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Old 08-30-2017, 07:45 AM   #2
jfjf's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Palm Bch County
Posts: 10,546
Re: DUMB ASS NEWBIE PONY MISTAKE, Don't be that guy!

Originally Posted by Coos-spearo View Post
Today I suited up to go test some new gear and ideas in salt water. I had my new pony bottle setup that I purchased based on the 180' regulator failure post. Even tested the Pony in freshwater and diligently went through drills as scuba is not only new to me, but it is still completely awkward and unnatural. Everything checked out at the start of the dive so I kicked out of Sunset Bay and began a shallow water dive. I remember knocking the pony regulator out of its cup holder on the kick out and before I dove I grabbed it, inserted it in its holder, grabbed my regulator and went to the bottom. My goal was to test if neck weights were something I would want to use with scuba. It seemed like about 5 minutes into the dive, I ran out of air. I could breath out but not suck in. I hesitated to grab my octopus because my mind immediately ruled it out as the first, save your ass move. Instead, I grabbed my pony regulator, kicked to the surface and went back to shore to see what the hell happened. It turns out that when I knocked the pony regulator out its holder, I grabbed my main regulator, put it into the pony holder and began the dive with the pony regulator!

By my own design, and to save dives in the future, both regulators are identical. After recently spending thousands on dive gear, i was both too cheap and too stupid to recognize the need to make the pony regulator a different color. The most expensive way to do this is to buy a new yellow cover which costs $17 plus freight on ebay. I can't decide if I am am too stupid for scuba or if I was smart in that fact I reached for the redundant air supply, before the octopus, as I felt if the main regulator was dead, the safest bet was to go straight to the redundant air supply. A new lesson learned.

Don't be a dumb ass like me. Don't be that guy
Wow that is scary and it has killed people. You go down with the pony in your mouth, it runs out, you spit it out, try to switch regulators, but actually go back to the empty pony bottle. It sounds incredibly stupid, but it is not that hard to do.

It is safer to carry a pony bottle slung like a stage bottle, but few spearos think this is not inconvenient.

I think you should use a very different mouth piece for the pony, color is not that easy to "feel". Also, I think you should wear the pony reg on a necklace - a tight lanyyard around your neck. It should help in ID, plus it is very beneficial there because any freeflow will be detectable if it occurs on your neck.

Wearing it clipped off on your side or front, it can be hard to detect a free flow - especailly on entry or when going down an anchor line in current.

Lastly, i think you should consider removing the octopus (safe second) from your primary regulator - when using a pony. Otherwise you are managing 3 second stages and this adds to complexity, potential for confusion and chance for failure and or freeflow.

I personally use an Air 2 most of the time, so I really do have two second stages on my primary and a pony bottle second stage, but the air 2 can be disconnected in a freeflow and should be (nearly) impossible to confuse with other regulators.

You need to think this stuff through and practice.

also, if you like neck weights, you may find them more comfortable to be wrapped around the neck of the tank than on your actual neck.
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