Required Equipment For Scuba Operations

At a minimum, each diver must be equipped with the following items to safely conduct an open-circuit scuba dive:

Open-circuit scuba.

■ Life preserver/buoyancy compensator. *

■ Weight belt and weights as required.**

■ Submersible pressure gauge or Reserve J-valve.

Submersible wrist watch. Only one is required when diving in pairs with a buddy line.**

* During the problem-solving pool phase of scuba training, CO2 cartridges may be removed and replaced with plugs or expended cartridges that are painted International Orange.

** These items are not required for the pool phase of scuba training.

7-2.1 Equipment Authorized for Navy Use. Only diving equipment that has been certi fied or authorized for use by the NAVSEA/00C ANU list shall be used in a Navy dive. However, many items, such as hand tools, which are not specifically listed in the ANU list or do not fit under the scope of certification and are deemed valuable to the success of the dive, can be used. A current copy must be maintained by all diving activities. The ANU list can be found on the Internet at http://

7-2.2 Open-Circuit Scuba. All open-circuit scuba authorized for Navy use employ a demand system that supplies air each time the diver inhales. The basic open-circuit scuba components are:

Demand regulator assembly One or more air cylinders Cylinder valve and manifold assembly ■ Backpack or harness

7-2.2.1 Demand Regulator Assembly. The demand regulator assembly is the central component of the open-circuit system. The regulator delivers air to the diver after reducing the high-pressure air in the cylinder to a pressure that can be used by the diver. There are two stages in a typical system (Figure 7-1).

7- First Stage. In the regulator's first stage, high-pressure air from the cylinder passes through a regulator that reduces the pressure of the air to a predetermined level over ambient pressure. Refer to the regulator technical manual for the specific setting.

7- Second Stage. In the second stage of a regulator, a movable diaphragm is linked by a lever to the low-pressure valve, which leads to a low-pressure chamber. When the air pressure in the low-pressure chamber equals the ambient water pressure, the diaphragm is in the center position and the low-pressure valve is closed. When the diver inhales, the pressure in the low-pressure chamber is reduced, causing the diaphragm to be pushed inward by the higher ambient water pressure. The diaphragm actuates the low-pressure valve which opens, permitting air to flow to the diver. The greater the demand, the wider the low-pressure valve is opened, thus allowing more air flow to the diver. When the diver stops inhaling, the pressure on either side of the diaphragm is again balanced and the low-pressure valve closes. As the diver exhales, the exhausted air passes through at least one check valve and vents to the water.

7- Single Hose Regulators. In the single-hose, two-stage demand regulator the first stage is mounted on the cylinder valve assembly. The second-stage assembly includes the mouthpiece and a valve to exhaust exhaled air directly into the water. The two stages are connected by a length of low-pressure hose, which passes over the diver's right shoulder. The second stage has a purge button, which when activated allows low-pressure air to flow through the regulator and the mouthpiece, forcing out any water which may have entered the system. Buddy breathing (a diver providing air from the scuba to a partner) is more easily accomplished with the single-hose regulator. Use of an additional second stage regulator with an

First Stage. High pressure air flows through the orifice of the first stage into the intermediate chamber. When the pressure in the intermediate chamber reaches ambient plus diaphragm balance spring set pressure, the first stage assembly closes.

Second Stage Valve Assembly

Second Stage. Upon inhalation the second stage diaphragm moves inward and the horseshoe lever opens the second stage valve assembly. Intermediate pressure air from the hoses is throttled across the orifice and fills the low pressure chamber to ambient pressure and flow is provided to the diver. Upon exhalation the diaphragm is pushed outward and the second stage in closed. Expired air is dumped from the low pressure chamber to the surrounding water through the exhaust valve.

Figure 7-1. Schematic of Demand Regulator.

octopus hose is an alternative and preferred method to accomplish buddy breathing. An octupus is mandatory for standby diver and recommended for all SCUBA divers. The principal disadvantages of the single-hose unit are an increased tendency to freeze up in very cold water and the exhaust of air in front of the diver's mask. While the Navy PMS system provides guidance for repairing and maintaining scuba regulators, the manufacturer's service manual should be followed for specific procedures.

7- Full Face Mask. The AGA/Divator full face mask may be used with an approved single-hose first-stage regulator with an octopus, to the maximum approved depth of the regulator, as indicated in the NAVSEA/00C ANU list (Figure 7-2).

Figure 7-2. Full Face Mask.

7- Mouthpiece. The size and design of scuba mouthpieces differ between manufacturers, but each mouthpiece provides relatively watertight passageways for delivering breathing air into the diver's mouth. The mouthpiece should fit comfortably with slight pressure from the lips.

7-2.2.2 Cylinders. Scuba cylinders (tanks or bottles) are designed to hold high pressure compressed air. Because of the extreme stresses imposed on a cylinder at these pressures, all cylinders used in scuba diving must be inspected and tested periodically. Seamless steel or aluminum cylinders which meet Department of Transportation (DOT) specifications (DOT 3AA, DOT 3AL, DOT SP6498, and DOT E6498) are approved for Navy use. Each cylinder used in Navy operations must have identification symbols stamped into the shoulder (Figure 7-3).

7- Sizes of Approved Scuba Cylinders. Approved scuba cylinders are available in several sizes and one or two cylinders may be worn to provide the required quantity of air for the dive. The volume of a cylinder, expressed in actual cubic feet or

Figure 7-3. Typical Gas Cylinder Identification Markings.

cubic inches, is a measurement of the internal volume of the cylinder. The capacity of a cylinder, expressed in standard cubic feet or liters, is the amount of gas (measured at surface conditions) that the cylinder holds when charged to its rated pressure. Table 7-1 lists the sizes of some standard scuba cylinders. Refer to the NAVSEA/00C ANU list for a list of approved scuba cylinders.

Table 7-1. Sample Scuba Cylinder Data.


Cylinder Description (Note 1)

Rated Working Pressure (PSIG)

Internal Volume (Cu.Ft.)

Absolute Air Capacity at Rated Pressure (Cu.Ft.)

Reserve Pressure

Outside Dimensions (Inches) (Dia.) (Length)

Steel 72


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