 provides perfect pressure control for excellent buoyancy management. The ergonomic shape makes it easy to handle in any circumstances, and it can be emptied by simply pressing the exhaust button. Its air-balanced power inflator provides smooth and reliable inflation at all tank pressures.

They are essentially octopus second stages built into the inflator mechanism of your BCD. You will need a BCD inflator, and when upgraded to the AIRs, it does not add much weight. There is no need for an additional hose as the one feeding your BCD inflators supplies the Regulator within the AIR. Usually, when someone is out of air, you will always give them the Regulator directly from your mouth. There are a couple of reasons for this; the main one is that the person asking for air is already in a panic-type situation. So, handing them a regulator you know works (because you were breathing on it) will help calm them down. If you reached for your secondary and handing them that, and it doesn’t work, or there might be seaweed or something living in it because you are underwater, that might freak them out more.

The 5th generation of the Air 2 by SCUBAPRO is a second-stage regulator and balanced inflator in a single, compact housing. The Air 2 – 5th Generation builds upon an already superior product. The Air 2’s air-balanced power inflator valve means you’ll have a steady stream of air, regardless of the pressure in your tank. The Air 2 has a fixed Venturi Initiated Vacuum Assist (VIVA) Flow Vane for safe and uncomplicated use now has a dive/pre-dive switch. This switch allows the regulator mechanism to be set more like that of a standard second-stage regulator. The Air 2 – 5th Generation breathes like a dream, rivaling some primary second-stage models.

The Air 2 provides a one-hand operation for intuitive and straightforward operation. The self-flushing mechanism requires just one push-on-the-purge to clear away all dirt or to purge water. The regulator mechanism is a simple yet reliable classic downstream demand valve. Air 2 is equipped with a larger hi-comfort ergonomic mouthpiece, soft second stage cover, and one-button purge function. The Regulator’s pre-tuned system is housed in precision-molded carbon fiber and the techno-polymer case for strength and durability.

The SCUBAPRO Second Stage Octopus features a classic downstream valve technology, well known for its safety and reliability. Its simple and robust construction offers the utmost reliability. Thanks to its reversible hose attachment, it makes the R095 the ideal second stage for new divers and a perfect choice for deco tanks. It is Pre-tuned for safe and uncomplicated use, and the downstream valve opens in the same direction as the incoming airflow. To close the valve and stop the airflow, a spring counteracts the force of the incoming air. Therefore, a specific inhalation effort is always required to overcome the spring tension and open the valve.

So, what is better, the Octo or the Air2? Well, honestly, it depends on the person. I like the Air2 as it makes it easier to have it all in one. It is easier for me to grab it right there on my left as I hand my primer off with my right hand. Some people say that an incorporated octo/inflator can add uncertainty to your dive buddies in an out-of-air situation. Others say that a panicking diver is more likely to catch your primary Regulator anyway, so it is better to have the integrated inflator/octo, which is still near at hand. You should address emergency protocols before any dive, including what kind of alternative air you bring. You have to practice this to know how to use it and be more comfortable in the water, which will help you know panic. Remember, that’s why you practice this stuff; it doesn’t matter which one you use; what matters is practice, practice, practice, that will make the difference between life and death. Either way, make sure you talk to whomever you are diving with and make sure you know what gear they have, and they know what you have.

Warrior West 21 – DUI Weight & Trim III Harness System

Wednesday, July 7th, 2021

DUI’s Weight & Trim III Harness System is offered in 20 or 40 pound versions. The pull ring to drop the weight is high visibility Yellow.

While it comes with a harness (sizes small – large), it attaches to any 2″ belt with a tongue and groove system making swapping out a cinch. This also means that you can attach it directly to a BCD.?

DUI dive gear is available for unit and agency orders from ADS, Inc.

Tulmar Awarded Canadian Forces Life Preserver Contract

Monday, July 5th, 2021

[Hawkesbury, ON – July 5th, 2021] Tulmar Safety Systems is pleased to announce contract award W8482-218815/001/DMARP4 from the Canadian Department of National Defence to supply the Royal Canadian Navy with Hazardous Duty and Maritime Pouch Life Preservers. Under this contract, Tulmar will provide a firm quantity of 4,000 units with an option to supply up to an additional 14,400 units.

This multi-year contract is familiar work for Tulmar, having delivered more than 32,000 of these life preservers to the Royal Canadian Navy over the past five (5) years under a similar contract for the Department of National Defence.

“We are proud to work as a partner with the Canadian Armed Forces with this opportunity to provide world class, lifesaving equipment to the men and women of the Royal Canadian Navy.” Matt Fisher, Defence Solutions Manager for Tulmar and responsible for the relationship with the Canadian Department of National Defence went on to say, “The quality of the product we supply is a testament to the processes of our company and the skill of our staff.”

