We use "Carolina Style" Hang Lines/Down Lines
Our diving is done out in the open ocean. 15 to 40 miles
offshore, we dive shipwrecks: mostly from World War II.
2) Using a line makes it easy to control your descent and ascent. Free ascents are not recommended.
3) Should there be any current, you can pull yourself along the lines rather than fighting the current and swimming against it.
4) The Hang line leads to the Anchor Line - the Anchor Line leads to the wreck. You are guaranteed to dive the wreck by descending the Anchor line. Underneath the boat there is usually only sand. And maybe a starfish. Perhaps a rock. But not usually the wreck.
5) If you need to make minor adjustments to your equipment on the descent or ascent, it is nice to have an anchor line to hold on to.
6) No dive equipment is worth more than your safety. If you drop it at the end of a dive, it's not worth descending after it. The crew will do all they can to find it for you. Free descents to chase equipment are not recommended.
7) We want our divers back on the boat. The ocean is too big to swim all alone. Surfacing away from the boat makes it look very small. Divers heads out in the open ocean look even smaller. Especially with dark equipment on. Those red skinny safety sausages are (contrary to popular belief) difficult to see from any distance. By using the anchor line for descents and ascents, you get back on the boat every time.
8) Should someone surface away from the boat and be unable to swim back, we cannot leave the dive site until everyone else is back on board. The ocean is a big, lonely place when you are floating out there in it.
9) No matter where we are diving, it's TOO FAR to swim back to shore.
10) Any additional ideas or suggestions? Let us know!