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Hookah Harnesses

The hookah harness or a BCD keeps the air hose from getting in the diver's way when working underwater. Hookah harnesses are sometimes integrated with a weight belt, to counteract your body's natural buoyancy and make depth control easier.

The hookah harness typically has a backplate which is automatically positioned over the centre of the diver's back when the harness is worn. The backplate is often used to hold a bailout or emergency air source system. The backplate holds a check valve, which acts as a junction point for the air hose and the regulator. Since the air hose terminates at the diver's back, it prevents potential entanglements around the diver's body.

The regulator intake hose that attaches to the check valve prevents any pulling motion from the regulator while working underwater. For example, if a diver were moving around underwater and inadvertently came to the end of the air hose, the harness would absorb the shock and the regulator end would not be jerked from the diver's mouth.

The check valve that is found on the backplate performs a third very vital function. It acts as a safety gate by shutting down the air system, allowing the air to travel in only in one direction. Should a burst or leak occur in the airline somewhere between the output of the compressor and the input of the check valve, it could prevent a vacuum occurring in the mouthpiece of the regulator or cause a diver to breathe in a large amount of water that could cause panic.

Never, ever, dive without a hookah harness or BCD and a check valve!

Please read Introduction to Hookah Diving for more information about things you need to consider with a hookah diving setup.

Diving and Snorkelling Downloads

Scuba Diving Downloads

The Scuba Doctor is slowly building a collection of important diving and snorkelling related files for download here. If you have something, or are looking for something, you think should be available here, then please contact us via an email to

Victoria's Dive Site GPS Marks

Port Phillip — The Heads

Western Port

ex HMAS Canberra Dive Site

Melbourne & Victoria Dive Site Information Sheets

Marine Life Identification

See also Taxonomic Toolkit For Marine Life Of Port Phillip Bay.

Marine Park Identification

Parks Victoria Marine Notes, Park Notes, Visitor Guides,
Maps & Management Plans

Bikini Atoll

Dive Kit Checklists

Dive Boat Related

Technical Diving

Scuba Diving and Snorkelling Guidelines

General Diving Information

  • SDFV Codes of Practice 2005 (Adobe PDF | 62.35 KB) — Scuba Divers Federation of Victoria general operating guidelines for recreational scuba diving and related activities.
  • U.S. Navy Diving Manual - Revision 7 (Adobe PDF | 13.59 MB) — The U.S. Navy Diving Manual is a very complete reference on diving based on the extensive research and experience of the U.S. Navy. The manual contains major sections covering rebreathers, no-decompression diving, open-circuit SCUBA, surface-supplied diving, the diving environment, Navy dive procedures, physics, physiology and recompression chamber operation. The U.S. Navy Diving Manual underwent some significant updates with the sixth revision issued in April 2008. One major change is their decompression procedures and the introduction of a revised decompression algorithm and table. Although much of the information is interesting, it may have limited application to your recreational diving. Still, recreational diving has some of its roots in the almost 1000 pages of this document. Best of all, it's available at no charge because it was developed with US taxpayer funds. The file is large, 14 MB, so best to right click on the link and "Save..." it to your hard drive rather than open it in the browser.
  • NOAA Diving Standards and Safety Manual - April 2017 (Adobe PDF | 20.59 MB) — This document represents the minimum safety standards for diving under the auspices of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as of the approval date of this manual.

UK Nautical Archaeology Society

The NAS has developed a series of recording forms that may help with marine archaeology projects that you are undertaking. These forms can be printed on waterproof paper and mounted on survey boards for use underwater. Completed record forms should kept as part of your project archive.

COVID-19 and Diving

Dive Shop Downloads



Victorian Tide Times for 2022
The tide times can also be referred to as "tide tables, tides, tide predictions or tide charts". The tide predictions in these files represent the times and height of high and low waters.

Other tide publications.


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