Custom Divers SEE-ME

The illuminated DSMB is a very bright idea

Author: Pat
4th February 2012

The Custom Divers SEE-ME is a standard surface marker buoy with a twist: it’s illuminated.

Anyone who dives in the open ocean should consider the Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB) a standard piece of kit. Deployment skills are taught early on under major training agencies PADI and BSAC, and with good reason. Being invisible to surface cover or lost at sea are situations to be avoided.

UK-based technical outfit Custom Divers previously enhanced the basic design of the DSMB to create one that shows up on radar. The Seeker is no bigger than a standard bag but contains a latticework structure inside reflecting radio waves back from up to a couple of miles away. In spite of this, somehow the Seeker still rolls away into a pocket like any normal buoy.

But how to improve the DSMB further? Meet the SEE-ME. At first glance it’s a fairly conventional DSMB, and as sturdily tough and durable as you’d expect from Custom Divers. But don’t be fooled – this is a high visibility surface marker buoy that can be seen over far greater distances.

can be seen over far greater distances

The SEE-ME has a special trick up its sleeve. Take a closer look at the base and you’ll notice there’s a zipped pocket. Grab your torch or strobe – making sure it’s switched on, of course – slide it into the pocket and zip it up. You inflate the bag by sticking a hose onto the non-locking low pressure inflator (or orally, if preferred). The SEE-ME can then be filled with air and sent to the surface from depth, or deployed to make the skipper’s job easier during recovery.

With a light source inside, the luminescent material of the SEE-ME lights up like a Christmas tree and can be seen from all directions over a great distance, particularly in gloomy conditions or at night. In emergency situations an illuminated DSMB is easily spotted by boats and rescue helicopters, and unlike a flare, will continue to glow for hours.

The SEE-ME is available in two sizes. The CDSE1 smaller version has a 9-kilogram lift capacity and comes in either orange or ‘emergency’ yellow. Available in orange only is the larger SEE-ME, which also has an opening at the bottom to fill using your regulator – plus an extra elasticated grab handle for hangs. The CDSE2 lifts a whopping 31 kilograms.

Both versions have an overpressure valve at the base.

Bear in mind that the SEE-ME is useful in other sports and situations too. Even with a relatively modest pocket torch, this marker buoy will shine with a glow of reassurance for as long as the batteries last – which could be up to 50 hours. Mountain walkers, yachtsmen, take note: throw one in your bag next time you go out, and it can be deployed in seconds for when you need to be noticed in a hurry.

Out of harm’s way, we found a temptation to indulge in a mock-Lightsabre battle. But whether deployed for fun or in anger, the Custom Divers SEE-ME should ‘force’ you to look at the DSMB in a whole new light.

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