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From Products Liability Law Daily, November 12, 2014

Aqua Lung expands recall of buoyancy compensators

By Pamela C. Maloney, J.D.

Aqua Lung America, of Vista, California, has expanded its March 2013 recall (CPSC Recall Notice, No. 13-146) of buoyancy compensators with SureLock II weight pocket handles to include an additional 30,000 units in the United States and another 11,300 in Canada. According to the company, the rubber handles can detach as divers are trying to remove the weight pockets to rise to the surface in an emergency. This poses a drowning hazard (CPSC Recall Notice, No. 15-022, November 12, 2014).

Incidents and injuries. Aqua Lung is aware of an additional 50 reports of the handles detaching from the weight pockets; however, no injuries have been reported.

Product description. The current recall involves all Aqua Lung buoyancy compensator vests with SureLock II rubber handles attached to the weight pockets, including those with SureLock II handles that were replaced in the previous recall. The handles are gray rubber, measure about 2 inches tall by 4 inches wide and extend from the forward end of the ditchable weight pockets. SureLock II handles were installed in most Aqua Lung and one model of Apeks buoyancy compensators including: all discontinued Black Diamond, Pro QD and Pro QDi3 models with serial numbers lower than BB408620. The recall also includes all Apeks Black Ice, Axiom, Axiom i3, Balance, Dimension, Libra, Lotus, Pearl, Pearl i3, ProLT and Zuma models with serial numbers lower than BB408620. The buoyancy compensator’s model name is embroidered on the inside back pad or on the right lobe. “Sure Lock” is molded into the back of the weight pocket. The serial numbers are located on a tag under the back pad of the buoyance compensator or inside the pocket. Earlier models could have the number printed on a tag behind the hook and loop inflator hold down on the left shoulder.

The buoyancy compensators, which were manufactured in China and Mexico, were sold at sporting goods and scuba diving stores nationwide from September 2008 through October 2014 for between $460 and $700 for the buoyancy compensator with the weight pockets.

Remedy. Consumers should stop using the recalled buoyancy compensators immediately and return the two weight pockets to an authorized Aqua Lung dealer to receive a free inspection and free newly-designed replacement weight pocket handles.

Customer contact. For more information, consumers should contact Aqua Lung toll-free at (855) 355-7170 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or and click on Recall Notice.

Companies: Aqua Lung America

MainStory: TopStory ProductRecallsNews CPSCNews SportsandRecEquipmentNews

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