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Hydro’s X BCD

Sunday, June 27th, 2021

The Hydro’s X is the first front-adjustable BCD to offer a fully injection molded Monprene® thermoplastic shoulders and back pad. This unique feature allows the shoulders to conform to your body like a tailored fit. Its flat-buckled quick-release integrated weight system and rear trim weight pockets work together to offer a more comfortable and balanced ride when diving. Add the full-sized backpack and stainless-steel Super Cinch tank band, and you also get excellent stability both on the surface and at depth. Two rear trim pouches help create a comfortable swimming position. The Hydro’s X has matched the patented injection-molded gel harness of the Hydro’s Pro but with a more traditional style wrap-around air cell with zippered cargo pockets on each side.

Again, like the SCUBAPRO Hydro’s Pro, this is a modular design, and several of its components are detachable and can be individually replaced, adding to the jacket’s longevity. The Monprene design makes it a lot easier to clean mud or any other contaminates off; it is also highly resistant to UV, chemicals, and abrasion, plus it doesn’t absorb water to help minimize drying time, making it ideal for Public Safety divers.

The weight pockets are molded to the outside of the pockets, making adding or removing weights a lot easier. The two big, zippered cargo pockets offer great gear-carrying capacity and are easily accessible even when the weight pouches are fully loaded. You can also add different accessories to the weight pockets, including your knife, lights, or our ninja pocket that rolls up out of the way when not in use.

Rotating quick-release shoulder buckles allow you to route your shoulder straps to optimize fit in any thickness of a wetsuit or drysuit. The bladder, made out of EndurTex high-tenacity nylon fabric, is extremely lightweight and durable while offering generous lift capacity, aided by lower back bellows. In the event of damage, several components on the Hydros X are detachable and easily replaceable. Two stainless steel D-rings provide clip-on points for additional gear. In addition, the Hydros X features a Multi-Mount Accessory Matrix with multiple D-Ring and mounting points that easily attach various dive accessories.

Under Contract to EMSA Schiebel Camcopter S-100 Supports Finnish, Estonian and Swedish Coast Guards

Thursday, June 24th, 2021

Vienna, 21 June 2021 – The Finnish Border Guard is once again operating the CAMCOPTER® S-100 for implementing coast guard functions in the Baltic Sea. The Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) service is offered by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

Based at a coast guard station in Hanko, Finland, the CAMCOPTER® S-100 is supporting the Finnish authorities in carrying out Coast Guard functions, such as maritime border surveillance, search and rescue, monitoring and surveillance, ship and port security, vessel traffic monitoring, environmental protection and response, ship casualty assistance, as well as accident and disaster response. The information collected in the Baltic Sea from the on-board RPAS system is shared in parallel with multiple Member States, allowing for a common maritime picture and more comprehensive coordination. The operations will continue until end of July.

The S-100 will execute these tasks equipped with an L3 Wescam Electro-Optical / Infra-Red (EO/IR) camera gimbal, an Overwatch Imaging PT-8 Oceanwatch, a Becker Avionics BD406 Emergency Beacon Locator and an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver.

This deployment comes on top of two other CAMCOPTER® S-100 operations for EMSA currently being carried out in Estonia and Romania conducting maritime surveillance. It is also the third deployment for the Finnish Border Guard, after a trial in 2019.

Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group, said: “Another great example of enhanced maritime surveillance and information sharing capabilities of our CAMCOPTER® S-100. Since contract begin, we have conducted operations all over Europe and are proud to play such an important role in EMSA’s services for its member states.”

Frogskin Raider Rashguard from Paid to Raid

Monday, June 14th, 2021

Paid to Raid offers a whole slew of MARSOC oriented morale items, but this one caught our eye and a former Raider gave us a big thumbs up when we sent him the link.

This rashguard is made from an elastic/poly blend with a Coyote torso and classic Frogskin Camo sleeves with USMC at the front and the WWII Raider insignia at the back.

Offered in Medium through XXXLarge.

SCUBAPRO Sunday – First Combat Swimmer Watch

Sunday, June 13th, 2021

In 1860, Officine Panerai was founded in Florence, Italy. The business concentrated on precision instruments like compasses and other nautical equipment for the next sixty years. The Regia Marine, or Royal Italian Navy, came calling in the mid-1930s with a new contract request: a watch suitable for Italian frogmen’s underwater use—the elite Decima Flottiglia MAS Navy Divers. The Italian frogmen were highly skilled commandos specializing in underwater and seaborne attacks on Allied ships during World War II. Unfortunately, Panerai didn’t have a watchmaking facility, so they enlisted the help of a company that did: Rolex. Fortunately for them, Rolex had mastered the waterproof wristwatch with the legendary Rolex Oyster in the previous decade. Upsizing the Rolex Oyster to the wide 47mm case favored by Italian divers was a relatively easy task. The frogmen wanted an oversized watch with a large dial that could be read easily in any weather. Most men’s watches at the time were about 30-35mm in diameter, so a 47mm case was specifically designed for heavy military use rather than as a fashion statement. It was the epitome of “function over design.” They also made a large 60mm case that featured a unique rotating bezel with four studs to signify dive times. It was also capable of withstanding depths of up to 200 meters and an impressive eight-day power reserve, minimizing the frequency of having to wind it.

