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Old 03-29-2018, 11:10 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Big Island
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Spearfishing Buoy Increased Safety Accessory

In the Spirit of Kevin's excellent post, I'll share this here. I've met a lot of good people through Spearboard. And when I say that I also mean met in person, people who I would never have gone out for a dive with otherwise.

Anyways, here's an idea I had the other day after my friend Mark was almost hit by a boat. My daughter had her 7th Birthday and I learned about these small inexpensive Helium Cannisters you can get at WalMart etc.. We do a lot of Bluewater Shorediving around here and part of that means we wind up sharing our drifts with some Boat traffic from guys trolling as well as Commercial diving and sightseeing operations and some commercial fishermen. In the past 2 weeks I've had 5 friends have closecalls. A few days ago I had a real close call when a 28' Radon flew by @ 5' from my head at 30mph and drove right over my dive partner who remained submerged. I was holding onto two large Bluewater Spearfishing Floats at the time. So. The day after the birthday I wanted to go for a dive and as I was walking out the door I noticed this 4' tall Gold Shiny Mylar Helium Inflated #7 Balloon.. Not much wind that day, kind of gray, so I tied it off to my flasher float.

The concept is to increase the radius of presence over a standard float and dive flag. A guy driving at 30mph might not see a buoy and flag due to chop or swell from over 200yds away. He might scan the horizon and then look away for 10-15 seconds but during that time he can travel 200yds. The idea is to lift up the Flag higher so that it is visible from further away and increase the radius of presence. I like Flourescent Yellow better than Red and White. A study by the US Navy concluded that Flourescent Yellow was the most visible color in a Marine Environment.

This idea is not for every person or every place. But if you want to try it.. go grab a Helium cannister and you can keep it in your trunk or car. You could use a Thick Biodegradeable reuseable Fishing Balloon, or whatever. Inflate before you swim out, deflate on your return. @ 1$ per fill. My sketch features a concept for an Airfoil Kytoon (Kite Balloon) which I figure would lift up rather than push back towards the water with wind. Also noted to mention that I dive with a Reel, this Kytoon would be attached to my Flasher Float, not thinking to have this attached to a Bluewater Float which gets pulled down underwater.

Anyways. This is a little hoky, but this is Spearfishing Content..
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Old 03-30-2018, 01:02 AM   #2
Pacific Spearo
Join Date: Jul 2007
Age: 57
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Re: Spearfishing Buoy Increased Safety Accessory

Great post and makes total sense!
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Old 03-30-2018, 06:37 AM   #3
Diving Gecko
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Re: Spearfishing Buoy Increased Safety Accessory

Good thinking Jon, I like it!

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Old 03-30-2018, 06:55 AM   #4
Mike Wilborn
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Southeast, MI
Posts: 465
Re: Spearfishing Buoy Increased Safety Accessory

Good thinking. What about a safety sausage type balloon? You'd get more vertical signal surface at the expense of horizontal surface, for better or worse, and if you put some small metal hooks on each end of the balloon, you could hook it to rings or line loops on your float to keep it tidy on the way in and out, if you wanted, couple that with an in-line line bag/mug;
[Run the line through the bottom of a small bag, the size of a coffee mug, with enough line out of the bag to tie to the float or terminate in a fixed loop so you can clip onto it from the float. Then the bulk of the line is flaked into the bag. If the line has any stiffness at all, it'll be unlikely to snarl and it'll readily deploy itself once you release your balloon. It's a little overkill if you only want to have 2m of line, but between that and hooks on a vertical balloon, you'd be able to completely stow and lash the rig, barring pennants... if you only had one Mylar pennant for radar reflection, you could have it free running with a single stopper knot to make it stop where it needs to be on the line?]

It's a damn good idea and it could take up less space on the float than a 2x2' dive flag. As you say, it's hard to see dive flags that aren't up off the surface a bit, and boaters have certainly been known to trust that the water is a barren desert when driving.
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