The key guy when diving under
ice is the man at the surface on the other end of the line.
There is a series of signals, pulls on the line to say "feed
out", "take in" or "s**t! - drag us back now!" The line should
be kept taught enough to pass signals, but not so taught as
to make movement difficult for the divers and in an emergency
the man at the surface could pull both divers manually back
to the surface.
As a line man it's one of those
very dull, and usually very cold (especially on
the hands if you hadn't brought the right mitts to handle the
wet rope) but vitally important jobs that you can't for a minute
stop concentrating on. For most of us, the fact that on another
occasion, we would be the ones under the ice concentrated the
mind very well and helped to give the divers confidence in their
mate at the surface.
There is also the fact that under-ice
diving is FANTASTIC! so who cares about the extra effort
if you get to do something so great.
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