comscore Vest can be lifesaver for freedivers | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Vest can be lifesaver for freedivers

    Dan Silveira, a member of the USA World Spearfishing Team, wore a Freediver's Recovery Vest.

Freediving has been enjoyed for centuries, long, long before the invention of SCUBA tanks. And, for just as long, divers have experienced what is known FB (freediver blackout), some with fatal consequences.

After years of research and prototype testing, a product is surfacing that will help in saving lives of underwater adventurers.

The Freediver’s Recovery Vest will make its debut at the Hawaii Skin Diver Expo at Blaisdell Center on March 20. Dr. Terry Maas, FRV inventor, four-time national spearfishing champion, and president of Oceanic Safety Systems, is the featured speaker and will demonstrate the potentially life-saving device.

The FRV is composed of a 9-pound flotation vest, a back-mounted inflation unit and a computer/console on the arm that is programmable. A diver sets both the maximum time and maximum depth when he or she wants the vest mechanism to deploy in the event of a blackout, bringing a diver back to the surface.

There’s no app at the moment, but divers can input their dive history. Users will be able to view a graphical representation of a dive and log other info that can be used for study or sharing.

The vests will be available next month online for $2,870 plus shipping. For information, e-mail, or call 805-650-3014.

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