Unified Team Diving

I was trained by the NACD for my cavern. Before I progress more into the overhead, I would like more information on the reasoning behind using the light on the left hand.

First, my instructor, as a representative of the NACD, not UTD, recommended us using our right hand to control the light. He taught me how to use my canister light. His reasoning was that our inflator and exhaust for our wings are on our right and removing our light from our left just to put in on our right for the time was absurd. He also said that it was good to have the light and reel in the same hand and I have become very comfortable using the reel and light together in the right hand. I have used it in this fashion since.

Second, I use a soft handle for all of my diving. I have never had a hard Goodman, as my light did not come with one.

Looking at your equipment and watching your videos, I notice that UTD seems to advocate use of the light on a hard Goodman handle and on the left side. Please help me understand why UTD operates this way. Everything else has a reason, I am sure that these do as well.

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Hello Jeremy,

primary light is used in left hand in order to keep right hand free to donate long hose in OOA.
Another good reason to keep the light in left hand is operating a scooter by right hand.

Why hard goodman handle?
When goodman handle is corectly adjusted to hand it is very comfortable and allows to keep the light with hand ready to operate (hand doesnt need to hold handle )
The biggest question I have is how would I adjust buoyancy with the light in my hand? Just move it to the other hand? As most of my current diving is multi-level lake diving, would I have to keep switching the light from one hand to the other?

I also do not use a scooter. I can barely afford the trainings I take now. Not to mention gas.
Jeremy-

You should be able to control your light in both your left and right hand, with ease. However, the left hand is "home" to the light. Of course when adjusting buoyancy, to prevent false light signals, we simply move the light to our right hand smoothly. Ditto when checking gas. This is something you should be able to do fluidly, without sending false light signals to your team.

You may not scooter now, but who knows what the future holds? Do you really want to break a habit while also learning a new, task loading skill (scooter)? If you start with the end in mind, there are no habits to break or relearn.

On the flipside of that, we wear our computer/bottom timer on our right wrist. If you keep your light on your right hand, what do you do when you check depth and time?



Jeremy Puskas said:
The biggest question I have is how would I adjust buoyancy with the light in my hand? Just move it to the other hand? As most of my current diving is multi-level lake diving, would I have to keep switching the light from one hand to the other?

I also do not use a scooter. I can barely afford the trainings I take now. Not to mention gas.
I can see my computer and backup with their backlights... I use my light on my right to illuminate my compass on my left, which I can not see with the light on my left.
I understand I need to be more flexible and prevent bad habits with the end game in mind. I do not want to seem argumentative, but I do learn through discourse and I appreciate everyone's patience.

It just seems like a lot of work moving everything back and forth. With viz down to 3~5' in the lake sometimes, my compass becomes very important...though it, like my SPG, does have a phosphorescent backing...perhaps that could help.
You don't seem argumentative at all, Jeremy.

Let's put the scooter aside for the moment.

You've taken Cavern. In your class, did you learn and practice out of gas (oog) procedures? If so, what were the procedures, with your light in your right hand?
Jeremy,
Keep in mind that the worst thing that can happen underwater is someone not having gas to breathe. With this in mind, we place the light on the left hand, as not to blind the receiving diver upon donation of the reg in our mouths with our right hand, and not to add complexity to an already intensified situation like a gas share by first having to switch hands.
Cleanliness and comfort of your light will grow with your training and experience. The Goodman style handle will only reinforce your ability to develop these good habits. Being able to move your light from one hand to another, without disrupting or blinding buddies, will become a critical part of the cohesiveness of your team.
Ultimately you should be able to do anything underwater with the light on your left hand or temporarily held in your right hand, or clipped off for that matter. You can shine your light on your compass and the phosphorescence of the gauges will long outlast the time that you need to look at the gauge itself.
I often find myself diving in limited 3-5’ visibility on weekday, after-work night dives in my local Michigan lakes. I can assure you that a good team can spend an hour underwater scootering full-speed at night, in bad viz… all-the-while, staying together, checking gas and navigating home. That is the beauty of the Unified Team.
James Mott


Brian Wiederspan said:

You've taken Cavern. In your class, did you learn and practice out of gas (oog) procedures? If so, what were the procedures, with your light in your right hand?

Tilt light beam up and away from the approaching diver and grab the long hose at the base of the second stage removing the regulator from your mouth. Duck and release the hose. Extend your arm donating the regulator to you buddy. Either immediately with your left, or if left hand is occupied, after the oog diver has the regulator, take your "safe" second stage clear it and breath off it. The "injured" diver leads the way out once a tie off has been made, if gas supply allows.


James Mott said:

I often find myself diving in limited 3-5’ visibility on weekday, after-work night dives in my local Michigan lakes. I can assure you that a good team can spend an hour underwater scootering full-speed at night, in bad viz… all-the-while, staying together, checking gas and navigating home. That is the beauty of the Unified Team.


That would be nice. Most of the divers I go out with are new and I guide the area for them. An older group of divers I go out with are the closest thing to a team I have, but some may be diving mix while others, like myself, maybe diving air... different topic (I know the evils of deep air diving and the extreme dangers of Narcosis load). I would love to have other divers in this area that think and dive like this. Our LDS is against DIR and has labeled it as arrogant (as a DMC for him, I just keep my mouth shut about my beliefs unless it is a safety concern)... also a different topic.
I got to dive on Saturday while practicing the light on the left hand. Not too bad. I will just need to practice. Thank you all for your help.

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