View Full Version : diving and self defense

11-29-2013, 2:37 PM

This is probably the newest thought process from those that make a living different from all the rest of us.

11-30-2013, 12:03 AM
been around for awhile.

11-30-2013, 6:17 AM
As someone who dives in Monterey (in the kelp forest and great white country), I honestly have never met anybody who carries a knife or any weapon for sharks. Contrary to TV, shark attack is a VERY minor concern for divers. Your biggest enemy is the surface (compressed gas breathing brings a LOT of problems with it). More divers die surfacing in California alone each year than have been killed in all the shark attacks in the world in history. The main reason divers carry knives is for entanglements, the worst of which is fishing line. The main defense against entanglements is to streamline gear as much as possible. Large knives are one more thing to get entangled. On my gear I have 1 regulator hose, a secondary airsource mounted on my BCD inflator, and a wrist computer with a sending unit for air pressure. Nothing dangling on the BCD, I try to keep everything in pockets (If I'm navigating I'll have a small compass board attached, If it's dark a flashlight, and I always keep a small lift bag in a pocket. Snorkel is quick detach and tucked inside the front of the BCD for easy access. Knife? Yup, I have one. A small one with a line cutter that is mounted upside down on the BCD inflator so it doesn't pose a snag hazard. Never had it out of the scabbard in 11 years of diving. My most frequently used tool: My dive computer. BY FAR!!! For relatively small sharks (8-10 feet or so) the chain mail shark suits work really well. For larger sharks (great white and tiger) a knife (even with an air charge) is going to be like shooting an elephant with a .22 even if you can get it out. If you read reports by the survivors of shark attacks (a coworker of mine was the victim of an attack (one of only 2 attacks on divers in Monterey in history) they never saw it coming. The description typically reads: "All of a sudden I felt like I got hit by a freight train!. . ." I'm all about being prepared, but for the right reasons. And against the real hazards.

11-30-2013, 6:27 AM
While working search and rescue in the Coast Guard, we had a huge search for a diver that was seperated from his diving buddy and never surfaced.
He was from New York and inexperienced diving in our kelp beds.
We found him 20 minutes after his air should have run out, caught in the kelp.
His knife scabboard was empty, so we assumed he tried to reach his knife but dropped it. Sad.
Be safe out there guys.

11-30-2013, 6:57 AM

Sounds familiar. I've assisted on a couple of those type of incidents when the diver gets towed in. Usually the same story. Visiting Monterey and going to dive the kelp with little or no experience in kelp diving. Get separated from partner (really your second line of defense against entanglement) get tangled, try to turn around to find what your tangled in (WORST course of action, you'll just wrap yourself up) and then start panicking and grope for tools blindly. Usually along the way getting regulator ripped out of mouth or just blindly ripping off gear in panic.

Stay with your partner, if you're separated rapidly regain contact. I have an underwater air horn on my inflator as does my partner. If you can't regain contact within a minute or two abort the dive (escape plans should always be part of predive planning). Stay near the bottom (stalks not leaves, less to get tangled up in) and keep gear streamlined. If caught, DON'T PANIC!!! Let your partner untangle you. If you have to untangle yourself, don't turn around, back straight up. 99 times out of a hundred you will either untangle or see the stalk that has you. Kelp snaps like a carrot. All you have to do is snap it between your hands. Always allow sufficient reserve air so you don't have to hurry. Panic kills. Most dead divers are found with their weight belts on, air in their tanks, and their BCD's empty and their mouthpiece out.

11-30-2013, 7:13 AM
Just a side note Padi Divemaster. Mixed gas to 300 feet divers institute of technology.
I agree a 100% what you have said about diving and there is no need for a knife other than collecting rock scallops. This is made and designed for a two legged predator and to be used again by those that make a living doing what the rest of us can't do.

Sir Giles could you point me in the right direction I would like to read about the previous ones developed.


A five hundred dollar knife is not for recreational divers .

I didn't see where you recommend the closest DAN facility recompression chamber to Monterey?

11-30-2013, 7:34 AM
Nearest hyperbaric chamber? Pacific Grove Fire Department

11-30-2013, 7:43 AM
Manolito, I misunderstood the purpose of the original post. I recalled a few years back when the wasp was introduced that they touted it for the ultimate in shark defense. I could see where it would be useful for AP applications. Although I thought our SEAL teams had the HK P11 in their inventory.

11-30-2013, 8:29 AM
I've done hundreds of solo dives at the Channel Islands. I don't wear a BCD, just a backplate. I only have two hoses, one to my regulator and one which goes to my compass/pressure gauge/ computer. My mask is smooth and I do not wear a snorkel. I am as streamlined as I can get. I spearfish in the kelp and I can swim right through it with out getting caught up. I have very little drag and stiff fins so I can swim faster and farther with less effort.

I used to carry a big knife until I started diving in kelp. Once it got caught a few times and fell out, I put it away and havnt used it since.

For sharks, I just hold the speargun out and keep it between me and them. I would rather jab a great white in the nose with a 4ft spear than try and stick it with a 4" knife blade. I had a Mako come check me out when I had a few fish on my stringer. He left when I pointed the spear at his head.

I've worked on dive boats and seen all kinds of divers. Most have too much gear and stuff they don't need strapped to them. I prefer to be streamlined and efficient in the water. When you get to a dive site, be the first one in the water and swim as far away from the other divers and you will be amazed at the sea life you see.

11-30-2013, 11:52 AM