Emergency Air Or Pretend You’re A Dolphin

I’ve only been scuba diving once and the entire time I kept thinking, “what if I run out of air?” Silly question since I had a huge tank strapped to my back and an instructor tethered to me but that ‘sinking’ feeling kept nagging at me. Had I had the Phantom which sits on the chest plate of your wet suit, I may have felt more reassured. The simple device holds 5 minutes worth of air. Not sure if that’s enough but it’s the little things that count.

Designer: Ricardo Baiao

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53 Comments

  • Bubbles says:

    You may want to check out Spare Air. It’s a cylindrical (think small spray can size) bottle that can hold a few thousand psi’s. Personally, I have not used them.

    The few issues I see with your design are:
    1) with the device mounted to the center of the chest, you run a higher chance of getting stuck if diving in tight spaces
    2) with the mouthpiece directly under you, if that device starts free-flowing, all you’ll see will be bubbles and that could be hazardous.
    3) 5 minutes of air means different things to different people, ie. someone who’s panicked will probably gulp that down faster than someone who’s calm.
    4) Not really related to your design but just felt I had to put a statement in saying that, yes, carrying an extra air supply can be a good thing, but you should always plan your dive conservatively and constantly check your air gauge throughout your dive so that you should never be in a situation where you require that extra air supply.

    • Andrew Makk says:

      I just wonder how the heck your supposed to strap this to your chest if your already wearing a full BCD vest with straps that cross your chest…

      That and the fact that any self respecting diver should be paying enough attention to their gauges that this should never be used.

      And then again with the fact that you should always be diving with a buddy such that in the event of an emergency your can use their spare regulator.

      Seems to be a solution to aproblem that never existed in the first place.

  • Chung Dha says:

    Seem to be a concept made without some proper research of existing devices. Rather have a proper device that would alert you that your air is running out and just alert you properly so you can surface in time than having to carry extra air.

    • Scuba_Steve says:

      umm… this ‘proper device’ that you suggest actually exists.. its called a DIVE COMPUTER (for the tech savvy) or for us old-school divers, a plain old, proven-technology AIR GAUGE.. well that and common sense really

  • dcbCreative says:

    Actually… …This could be handy for people who participate in aquatic sports besides scuba diving. Considering the limits of the design, probably more so.

    Ever been on a sailboat or a kayak that has capsized? It sucks if you’re caught under it. A few minutes of extra air could be the difference between life and death as you swim out from under the tangle of wreckage or right yourself.

    This would be good to wear along with a life vest in rough water conditions or during a very windy race.

    Just some quick, not very well thought out thoughts- Basically I like the concept and see its potential. Develop it.

  • Brian Roberts says:

    Cool. If something goes wrong with my tank while Scuba Diving, or I have issues with the regulator, this would be enough to get me to the surface. In the past it was just a little bottle of compressed air that you had fumble around and get. Neat.

  • Jon Cousins says:

    That’s what your dive buddy is for. And if you’re in an overhead environment, this thing is useless.

    I could see it being useful for a whitewater kayaker. It’s just enough air to save your life if you get pinned in a hole. Or possibly a surfer, but no surfer would ever wear this.

    Beyond that, I don’t see it being useful for anything.

    • 3eyes says:

      It could be useful if your air tank runs out.

      • Jon Cousins says:

        Not really, no. Not nearly as much as you’d think.

        And there is a *real* problem with the false sense of security that relatively unreliable and often unmaintained “secondary” sources of air like pony bottles, Spare Airs, and these things provide.

        Dive buddies are much more reliable. And if your dive buddy isn’t more reliable, you shouldn’t be down there trusting your life to him.

      • The Magnificen7 says:

        He said THAT’S WHAT YOUR DIVE BUDDY IS FOR. If you decide to strap on 40 pounds of equipment and jump into the ocean with the intent of diving to at least 50 feet and DON’T decide to bring somebody else in case something goes wrong, then you basically deserve what you get. PADI hammered that into my head when I was taking their courses. This would be best for either a surfer or a kayaker, like he said. No logical diver needs to wear this.

  • 3eyes says:

    If you deserve what you get for diving alone then it would still be better to have a 5 minutes air reserve. Just in case.

    • Jon Cousins says:

      This is absolutely not an adequate backup device for a solo diver.

      Solo diving is inherently much more risky than buddy diving, but, if you’re going to do it, you should do it right with independent doubles or a properly-sized pony bottle with a high-quality bulletproof reg.

  • ejl10 says:

    Pony bottles have always been pretty clumsy. This is an interesting way to reshape them to be more convenient. Cool idea if they can keep the price in the ballpark of current pony bottles.

  • Joey Massa says:

    First, there’s never anything wrong with having a little extra air, the chance of needing it/ it being extremely useful is probably pretty low but much better safe than sorry.

    Second, five minutes is a estimate, every person breathes at a different rate, I would probably down this in three minutes but like I said before, extra air is extra air. Three minutes extra to try and save my life is worth it.

