8-34 Change A
U.S. Navy Diving ManualVolume 2
leak in the diving suit only requires remaining in an upright position; water in the
suit does not directly endanger breathing.
Tending the Diver. Procedures for tending the diver follow.
Before the dive, the tender carefully checks the diving dress with particular
attention to the nonreturn valve, air control valve, helmet locking device,
intercom system, helmet seal and harness.
When the diver is ready, the tenders dress and assist the diver to the stage or
ladder or waters edge, always keeping a hand on the umbilical.
The primary tender and a backup tender as required are always on station to
assist the diver. As the diver enters the water, the tenders handle the umbilical,
using care to avoid sharp edges. The umbilical must never be allowed to run
free or be belayed around a cleat or set of bitts. Pay out of the umbilical is at a
steady rate to permit the diver to descend smoothly. If a stage is being used,
the descent rate is coordinated with the winch operator or line handlers.
Throughout the dive the tender keeps slack out of the line while not holding it
too tautly. Two or three feet of slack permits the diver freedom of movement
and prevents the diver from being pulled off the bottom by surging of the
support craft or the force of current acting on the line. The tender occasionally
checks the umbilical to ensure that movement by the diver has not resulted in
excessive slack. Excessive slack makes signaling difficult, hinders the tender
from catching the diver if falling and increases the possibility of fouling the
The tender monitors the umbilical by feel and the descent line by sight for any
line-pull signals from the diver. If an intercom is not being used, or if the diver
is silent, the tender periodically verifies the divers condition by line-pull
signal. If the diver does not answer, the signal is repeated; if still not answered,
the Diving Supervisor is notified. If communications are lost, the situation is
treated as an emergency (see paragraph 6-220.127.116.11 for loss-of-communication
Monitoring the Divers Movements. The Diving Supervisor and designated mem-
bers of the dive team constantly monitor the divers progress and keep track of his
Follow the bubble trail, while considering current(s). If the diver is
searching the bottom, bubbles move in a regular pattern. If the diver is
working in place, bubbles do not shift position. If the diver has fallen, the
bubbles may move rapidly off in a straight line.
Monitor the pneumofathometer pressure gauge to keep track of operating
depth. If the diver remains at a constant depth or rises, the gauge provides