Appeared in DIVER June 2007

width=100%
John John Bantin has been a full-time professional diving writer and underwater photographer since 1990. He makes around 300 dives each year testing diving equipment.

ALARM AP VALVES BUDDY BLAST

I HAVE ALWAYS ENVIED PEOPLE who can put a couple of fingers into their mouths and effortlessly produce an ear-piercing whistle.
Its a great way of attracting attention.
However, distances at sea are often greater than you anticipate. Add the fact that you need to make a sound that will penetrate the background noise of waves and boat engines, and you realise that few divers could produce enough decibels.
The Buddy Blast is a whistle that employs high-pressure air from your tank. It can be incorporated as part of the direct-feed system of a Buddy BC, via either a standard AP200 inflator or an AutoAir, or used as a stand-alone application by plugging it into a spare medium pressure port on your regulator.
In the latter case it is finished in bright red plastic, so there is no question of someone mistaking it for anything but an emergency device.

Performance
Its not a new idea, but AP Valves has recently redesigned the Buddy Blast to make it less of a beast than it was. Unlike rival products, it has no button to press. You simply squeeze it to get an earth-shattering screech.
The manufacturer says that it produces a 138dB sound. I have no reason to doubt that - dont try it in the confines of your garage. I did, but Im better now!
It is certainly effective at drawing attention when at the surface, though its no substitute for a visual marker such as a flag. There is nothing more frustrating than being in a boat and hearing a whistle but being unable to spot where its coming from. The new design makes the unit very easy to operate with a heavily gloved hand.


Divernet
SPECS
AP VALVES BUDDY BLAST
COST £47
CONTACT www.apvalves.com, 01326 561040
DIVER GUIDE width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100%