    • Jon Cousins says:

      Just FYI, five minutes of normal breathing at the surface is about 40 seconds of stressed breathing at 66 feet.

  • Oskar says:

    Arent you missing the point? This is obviously a concept that has nothing to do with reality.

    How many liters of air would you say that thing holds? at what pressure? Hardly enough for 5 min of breathing. And how would you bring the pressure down to the ambient level, when the thing is so small?

    Personally, I think a bit more plausible concepts are sooo much more interesting…

  • MadCow says:

    everybody is so focused on scuba diving aspect of this design.

    I, for one, say forget scuba diving, make this a staple to all life vests, whether on a plane or a boat, this would be a great addition to all life vest designs.

    • TBC says:

      That crossed my mind, as well; especially seeing as the niche it is aiming at is already filled.

    • TBC says:

      That crossed my mind, as well; especially seeing as the niche it is aiming at is already filled.

  • Michael Bingham says:

    It may not be perfect for SCUBA, but could work really well for surfers etc.

  • lozzyfluff says:

    OK, its very James Bond, but the ‘5 minutes of air’ is completely unqualified – 5 minutes at what flow rate, at what depth and at what temperature? 5 minutes of surface air supply is not 5 minutes of air at 30m.

    The Spare Air mentioned above also suffers from this flaw selling on the basis of containing 3 minutes of air.

    Without knowing the full specifications of the units a panicked, stressed or over-exerted diver would probably get around 3 breaths from either of these devices if they started at depth.

    Also there is the question of ‘pressure vessel’ testing requirements in the same way as diving cylinders are required to be visually and hydrostatically tested.

    I agree that it could be a brilliant accessory for surfers, or also for emergency escape situations on helicopters for example.

    For divers there’s no substitute for a buddy, AND if your diving requires it – a pony cylinder of at least 3ltrs at 232Bar.

  • Patana says:

    If can use underwater I need to know how much price for PHANTOM AIR SUPPLY

    Thank you

  • Roberto says:

    Just as a wee suggestion. Free divers could find this very interesting – somtimes one stays a wee bit too long because of the temptation of a crayfish etc. Sometimes the surface is a very long way. Even if a just a couple of breaths were used, this could go a very long way. Extra air to supplement your highly compressed lungs, or that of your free dive “buddy” in a tight situation is certainly a good idea. In these situations sometimes its about helping the person your with, not yourself. This is as per avalanche tranceivers when skiing backcountry; if you don’t have one, you can’t save those you are with. Just some thoughts.

  • Luis M. Taboada says:

    May use in fire smoke?
    Luis (Spain)

  • Eva says:

    I love it! Cool idea!

  • Philip McKerry says:

    Ok Ladies and Gentelmen….. I am one of the people that puts their ass on the line when you get into trouble…. I'm one of the guys that goes to our house to tell your loved ones that you won't be coming home anymore…. I train Dive Rescue Specialists around the world, I teach the Underwater Investigators to determine how and why you died. Let me share a little info with you…. when S*%t hits the fan you don't have enough air, and anything you bring with you may save your life. How many of you still use a "J" valve??? We do…. why…. because it is an extra 500 Lbs of air id used right….. we also have a Pony tank as a redundant air source….. some of us carry a "Spair Air"…. this is no different, as a matter if fact it is less on an entaglement problem if it is tucked under my BC, and it is right there in front of my mouth if I need it. I stopped counting dead bodies at 200….. I don't care how good we think we are, or how good we think our dive buddies are we can all die in the water. Remember "Plan your dive, and dive your plan"….. I was not aware of this device…. so thank you for sharing

  • Philip McKerry says:

    Ok Ladies and Gentelmen….. I am one of the people that puts their ass on the line when you get into trouble…. I'm one of the guys that goes to our house to tell your loved ones that you won't be coming home anymore…. I train Dive Rescue Specialists around the world, I teach the Underwater Investigators to determine how and why you died. Let me share a little info with you…. when S*%t hits the fan you don't have enough air, and anything you bring with you may save your life. How many of you still use a “J” valve??? We do…. why…. because it is an extra 500 Lbs of air id used right….. we also have a Pony tank as a redundant air source….. some of us carry a “Spair Air”…. this is no different, as a matter if fact it is less on an entaglement problem if it is tucked under my BC, and it is right there in front of my mouth if I need it. I stopped counting dead bodies at 200….. I don't care how good we think we are, or how good we think our dive buddies are we can all die in the water. Remember “Plan your dive, and dive your plan”….. I was not aware of this device…. so thank you for sharing

  • whatdoctor says:

    I was snorkelling (free diving) and did not realise how deep I was. I looked up and it was about 30 feet to the surface. I had been down for a couple of minutes. I decided to ascend slowly but soon realised I needed to hurry before I could no longer hold my breath. I ended up swallowing a mouthful of water. I wished I had taken some air with me.

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