The diver noticed a problem with his hose, but dived anyway. At nine metres his regulator hose ruptures and he is forced to make a free ascent. Let’s learn from his mistake: If it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t right.
It was the second dive of the day. The first had been a wreck dive to 26 metres. This dive was to a 12 metre maximum depth. I was 10 minutes into the dive and had just come out of a tunnel about 30 seconds before this incident occurred.
My regulator hose ruptured at my mouthpiece when I was at nine metres. I was still able to breathe, but I surfaced because I was in a cloud of bubbles and couldn’t see anything. I’m not sure what I would have done if the rupture had occurred while I was still in the tunnel. Other divers in the group said that I shot up like a rocket. I exhaled the entire way up, but I still felt strange that night. My doctor examined me three days later after I arrived home; everything seemed to be OK.
The regulator belonged to me. When I inspected it before the trip, it looked like the rubber jacket of the hose was out of the bushing a little more on one side of the hose than the other. When there was no pressure in the hose it didn’t look bad, but with the tank turned on there was a big difference. I didn’t notice it when I was getting ready to jump into the water. My dive buddy took a picture at the beginning of the dive (see left), and you can see that the hose is at an angle where it connects to the second stage.
If I had more time I would have had the regulator overhauled, but I noticed the problem the night before the trip. I didn’t think it was a big deal then, but I do now.
If it doesn’t look right, it is probably not right. Fix the problem when you spot it, do not leave it for another time. Luckily, this incident ended without injury. The diver was not too deep, and he was aware of the need to exhale during ascent. He also did not have any decompression obligations at that time. Had he been significantly deeper, or if he had a decompression obligation, this may have resulted in drowning, arterial gas embolism (AGE) or decompression sickness (DCS).
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