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Standardized Equipment Program

NOAA Equipment Regulations


Operation and Maintenance
All equipment (e.g., diver worn, dive support, air systems. hyperbaric chambers) shall be operated and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations unless otherwise approved by the NDCSB.
All equipment shall be regularly examined by the person using it prior to diving.
All equipment repair, test, calibration or maintenance service shall be recorded by means of a tagging or logging system, and shall include the date, nature of work performed, and the name or initials of the person or company performing the work.
Equipment subjected to extreme usage under adverse conditions requires more frequent testing and maintenance.
Any diving conducted using specialized equipment or procedures (e.g. drysuits, full face masks, tethered or line-tended SCUBA) shall be practiced on an annual basis to maintain proficiency. Failure to meet these minimum standards requires work-up dives to be conducted prior to making duty dives.
An inventory of SEP issued diving equipment shall be conducted by each diver annually and the results submitted to the UDS.

Maintenance Requirements

  1. SCUBA regulators, including first stages, second-stages and alternate second stage air sources, shall be inspected prior to initial use, serviced annually by a qualified service technician unless more frequent service is deemed necessary.
  2. Depth gauges (stand-alone or integrated into dive computers) shall be tested every 6 months against a master reference gauge with no deviation greater than +3.0/-0.0 fsw between any two equivalent gauges.
  3. Submersible pressure gauges shall be tested annually against a master reference gauge with no deviation greater than +/- 10 percent of scale.
  4. Buoyancy compensator device inflater assemblies shall be serviced annually in accordance with the manufacturer's recommended guidelines.
  5. SCUBA cylinders must be hydrostatically tested in accordance with U.S. Department of Transportation standards and be internally and externally inspected by a qualified technician annually or when suspect.
  6. SCUBA cylinder valves shall be functionally inspected at intervals not to exceed 12 months.
  7. Standby diver tending line (without communication wires) shall be pull-tested annually to a minimum of 300 pounds.
  8. Weight-harness systems with quick-release mechanisms shall be tested for proper function prior to each diving day.

Standard equipment configuration
Unless otherwise approved by the LODO/SOOO, each diver shall be configured consistent with the figures shown in Appendix 7.  At a minimum, all NOAA certified divers are required to use the following NOAA-issued dive equipment when conducting official duty dives, unless specifically approved by the LODO/SODO:

  1. A primary breathing gas supply and regulator;
  2. A redundant second stage regulator on the primary cylinder(s) for air sharing;
  3. A pressure gauge for each independent cylinder, readable by the diver during the dive;
  4. A face mask;
  5. A snorkel;
  6. A buoyancy compensation device;
  7. A weight system capable of quick release;
  8. A knife or other cutting device;
  9. A pair of swim fins;
  10. A timekeeping device;
  11. A depth gauge;
  12. Thermal protection appropriate for the conditions; and
  13. A whistle or other sound producing device.
  14. For OSHA designated working dives and scientific dives >100 fsw, a diver-carried reserve breathing gas supply (RASS) consisting of an independent reserve cylinder with a separate regulator. The valve of the reserve breathing gas supply shall be opened to check he pressure in the cylinder and to charge the regulator, and then closed prior to and during the dive to ensure the air supply will not unintentionally be depleted during the dive;

Regulators
Regulators shall consist of a primary first and second stage, an alternate second stage, and a submersible pressure gauge. Unless approved otherwise by the LODO/SODO, all SCUBA regulators other than those issued via the SEP shall be listed on the USN's Authorized for Navy Use list.

Buoyancy Compensator Devices
BCDs shall be worn on all dives utilizing SCUBA. BCDs shall enable the diver to achieve positive buoyancy during a dive, including at the surface, and be configured with a manually-activated inflation assembly, an oral inflation assembly, and an exhaust valve.  BCDs shall not be used as a lifting device in lieu of lift bags.

Gauges and Timekeeping Devices
Each independent cylinder used shall be equipped with a pressure gauge capable of being monitored by the diver during the dive.
A timekeeping device shall be worn by each diver; and at the dive location for topside support.

SCUBA Cylinders
SCUBA cylinders shall be designed, constructed, and maintained in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Unfired Pressure Vessel Safety Orders.

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