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Diver retrieval system

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Dairyland diver
Apr 7, 2001
I just got done reading the article on the Yoga and Freediving and also just recieved my latest copy of FREEDIVER magazine. In both of them I see reference to a diver retrieval system to bring up a blacked-out diver.

I am very intersted in making one of these for use out on the boat. Has anyone else made something similar? I am not looking for something as extensive has Seb's or some of the other DEEP divers. I am mainly looking for some thing to do constant ballast with to depths of less than 50 meters. It seems to me that you just need a line clipped off to your wrist and the other end can go on a carabiner clipped of to the main line. In case of a problem the surface team could just pull up the line and the diver would follow. This is how we set things up for ice diving. The surface team pulls in the line and everyone clipped off to it comes up- eventually.;)

I know that it could be made even fancier by putting ballast at the other end to bring the diver up faster without having to tax the surface people too much. I was just wondering how people attached themselves to the line. Do you have the line around your wrist or attached to your belt? Does it get in the way of your monofin? Does it work easier with bifins?

Any input is greatly appreciated.

I use a leash (as taught by the french in Nice) for training in low vis or near personal best levels. This is a fairly thin cord with a carabiner at one end which goes around the line. The other end you can attach either to your weight belt or your wrist. I find it much easier on the belt.
It does take a bit of practise not to get tangled in it but after a few attempts where it got wrapped around my legs I now love it as it means I can shut my eyes and know I'm still near the line. And if the diver blacks out or has a problem at least the safety divers know they are on the line somewhere and if there is a bottom plate I suppose you could pull them up.

Practise with it carefully though and get used to it shallow before trying anything harder

Thanks Sam.

I have used one on a harness for freediving under the ice. We were only diving to around 40-50' because of the shallow nature of the lake. I found myself holding onto the carabiner when ascending because the carabiner got hung-up less as I went up. When I just let it drag behind my I noticed more resistance.


I just wanted to give a big thanks to Doug P. for the diagram, and Peter S. (Longfins) for the help on deciding what parts to buy. I put mine together yesterday and Ted and I went out today to give it a shot.

After playing around with different weight amounts we started to get pretty comfortable with the whole thing. Now, I just need to come up with a better bottom plate and we'll be all set for next summer!:cool:

Peter, I also added releases onto the wrist end of the lanyard as you suggested.

BTW: This is for training without scuba back-up. I have plenty of tech-divers lined up to cover any competition that we might have at next year's Freedive-A-Palooza.

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Wow, that was quick!

Looks great. Is it for rent?

(Out of curiosity and paranoia, is the ring on the float welded? If not, you may want to just thread the carabiner through the fabric bottom so there's less links in the chain. Might as well just hook the pulleys through the carabiner directly too. Just some thoughts.)

Well done! Let us know how it goes with the ongoing operation.

Peter S.
I had Global mfg. custom stich in metal D-rings into the bottom of the float. They work well for now- and give us a place to store water bottles and cameras while we dive. I may switch to the orange fender balls that you have, but don't know what size to get?


Good point. I forgot about that stuff.

I have 2 inner tube (abalone) floats. I don't like the orange fenders as they bob up and down too much (spherical shape). The inner tube floats require more ballast to sink but drag the whole thing under. But I like the storage space!

I THINK people use 18" dia and bigger Tuffy fenders (200 lbs?). I've also seen some that have an extra inner tube ringed around it to help stabilize it.

hi guys!

I remember entering a website of a cuban freediving intructor (not pipin) which invented something like a life jacked for freedivers which black out!

I'll try to find his website again and I'll post it!

You're thinking of Ricardo Hernandez' (of www.divesafer.com) patent.

Here's the patent file. Enjoy!

Peter S.


  • patent 5800228.pdf
    624 KB · Views: 225
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