No offense to Ocean Reef (I’ve used their SCUBA gear in the past and been impressed and I’d love to try their SDVL), but I personally strongly dislike the concept of their new Underwater Cellular Phone. The concept is that, using one of their SCUBA diving full face masks and a surface-buoy tether system, you can now make and receive cell phone calls while SCUBA diving.
SCUBA Diving Safety
Research shows that talking on a cell phone while driving is as (if not more) dangerous as driving while legally drunk. I mostly envision this being used by suits thinking they need to keep in touch constantly, even while SCUBA diving. For the recreational SCUBA diver, adding a surface tether is another safety concern that I don’t think should be introduced to the equation.
Defeats My Reason for SCUBA Diving
I love SCUBA diving because it is quiet. When I first became full face mask with communications systems trained, a fellow instructor and I almost bought setups at DEMA. We were about to swipe our credit cards, but then we realized we enjoy the silence of SCUBA diving. I understand the occasional usage of underwater diver to diver or diver to surface communications SCUBA gear (although not for recreational diving), but the idea of hearing my cell phone ring underwater just about kills me.
I know I’m being fairly critical here, but the mini-commercials they show on their web site encourage both solo SCUBA diving and either not telling or blatantly lying about going SCUBA diving. I have read and understand many of the arguments for solo SCUBA diving, but one key concept is that if you’re going to do it, tell someone where you will be SCUBA diving.