Section 6 - Safety Equipment
"Dive Alert": This device connects to your BCD inflator hose. It works off the air in your tank and can be heard for up to a mile or so. This is an excellent safety item. The cost is around $50.
Signal Tube: (a/k/a "dive sausage") I strongly urge you to carry one of these on every dive. If for any reason you are separated from your kayak this is a critical piece of equipment when it comes to a rescuer spotting you in the water.
Signal Mirror: A small waterproof mirror that is red on one side.
Whistle: This one has no moving parts to foul up.
Glow Stick: Often referred to as Cyalume (trade name) sticks. One or two of these is a must in the event you need rescuing at night.
Cellular phone: Most people have a cell phone these days. I carry mine in a waterproof case. If you don't have a cell phone, all you need is an old cell phone that still works and has a charger. You can dial 911 or the Coast Guard (*USCG) from any cell phone that has no current service on it. I also carry in this case a plastic sandwich bag with my drivers license and a sheet of paper with emergency contact phone numbers. Be sure to have a fully charged battery in your phone.
Hand Pump: Used to bail out the kayak if it fills with water. That shouldn't happen under normal circumstances. This is one of those items you may need only once. Carrying one is your option. An easy and space saving alternative is to carry a large sponge (idea courtesy of Mark Theobald) which can be used to bail the kayak out. Another option is to carry a cut-off piece of a household container to act as a scoop.
Pre-printed Dive Slate: This suggestion was given to me by a good friend, Bob Jackson, who kayak dives with me when he visits Maui. Purchase a dive slate and fill it out with a permanent marker as shown below. Pencil in the pertinent information prior to diving. Attach one of these slates to each kayak in an area where it would be easily seen.
Water Bottle: Last but not least, the obvious but sometimes forgotten, a supply of drinking water.