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Emergency Air Systems

In an out of air emergency there are really only two things that matter — your next breath, and where it's coming from. An emergency air system (bailout bottle, bailout cylinder or emergency gas supply) is a scuba cylinder carried by a scuba diver for use as an emergency supply of breathing gas in the event of a primary gas supply failure. Some also call this a redundant air source.

Choosing among the available emergency air systems is an exercise in trade-offs. Small, compact bailout cylinders are easy to travel with, easy to use, easy to share and they can be stowed almost anywhere. But depending on how deep you are, they may only give you just enough air to kick for the surface or to find that wayward buddy. Bigger emergency air cylinder systems provide more options in that they may allow you to make a slower ascent, but they also take up more space on your gear, are harder to travel with and can create hydrodynamic drag.

The Scuba Doctor dive shop can supply the H2Odyssey Extra Air Source kit solutions, or help you to build a different setup to suit your particular requirements. Maybe you're a hookah diver needing a backup air source, a recreational diver going deeper on a single cylinder and wanting an out of air emergency solution, or a solo diver who needs a redundant air source to stay safe. Whatever you need, we can help you to achieve it.

Diving in Southern Ocean

If you intend to go diving, snorkelling or boating in the Southern Ocean on Victoria's west coast you must be appropriately trained and qualified. Always analyse the weather forecasts and make your own mind up about what you consider to be safe conditions.

Note: The Victorian coastline to the west of Cape Otway faces into the Southern Ocean.

Southern Ocean Warning

We recommend you don't go diving in the Southern Ocean if any of the following conditions are likely to occur within a 24 hour period:

  • A Strong Wind Warning (or above - Gale, Storm, Hurricane) has been issued by the Bureau of Meteorology for West Victoria Coastal Waters;
  • Wind strength exceeding 20 kn (37 kpm) from the direction: NW, NNW, N, W, NE, NNE;
  • Wind strength exceeding 15 kn (28 kpm) from the direction: SW, SSW, S;
  • Wind strength exceeding 10 kn (19 kpm) from the direction: SE, SSE, E;
  • Swell Height exceeding 2 metres (6.56 feet);
  • Any swell exceeding 1 metre (3.28 feet) with a period less than 5 seconds;
  • A weather change is due which may cause any of the above conditions to occur.

For the lastest forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology, see West Victoria Coastal Waters Forecast: SA-Vic Border to Cape Otway.

At some shore dive sites on the Victorian coast even the above conditions could be too extreme. Weak or average swimmers should not consider diving at most Southern Ocean shore dive sites. Keep a watch out for swells and bad weather coming in. At some shore dive sites this may require surfacing periodically throughout your dive. When doing a shore dive in the Southern Ocean you are diving on the Great Southern Reef.

Scuba diving is an inherently dangerous activity and appropriate training and experience in scuba equipment, decompression diving, deep diving, mixed gas diving and wreck penetration diving are all mandatory skills for safely diving the shipwrecks of the Southern Ocean.

Stay Safe

If you are not experienced with diving in the Southern Ocean, make sure you go with an experienced local dive guide or dive buddy who can read the conditions and advise you accordingly. Most of all, stay safe and enjoy your Southern Ocean diving.

We accept no responsibility or liability for the accidental or intentional misuse of information portrayed on this website, or misadventure resulting from its use.


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