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Freediving blackout flotation devices

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Dodoeye

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Nov 8, 2020
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As I've begun my process on understanding freediving through Apnea courses, it's evident that the risk of blackout and death from blackout is a relatively common occurrence in our sport. While I still love spearfishing and freediving, I feel that more safety measures can be in place to protect every participant. It puzzles me that the despite this risk, freedivers do not use blackout devices.

Has anyone used SENS07VEST (https://www.provitatec.com/) or any similar devices? Can you weigh in on the benefits/cons of such devices?

While I understand that such devices should not be used without fundamental safety protocol (dive with buddy), but it is always good to have technology assist in the event of human-lapse of judgement.

Safe diving all
 
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Bill McIntyre

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
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Jan 27, 2005
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I own the Freedive Recovery Vest produced by spearfishing legend Dr Terry Maas. You can set a trigger time and depth and if you exceed either one it inflates and brings you to the surface. If you black out on the surface and sink it inflates.There is no point in getting into details because he quit selling them to the public on Jan 1 of this year. I won’t dive without it but apparently he could never make money selling them to cheap Freedivers. The price was $950 US just before he quit selling. I’m pretty sure he still sells a special version to Special Operations forces but he quit selling to the public. If you do a search you can still see videos of the vest in action.
 
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Bill McIntyre

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
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Jan 27, 2005
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You asked about pros and cons. I am not a competitive freediver but I would imagine that if you are pushing your depth limits, the miniscule amount of added drag might be a problem. But I'm a free diving spear fisherman and I can't say that I even notice the difference when diving with the vest. The only negatives for me are that its one more thing to put on when I'm suiting up, and one more thing to clean and maintain when I get home late at night. After I put it on at the start for the day, I leave it on all day while moving the boat from spot to spot, and don't even notice that I am wearing it.
 
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cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
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What Bill said.

I also have an FRV and dive with it when appropriate. Doing 30-40 ft dives with a 100 cm gun and a 3 mil suit, the extra drag is not noticeable. With no suit, carrying a sling or less and doing 70-100 ft dives, the drag was noticable but not bad. I suspect the Senso7vest is similar.

Since covid compromised my 02 saturation, I'm double glad to have it.
 
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