A diver/employee of an ADCI Member Company purchased a used Kirby Morgan SL 27 online from a diving equipment supply company.
The selling company explicitly stated that the helmet had been serviced by a technician and was ready to dive. Once final payment was made, the seller stated that a technician would go over the helmet a second time prior to delivery.
A letter, delivered with the helmet, stated that an annual service had been conducted on the helmet, with a few noted exceptions. The appropriate Kirby Morgan forms also accompanied the helmet, filled out and signed by the owner of the selling company (as a technician).
Upon receipt of the helmet, the diver presented it to his company’s certified technician for a pre-service inspection, as is required for all incoming helmets at his company.
Although some of the parts appeared new (bent tube, diaphragm, dial-a-breath, dump flapper, and regulator flapper), it was clear that the rest of the helmet had not been serviced as stated, and was in poor condition.
Some of the findings included:
1. Several parts were non-functional or broken
2. Some connections, such as the bent-tube to side-block were only hand-tight
3. Other connections, such as the face-port screws, were bent, over-torqued, and/or seized. One screw had to be drilled out and removed with vise grips
4. Some of the connections at the side block were sealed with a type of plumber’s putty
5. The O-rings were flat, worn, and muddy
6. The O-ring seats were filthy
Some of these issues were easily addressed, while others were obviously more serious.
Regardless, all are indicative of a seller creating a false assurance that this helmet had been serviced by a Kirby Morgan technician and that it was fit to dive upon purchase.
• Since the helmet was purchased from an actual diving equipment store/company, the buyer had an added, albeit false, sense of security regarding the helmet’s condition and readiness to dive.
• The seller twice claimed that the work was conducted by a “technician”, and used the helmet manufacturer’s overhaul and inspection forms to support this work. However, there is no evidence that the technician was certified by the manufacturer to conduct the work to begin with, nor was the work actually done to the manufacturer’s specifications.
• The helmet had to be completely overhauled by a certified technician in order to ensure safe operation. Unfortunately, the diver had additional out of pocket expenses due to the additional parts and repairs that were required to make it serviceable.
• Had the diver’s employer not had a protocol for ensuring the operability of this helmet, the buyer may not have been aware of some of the more serious problems. Worse yet, this helmet could have been used as life support equipment shortly after purchase and, given its condition, it could have caused serious injury or death.
www.smp-ltd.com - Official Reseller of Kirby Morgan Diving Equipment