Website Options

Options below affect the visual display. Choices are stored using browser cookies.

  • The low bandwidth option causes most images to disappear and stops external fonts from loading.

  • The underlined links option causes all website links to become underlined, making them easier to distinguish.

  • The high contrast option causes colors to change to mostly black and white.

Utility Navigation


The content listed below has been tagged with the topic "Safety." Explore other topics to discover additional exciting content.

Result Filters

July 7, 2016
NOAA Diving Control and Safety Board (NDCSB) meeting
Tools and gear that should be included in a NOAA Divemaster kit.
July 30, 2015
Media: Image
Frequently Asked Question

What should I send to the SEP for service?

The following equipment must be sent back to the Standardized Equipment Program (SEP) office for annual service:

  • Primary regulator first stage and second stages with pressure gauge, UWATEC, and LP inflator hose
  • Reserve Air Supply System (RASS) regulator first and second stages with pressure gauge
  • Alternate Air Source with Buoyancy Compensator connector (remove from BCD at shoulder)

The most convenient way to safely pack the items for shipping is to put them in your regulator bag.

The shipping address is:

Standardized Equipment Program
NOAA Diving Center
7600 Sand Point Way NE, Building 8
Seattle, WA 98115

If you have any questions, please send an e-mail message to

Frequently Asked Question

How can I test my compressor relief valves and pressure gauges?

Considering the need for extra equipment to do this and the potential complications, the NOAA Diving Program recommends having a service technician for your particular brand of compressor test the relief valves and calibrate the gauges during routine compressor servicing. Some pressure relief valves, most likely very high pressure ones, may need to be sent to the manufacturer for testing.

Interestingly, not all valves can be tested. Some spring activated valves will reset upon release; these valves may be tested. Other valves are one-use only and when activated will not reset; these valves cannot be tested. The manufacturer will know which valves are installed on the compressor.

Frequently Asked Question

How often are DUSA inspections conducted?

Diving Unit Safety Assessments (DUSA) are conducted by DUSA inspectors at each diving unit site once every three years. Diving units conduct their own inspections every year and submit the results to their Unit Diving Supervisor. 

Frequently Asked Question

What is over bottom diving?

Over bottom diving occurs when a diver is able to see the sea floor or bottom but it is too deep to be accessed.

Frequently Asked Question

What is blue water diving?

Blue water diving occurs when divers cannot see the sea floor or other bottom landmarks during their dive. 

Frequently Asked Question

What kind of diver recall system should I get?

At this time, the NOAA Diving Program does not have a specific brand requirement. Feel free to buy one that you like. 

Frequently Asked Question

Where can I get more RASS bottles (13 cu ft)?

NOAA diving units can:

  • purchase Reserve Air Supply System (RASS) bottles at a local dive store
  • contact the NOAA Diving Program and we will send you as many as you need
Frequently Asked Question

How do I wear a RASS?

The Reserve Air Supply System (RASS) is worn by NOAA Divers on their right side, as shown in the illustration below.

If a NOAA Diver wishes to use the RASS in a different configuration, a waiver request must be submitted through the diver's Unit Diving Supervisor to the Line or Staff Office Diving Officer. 


  • RASS cylinder valves are never to have a cap. The cap and string may interfere with opening the valve and/or removing the second stage from the bag. 
  • Don’t forget to remove RASS cylinders from the pouch to minimize cylinder oxidation. The bottom of the cylinders are especially prone to damage. 


Drawing of NOAA wetsuit configuration with Reserve Air Supply System

Appendix 7-1 drawing from the July 14, 2011 NOAA Working Diving Standards and Safety Manual (NWDSSM) illustrating a NOAA diver wetsuit configuration. Mask: eyes. Snorkel: left side of head. Regulator: mouth, hose over right shoulder. Buoyancy Compensator Device (BCD) inflator hose: left shoulder. Inline alternate air source: left shoulder. BCD: right side. Reserve Air Supply System (RASS): right side. Whistle: left shoulder. Weight belt: waist, right hand release. Gauge console: under left arm. Fins: carried in hand. Knife: right ankle.


"Access controlled" content.