Sea Cucumber Diver Dies in Alaska. What kind of gear do they use?

Man, its always horrible to hear of another death in the industry.  My thoughts go out to the families and crew.  I instantly thought of a recent video that showed the kind of gear that these fisherman use.

[vodpod id=Video.5334304&w=425&h=350&fv=]

The crew of the 68-foot fishing tender Island Dancer told investigators that the diver surfaced at about 1 p.m. Wednesday, took off his mask and immediately sank.

A Coast Guard spokesman says the crew reported pulling the diver out of the water using the air hose and immediately providing first aid.

via Diver dies off fishing tender near Metlakatla: AP Alaska |


  1. How large of an O2 canister is usually used with a Nitrox stick setup like in the viedo? Also, are these guys diving with dry suits and have an extra stage on the on/off switch that goes to the bailout bottle/line air? Very interesting stuff, wish I could learn more about it online, but the resources seem pretty limiting.

  2. Here’s the response from facebook
    Scott Heitman ‎@backdeck. The system is extremely simple. There is a local guy here in town that puts together the mixing stick that I use. I run the mix at 36-40% O2. just depends on if I am doing 2 days in a row. All of us now have either this system or a compressor that makes the nitrox. This system is the best, and cheapest. We go thru one standard size (4′ tall x maybe 7″ in diameter) o2 bottle per diver per 7 hour day. I keep 7 bottles on board in my fish hold so that lasts 2 divers doing cukes and geoducks a week.
    9 hours ago · Like

    Scott Heitman ‎@backdeck. as for question #2 dry suits yes for 80% of us the other 20% will never give up their 8mm wetsuits, ever. Not sure what the poster was asking about on the bail out system. We have a scuba bottle tied into the system as a bailout as well as the one on the diver’s harness.

  3. I am a dive tender on a sea cuke boat in Kodiak. Our divers use dry suits and we have 3 divers in the water for up to 48 hours. We have a air compressor on board running off a genset. Without fins, it is very hard to do anything other than walk the bottom.

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