Wings, Stabiliser (Stab) Jackets and Buoyancy control devices (BCDs)
These are very important pieces of equipment. Stabiliser Jackets / Buoyancy control device (BCD) / Wings and Adjustable buoyancy life jackets (ABLJ) call them what you like!
All perform the same basic functions:
1: to provide buoyancy at the surface to keep diver and equipment afloat .
2: to be adjustable under water to provide neutral buoyancy.
3: to provide positive buoyancy underwater to be able to raise diver to surface.
4: to act as a support for cylinders and mounting points for accessories etc.
An ABLJ is worn like a horse collar. It has no mounting for cylinders but should float an unconscious diver face up at surface. Buoyancy control / stab jackets / wings etc. should not be described as lifejackets, as they will not guarantee to do this. Indeed, this is not what they were designed for.
There are so many types and styles it could take a dozen pages to explain them all, so here are just a few features:
- Single bag
- Double bag
- Double bladder
- Weight integrated
- Direct feeds
- Emergency cylinder
not to mention back plates, harnesses, etc.