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September 2018    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 33, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Problems with Sherwood Avid BCs Still Continue

from the September, 2018 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

The design problems of the Sherwood Avid BC continue to plague divers unfortunate enough to own them. We've drawn your attention before to the potential disaster of the tank separating from the BC (see our September 2016 and September 2017 issues).

Sherwood Avid BCWhereas the tank cambands of most BCs are threaded through slots in the buoyancy cell, Sherwood designed both its Luna and Avid BCs with separate plastic mounting points that can, under certain circumstances, shear away, allowing the tank to part company from the diver -- with dramatic consequences.

Klinger Disney (Miami, FL) wrote to Undercurrent in July about his 10-year-old Avid BC, and sent us a picture that dramatically reveals the problem. Thankfully, it appears that no fatalities (so far reported) have been attributed to this defect.

Disney also made us privy to the emails between him and Mike Van Hosen of Sherwood Scuba, in which he was made the offer of retailer Scuba World giving him a good price on a trade-in for a replacement -- meaning it would cost Disney between $425 and $475. Disney declined.

It was a similar story for Deanna Rounds, doing a shore dive with Roger Ray (Junction City, OR) near Whidbey Island, WA, in March when both of her tank camband attachments broke at the same time. Ray tells us it caused a dangerous situation when Rounds' regulator was pulled from her mouth and she was dragged underwater, despite Ray's efforts to keep her afloat. Rounds contacted Sherwood's tech department but never heard back.

How long do you think a BC should last? Some of us are still successfully using other manufacturers' BCs we purchased 20 years ago.

If you own a Sherwood BC or any other that does not secure the tank camband by being threaded through slots in the buoyancy cell, we suggest you stop using it immediately. Got a comment? Write to BenDDavison@undercurrent.org

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