It’s not everyday that you hear a story like this, so this is one worth sharing.
Back in 2016 a diver had to ditch his rig during a drift dive in Norway.
As you read this post, please keep the following in mind. This not a paid advertisement or recommendation for this equipment and or its manufacturer.
This is a story worth being told because of the circumstances under which it occurred. When do you ever hear of someone losing his/her rig during a dive. Then, miraculously, finding it on a similar dive 3 years later just by chance in working condition. Amazingly, it was on the seafloor at 25 meters for three years and it was still in working condition.
Well this is exactly what happened to Per Wichstadt.
“I participated in a border dive in 2016, passing underneath the old Svinesund bridge in Norway and through into Sweden. The straight between Norway and Sweden is at its narrowest here and there is a very strong tidal current and the visibility is extremely poor, maybe 1-2 metres. That time I got into trouble under water and a chain of events led to me dumping most of my rig to stay afloat. I was quite sure somebody else would find the gear, after all there were 10-15 divers in the water. Unfortunately, due to the strong current and low visibility, no one was able to find it.”
“I again joined the border dive again this year and what do you know, I swam directly into my old gear at 25 metres depth. What a strange feeling to see the old equipment in this murky water. Some crabs had used my gear as a home. After some time we were able to lift my rig to the surface.”
He was diving with an XTX50 regulator . Therefore, naturally when this story got out the folks at Apeks wanted to get their hands on the regulator. They wanted to test its durability and performance after such an extreme test.
As quoted by the folks at Apeks:
When we received the regulators from Per, our first task was to empty out the crab shells, stones, sea life and sand that had accumulated inside the regs over the three years. Despite the encrustation covering most of the parts, the first stage turret still swivelled smoothly and the second stage adjusters were still fully operational.
Reassured that the regulators didn’t need any mechanical intervention or immediate servicing, we put them straight onto our ANSTI Machine to simulate a dive to see how they performed underwater. When realised that their interstage pressure was still at factory settings, it was clear we were in for a good test.
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