TIL (Today I Learned) my snorkel is plotting to kill me. Ok, actually I learned this last Saturday during scuba, so I guess this is TIL (Three days ago I Learned).
I’ve been a certified open water diver for a few years now, but I sat in on a group of my friends certification course to refresh my skills. Part of the course work is pretending your dive buddy is out of air while under about 15ft of open water. My friend signaled “out of air.” I gave her my regulator and put my secondary air supply in my mouth. I took a breath. No air came out. I tried to take another breath. No air came out. Fortunately, I didn’t panic, but I was confused as to why my secondary air supply wasn’t working. I began seeking my buddies secondary air. Quickly our instructor knocked my snorkel from my mouth and gave me my actual secondary air source. I cleared it and sucked in a beautiful deep breath. This is when I learned my snorkel hates me, and wants to kill me! I also learned to get visual confirmation that “yes” this is my regulator and not just a mouthpiece found near the vicinity of my air supply.
Seriously though, this is why you practice what to do in emergency situations in a safely controlled environment. Sometimes it feels silly to role-play these little scenarios, but when it comes down to a real emergency, it’s the only way you can prepare yourself.
On second thought, I guess my snorkel doesn’t really want to kill me. It didn’t allow me to inhale water after all. I have a dry snorkel that has a flotation plug mechanism that doesn’t let water in. Here’s a quick video on how it works: