SHIPWRECK DIVING  Underwater Tools
The complete Diver's Handbook featuring underwater tools used while Shipwreck Diving




   Capt. Dan Berg's Wreck Valley Collection   


Shipwreck Diving TOOLS
By Capt. Dan Berg

While tools are certainly not mandatory for wreck diving, many divers bring tools with them to aid in the removal of artifacts. It's not uncommon for a wreck diver to have a sledge hammer, chisel, and crow bar as part of his standard dive equipment. I only want to bring up these tools to discuss the way they should be mounted. First of all, the weight of each tool must be reduced from the amount of weight on your weight belt, or you will sink like a rock. Remember that losing a tool will change your buoyancy possibly during ascent. The placement of each tool, or in fact, any piece of equipment is critical. Everything must be stream lined and in a location where it is easily found. For example, what good is a back up light if you can't easily and quickly locate it and turn it on? The same thing applies to tools: why bring a crow bar if you can't use it or if your tools constantly drag and snag into each piece of wreckage as you swim by? Some divers attach a foot of line to the handle end of a sledge hammer, clip the loose end to their harness and jump in. This may sound acceptable at first, but once on the wreck, the loose hammer acts as a grapple hook and snags onto any piece of wreckage. Back on the boat, when divers usually feel a little safer, I've watched these hammers swing like a pendulum picking up momentum with each roll of the boat, all the time just missing the unsuspecting diver's kneecap.  Remember wreck diving is fun and exciting, but just because someone else dives with a hardware store full of equipment doesn't mean you have to. When working with tools on or inside a wreck, it is easy to misplace them. It seems like the wreck just eats up sledgehammers and chisels every time you put them down. In reality, the tools usually slide down into a crevice or are hidden by silt. To help to insure against the loss of such items, it is recommended that tools are painted a bright color, like fluorescent orange or yellow. Colored duct tape works just as well and seems to hold up even longer than the paint, especially as the tool starts to rust. Other tools may be kept on the boat until an artifact is found that requires that particular tool for removal. Some of these tools are monkey wrenches, car scissor jacks, hack saws, wedges, drift pins, adjustable wrenches, bolt cutters, and even pneumatic tools. Since many of these tools are quite heavy, most divers choose to bring them into the water only when needed for a particular project. They then transport them in a large tool bag, clipping it to the anchor line and letting it slide down independent of any divers. This system is often used on private boats and only with permission on charter boats, and, of course, it is necessary to make sure that no one is below before the bag is slid down the line. These bags are not attached in anyway to the diver, so he should not make any weight belt adjustments for them. At the end of the dive, the tool bag may be sent to the surface with a lift bag, or if the artifact needs more work, some tools may be left hidden on the wreck for the next day's dive. As a side note, air chisels do not seem to work well underwater. The problem is that it's hard to keep a forward force on the tool. Most often the diver moves back rather than the tool digging in. Hacksaws do work well, with the water acting as a coolant and lubricant for cutting. One trick is to install two blades in the saw, one cutting in each direction. This causes the saw to cut a wider slot and avoids binding. Spare blades can be mounted with duct tape to the top rim of the saw. Always remember to check your air and breathing rate constantly when doing any underwater work.
Hammer image courtesy

Underwater Cutting  One of the most difficult salvage jobs is cutting steel, brass or bronze while underwater. Here is a link to several underwater cutting tools like Broco Torches.

The Shipwreck Diving E-Book  Instant Downloadable E-Book 

Shipwreck Diving, by Capt. Dan Berg is a complete how to book about the sport of wreck diving. This book is packed with information and heavily illustrated with over 80 sensational color photographs.



Shipwreck Diving ebook
The complete diver's guide to mastering the skills of shipwreck diving.

Buy Now   only $9.95
6 MB instant download, printable  PDF file

Shipwreck Diving is a complete how to ebook about the sport of wreck diving. This downloadable PDF e-book is packed with information and heavily illustrated with over 80 sensational color photographs. Daniel Berg, a noted wreck diver, instructor and author of ten shipwrecks related books, describes all the basics of wreck diving. Topics include everything from equipment modifications, communication, and wreck penetration to artifact preservation. Dan also tells how to navigate on a wreck and be able to return to the anchor line after the dive. Why some divers find more artifacts and explains how to catch lobsters. Shipwreck Diving also covers such diverse topics as shipwreck research, photography, spear fishing and how to use an underwater metal detector. This exciting book tells all the tricks of the trade that until now have only been learned through years of experience. Shipwreck divers of all caliber will find Shipwreck Diving informative, rewarding and entertaining

Check out Capt. Dan's other shipwreck and Diving eBooks



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Copyright Capt. Dan Berg / Aqua Explorers Inc

2745 Cheshire Dr
Baldwin NY 11510


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