Offshore - Diving on the Prop | Sailing Blog - Technical Hints and Tips - Sailing Television

Offshore - Diving on the Prop

Offshore! We got a net caught on the prop as we were halfway to Porto Santo...

Rolling ocean swells mean you have to be careful not to get hit with the boat as you dive in clear blue water... I wore my weight belt and wetsuit so I would have protection against scrapes, and neutral buoyancy so as not to be coming up against the bottom. Some people have recommended a bicycle helmet for added protection but I haven’t tried this.
Offshore deep water - you can see Porto Santo on the horizon in the background!
The net was visible trailing astern…
There might be a lot to cut through if something is wrapped tightly around the prop, so I usually dive with a divers knife on my leg, or a folding knife - but be careful with knives as the boat is bouncing…
paul diving offshore deep blue
Under the boat you need to be careful not to get hit by the boat/prop/rudders as the boat moves in the swell. My weight belt gives me neutral buoyancy so I don't float up into the boat. When I was down there it was easy to see how to untangle it without needing a knife to do it.
If you are not comfortable holding your breath underwater you might consider a hookah-style apparatus or small pony tank. But be sure to practice with it before heading offshore when you might need it.
paul and autoprop
But as I got it off the prop I got slightly tangled in the net and then it got away from me... so its still out there floating…
paul and net

Happy ending!

The net came off the propeller - and we even managed to film the whole operation!
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