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#365935 - 02/02/10 07:35 AM Snorkeling / Diving safety gear question (knives?)  
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 33
Jeraldo Offline
Jeraldo  Offline
Quick question regarding need for knives when snorkeling.
I do indeed understand the need for a good quality diving knive when scuba diving (essential piece of gear), but what about snorkeling? Would one ever find themselves in need of a knife whilst snorkeling??? Does anyone have a scenario (or experience) they might share regarding the need to be knife-strapped while snorkeling? Also, does anyone recommend a particular quality manufacture of dive knife which offers a reliable quick-release sheath mechanism (one you don't have to struggle with)and quality sheath and strapping materials?
Any assistance will be most helpful as we're planning a trip to Caye Caulker this March.
Thanx in advance,

#365938 - 02/02/10 08:35 AM Re: Snorkeling / Diving safety gear question (knives?) [Re: Jeraldo]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,132
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
Their is a relatively new trend in diving to not use a knife, divers are using scissors. I'm very serious even tho it does sound a little humorous. I was decided by some that a knife had a macho image that the dive community was trying to get away from and scissors where thought to be even more effective at getting a diver out of trouble even more effectively than a knife.
Dive Scissors in a nylon holders are showing up on BC's all over the world .
check it out.

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#365961 - 02/02/10 10:00 AM Re: Snorkeling / Diving safety gear question (knives?) [Re: elbert]  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 5,459
ScubaLdy Offline
ScubaLdy  Offline
Elbert - course you are so right. The Dive Training Magazine I am now reading (old copy) also talks about "snips."
And for the life of me I can't imagine the need for a knife snorkeling - no kelp - no abalone. About the only thing you might need to cut is some fishing line.

A bit of sick humor = having trained in the kelp forests of northern California they drilled into us to NEVER - EVER - CUT KELP TO FREE YOURSELF FROM A TANGLE. Kelp is the same size and feels exactly like your air line. You got the picture?

Last edited by ScubaLdy; 02/05/10 10:58 PM.

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#365989 - 02/02/10 11:27 AM Re: Snorkeling / Diving safety gear question (knives?) [Re: ScubaLdy]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,046
Peter Jones Offline
Peter Jones  Offline
The scissors used are medical snips, available from a dive shop for quite a lot of money or a pharmacy for just a dollar or two.

When diving here I usually carry a small folding knife in a pocket, though occasionally I forget it. In my eight years of diving here I have never needed to use a knife underwater. I can't visualise a time when a snorkeller might need one.

When diving in cold water I always carry two knives, but again small folding ones. The old idea of strapping a large knife to your calf is passť, both because of the macho image and because the knife itself becomes a hazard and a prime cause of entanglement. And also because it's completely the wrong place to carry a knife.

IMO Harriette is completely right in advocating extreme care when using a knife. You should never cut anything you cannot easily see and feel. If necessary, take off your gear to inspect and access it more effectively.

In my entire diving career (thousands of dives) I have used a knife to help disentangle myself on just ONE occasion, and that was to cut away monofilament fishing line on a deep wreck.

If you're concerned about carrying safety equipment, take a bright orange safety sausage, a small flashlight, a mirror, and an extra-loud whistle. Forget the knife. And tell (responsible) people where you're going and when you expect to get back.

#366023 - 02/02/10 03:09 PM Re: Snorkeling / Diving safety gear question (knives?) [Re: Peter Jones]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 993
Bing Crosby Offline
Bing Crosby  Offline
One time I needed a knife when I was attacked by a hungry turtle in search of marshmellows.

#366030 - 02/02/10 03:33 PM Re: Snorkeling / Diving safety gear question (knives?) [Re: Bing Crosby]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,132
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
You needed to cut open the pack of marshmallows quickly?

The Dive Shops Daily Blog
#366059 - 02/02/10 06:49 PM Re: Snorkeling / Diving safety gear question (knives?) [Re: elbert]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 22
debvznj Offline
debvznj  Offline
you guys are funny!

#366482 - 02/05/10 07:12 PM Re: Snorkeling / Diving safety gear question (knives?) [Re: debvznj]  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
seashell Offline
seashell  Offline
The only time I've needed a knife, I had one with me but couldn't get to it and wouldn't have known what to cut if I could have reached it (down on my calf). My first stage was completely entangled with monofilament on a night dive in a cold mountain lake. Fortunately for me, a divemaster (not my divemaster) happened across me and cut me loose.

I went to carrying the snips on my bcd. I've been through about 3 sets of them, never used any of them, but they would eventually rust out at the hinge. Now I just don't bother. That said, same as anything of that nature . . . "you don't need insurance, until you need it and then you need it bad".

Lots of our dive equipment is redundant and lots of our dive practices are not necessarily designed to save ourselves, but to be able to save our buddy (or another diver). Maybe I will rethink carrying my snips and put a pair back on my bcd.

A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#366601 - 02/07/10 02:19 AM Re: Snorkeling / Diving safety gear question (knives?) [Re: seashell]  
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 33
Jeraldo Offline
Jeraldo  Offline
Thanx for all the super responses! As a newbie to snorkeling I've been moderately paranoid about biting and stinging creatures of the ocean (my neurosis I know) and just wanted to be best prepared whilst splashing about in the Caribe. This is the first I've heard of shears used as gear, but as a snorkeler suspect they would be of as little use to me as the knife. I do respect creatures I cross the path of and have no intention of touching, poking, grabbing, fondeling, etc... But it begs to inquire, what is the general concensus regarding the handling of rays and sharks as is evidently popular with trippers to shark ray alley (?). I'd like to avoid the "ugly American" stereotype if at all possible.
Thanx again - in advance...

#366603 - 02/07/10 04:43 AM Re: Snorkeling / Diving safety gear question (knives?) [Re: seashell]  
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 33
Jeraldo Offline
Jeraldo  Offline

Last edited by Jeraldo; 02/08/10 04:30 AM.
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