The first Panerai watches were supplied by Rolex in 1936, although they did not have the distinctive half-moon crown guards that are now associate with Panerai. They resembled older Rolex. The latest Panerai Reference 3646 was the first Panerai to feature the trademark 3,6,9,12 Panerai Radiomir dial developed by Rolex. (The prototype had solid bars at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions, as well as dots at the other hour markers.) The watch’s Radiomir name applied to the Radium material used to illuminate the hands and dial in the dark. Radium was used into the 1950s by watchmakers. Radium is a highly radioactive element that was famously discovered to have caused many female factory workers’ deaths.

Panerai and Rolex later introduced the crown guard to fix the burly dive watches’ only fundamental flaw. They had to be wound manually every day, and the gasket that kept the crown watertight wore out easily with use. The crown guard kept the seal snug and stable while also making the watch more waterproof. The later versions with crown guards were only produced in limited quantities (300), and today all original WWII-era Panerai watches are extremely valuable and collectible.

Panerai watches have illuminated the ocean’s deepest corners, assisting Italian Navy Frogmen on their underwater missions during World War II, and have remained a military secret until recently. On the 19th of December 1941, Italian Navy divers from the X Flottiglia MAS carried out what is known as the Raid on Alexandria. Six Italian frogmen – two per torpedo – straddled their seven-meter-long submersible torpedoes like underwater motorcycle drivers and single-handedly disabled the British battleships HMS Valiant and HMS Queen Elizabeth as the nearby Norwegian tanker Sagona, and nearly changed the course of the war. This new type of warfare scared the crap out of the Royal Navy.

What they didn’t know at the time was that attack was part of the elite 10th Light Flottila, whose underwater missions wreaked havoc in Alexandria and other Mediterranean objectives. The Italian Navy fleet, led by Fascist dictator Il Duce, was unable to match the British fleet’s size and had to rely on its commando of stealth divers. Between 1940 and 1943, these human torpedoes have performed around 25 missions in the Mediterranean. The commando was nicknamed the Floating Trojan Horse after an assault in Gibraltar’s waters. It was one of the most successful special operations groups in history, with a deadly reputation for its clandestine underwater torpedo operations. Winston Churchill remembered the deadly effectiveness of the “Italians in peculiar diving suits” who had managed to mount limpet bombs to the hulls of Britain’s battleships “with exceptional bravery and ingenuity” in a secret war speech given to a closed House of Commons in April 1942. “One cannot but respect the cold bravery and enterprise of these Italians,” even Admiral Cunningham had to admit.

The divers would direct their explosive cargo to the identified target and remove the delayed action limpet mines from the front of the pig and mount them to the hull of the battleships, using specially built Italian submersible torpedoes known as Siluri a Lenta Corsa (slow-moving torpedoes) but nicknamed pigs due to their poor and slow handling. In the Alexandria Raid case, the divers had to navigate metal nets erected by the British to prevent them from entering the harbor. The frogmen depend on novel luminous devices explicitly produced for the Italian Navy by a Florentine watchmaking company known as Panerai. Panerai was the sole supplier of measurement and precision underwater instruments, such as depth gauges, wrist compasses, detonators, and sights, as well as a substantial luminous waterproof wristwatch known as the Panerai Radiomir, which would gain a place in the iconography of watchmaking.

In 1949 Panerai switched to the less toxic element tritium for its watches and patented it under the Luminor trademark after the poisonous effects of radium were better known. The Panerai Luminor watch, launched in 1950, cemented the company’s reputation as a competent diver’s watchmaker. The huge crown-protecting bridge with a lever to improve the watch’s waterproof properties – something the Luminor family still bears today – was significantly different from the Radiomir model. In the late 1950s, Rolex sold their last watches to Panerai, who sold them to the Egyptian Navy. The Egyptian Navy commissioned a watch known as L’Egiziano in 1956 after reading about these exceptional Panerai watches. It’s an understatement to call this watch big. A large 60mm case featured a unique rotating bezel with four studs to signify immersion periods – capable of withstanding depths of up to 200 meters – and an impressive eight-day power reserve, minimizing the frequency of winding operations. This huge diving companion had a small second’s counter on the dial at 9 o’clock, in addition to the crown-protecting rig.

Rolex was still selling Submariner watches and had little interest in selling dive watches or movements to a rival at the time. As a result, Panerai was still relatively unknown in the watch world in the mid-1990s. Each year, they only produced a small number of watches. But it all began with the Panerai watches of the 1930s and 1940s, which were the first purpose-built Rolex dive watches. So, if you can find a Panerai dive watch from WW2, scoop it up as it should be worth a lot of money. Not like send your kid to college money but maybe an excellent keg party.

Dive watches have come a long way; not only can they monitor your air pressure, but they can tell you when to come up and what your body temperature and heart rate are and can use different dive formulas if you like to tell you all that. SCUBAPROS’s new A2 watch is a full dive computer, waterproof 120m and can do all the above, and it looks cool. Yes, they have come a long way.