Safety Equipment - Visual


Surface Marker Buoy (SMB)

The use of an SMB isn’t only to show to boat you are diving, but is also a way dive crew can follow you from the surface. The limitation however is the size. It doesn’t have a very visible color and doesn’t stick out at the surface very much to be visible over a long distance.


Delayed SMB
(a.k.a. Safety sausage)

A delayed SMB is mostly used during safety stops to show the diver’s position. These devices are inflated at depth or at the surface and will stick out of the water much more than a standard SMB. They normally also have brighter colors and some even have reflectors on them and have an incorporated attachment for strobe lights, Light sticks or similar lighting devices. A small number of delayed SMBs even have a small safety kit inside with for example a whistle, Light stick or signaling mirror.


Signaling Mirror

This is a small mirror used to reflect sunlight and attract the attention of people on a boat, shore and even in an aeroplane or helicopter.




Dive lights, strobe lights and flashers

These materials will become even more useful at night and can be used at the surface to show the diver’s position. If you dive with a SMB with reflector stripes (or have any material with such stripes) you can also use the light to shine onto these reflectors.


Rescue streamer

This visual, surface signaling device is especially useful when search operations are conducted from the air. The Streamer will increase the effective size of the diver thanks to the large, bright orange, high-density polyethylene foil which is engineered to stay both extended and afloat. From the air, it can be seen up from to 2 km distance. The Rescue Streamer is available in different sizes and, for increased visibility, some versions have SOLAS grade reflectors and are equipped with Cyalume Chemical lights, making them equally useful at night.



Flares, smoke signals and other pyrotechnics are mostly standard life saving equipment onboard boats. They are however as good as never used by divers, mostly because these materials are not rated to dive with.




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