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Posts: 322
Reply with quote  #1 
STOP USING nylon line as a wreck reel line, lift bag line or a deco line without recovering it.  Divers that use nylon line without recovering it are creating a deadly environmental hazard.

I have been diving North Atlantic shipwrecks regularly since 1972.  In the past five years I have witnessed two incidents where turtles have been tangled in nylon line and expired on the bottom.  I know of two other incidents where turtles were cut free from this line and escaped with the help of divers.  Besides turtles, I have witnessed numerous fish, crustaceans and even divers become entangled in this line.

This recent surge of problems can be directly attributed to a using permanent nylon line for diver uses.  A diver that irresponsibly pays out nylon line and does not recover it is creating an entanglement that will kill for decades. Start navigating using your recognition techniques.  Deploying line is a cave diving technique that disables the mental process of learning the wreck.  The diver recognizes his line but does not have a clue where he is in relation to the wreck.  If you do pay out nylon line make every effort to recover it.  Give yourself adequate time to reel the line in. Better yet use biodegradable line (sisal or packing twine)  This can be payed out and recovered too, but if it is left on the wreck it will disintegrate in less than six months. 

More importantly do not use nylon as a deco line where you have to cut the line on the surface and leave it.  The new diver con senses is that this line(sisal) is not strong enough and too bulky too handle.  I can only relate my personal experience of using both.  Nylon is strong, but cuts and chafes easily.  A diver will be more likely to tangle himself up using this line and there is a greater risk that the line will cut on a sharp wreck.  1/4 sisal has more texture and is less likely to tangle, but needs to be changed seasonally to maintain integrity.   In reality the upline is used only to maintain the diver or the artifact over the wreck and does not need to have more than a hundred pounds of strength.  Sisal more than adequately handles these needs. I have used sisal for numerous decompression dives and for recovering hundreds of artifacts with out losses. 

What ever your choice of line is, do  recover all nylon line you deploy.  Stop killing marine life and be a responsible wreck diver.
Good Wreck Diving!
Atlantic Diver

Good Wreck Diving!

Posts: 130
Reply with quote  #2 
   Very well said and I totally agree.  Having an outside view from diving in Florida as well as NJ, there are big advocates of not using sisal because it rots, is bulky, etc.  But most of these guys are diving warm water and the difference down here is they are live boating (or they are mindless followers of certain diving groups).
    What happens with live boating is the boat leads you ahead of the wreck you descend down and drift in to the wreck.  The divers do their dives and then while drifting off the wreck start their ascent.  During the ascent they shoot lift bags to do there deco.  Yes nylon works great for that because:
1) They are not shooting from the bottom and tying off to the wreck.  So when they get to the surface they do not have to cut there line, hence not leaving it behind.
2)  Since they are shooting mid water there line never touches the wreck, therefore there is no chance for their line to be cut.
    If you choose to use nylon I recommend going with #36 line for your wreck reels.  It is not only thicker and has better abrasion resistance, it can be handled better with thick neoprene gloves.  I do not recommend using these as an up line because a rusty piece of wreck can cut through it like a hot knife through butter.  Also do not solely rely on your wreck reel.  What happens if you line breaks, or gets cut by a tangled diver?  I believe it is a good aid especially in bad vis but you need to get a sense of how to use natural navigation.
   When I first started diving I would head out until I lost sight of the strobe and use land marks on the way out.  I would then head back and head out in another direction doing the same thing.  If you are on the edge of the wreck I follow the sand line along the wreck and then look for land marks and recognizable features on the wreck.  Yes is takes longer then just tying of a line and swimming but I get a feel for the wreck, and its layout.
Do I use a wreck reel?  Yes I always carry one and will use it if needed.  One good example of using the reel is on our trip to the BAJA CALIFORNIA.  Once the cargo hold was located, I was the first one back in the water and tied a line near the anchor line to the hold.  I kept my line tight and low to the wreck, I also made wraps at certain points along the route to keep the line from just moving in the current, and reducing drag potential.  But I did not solely relay on this it was an aid to others.  While placing the line I looked for landmarks such as beams, cargo holds, openings etc.  After my first trip to the hold I never saw the line again until I recovered it at the end of our trip.

Here are some tips/tricks to using and maintaining your NJ up line:
1)  Change the sisal on your reel at least once a year. Not a hard thing if you are diving regular because you will probably shooting up artifacts and if you are a beginner diver or even experienced it still good to deploy the bag for practice.  You do not want your first time deploying the reel in an emergency.
2) Do not rinse the sisal with fresh water.  It do not like it, this is one of the only tool in your dive kit that the saltwater is better for it.
3)  I found the best place to store my NJ up line is in between my doubles.  I have a bungee loop attached to the top bands of my doubles and a loop around the bottom of my left tank.  The reel sits in between my doubles and out of the way.  There is a leash attached to the bottom handle that has a clip to the end of the leash which is clipped to my left hip D-ring.  When I need it I pull the leash and the bottom rolls around the tank, I grab the reel and pull it the rest of the way out.  This method works every time and very quick.  I can even do it with multiple deco bottles on my left side as well.
In conclusion what ever you decide to use, if you choose nylon and leave it behind you MUST GO BACK and do a clean up dive.  If you use sisal you can leave it and by next year you will never even know it was there.

I learned how to dive online :D
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