Monday, 22 August 2016


I’ve been a fan of Dive Signs for a number of years for identification since I cleaned up my cylinders of all the unnecessary ‘crap’… 

In general cylinder stickers are simply unnecessary and end up getting damaged anyway from loading/unloading and squeezing into small spaces.  You also don’t look cool, which as everyone knows, is the most important rule of diving.  In all seriousness, most dive centres check the cylinder test date from the stamp anyway, and O2 clean stickers are generally positioned on the inside (backplate side) so they are protected.  Therefore, most other stickers are irrelevant. 

…So with more and more people adopting clean cylinders, and a similar diving configuration (see my series of blogs here) it can become increasingly more difficult to identify divers underwater, or even equipment when topside (especially cylinders left at a filling station).  This is why I use Dive Signs on all my cylinders.

Dive Signs currently do the following range of stickers:
Alien (glow in the dark).
MOD (maximum operating depth).
Diver ID (available in standard or explorer styles).
SOLAS (Safety of life at sea – for DSMBs).
Alert marker (to go over existing SOLAS tape on DSMBs).
Stealth (similar to Diver ID but only visible under bright light).
Rebreather (similar to Diver ID but for oxygen and diluent).
Wheelie bin (because why not).

I’ve had experience with Gas analysis, Diver ID and SOLAS stickers.

I used to use the Gas analysis stickers and they worked really well providing you fitted them correctly (ie use a small amount of heat so the sticker mounds to the shoulder of the cylinder).  They come complete with all the appropriate markings; O2, He, MOD, fill pressure, date and initials.  The only reason I stopped using these is because I kept forgetting a cleaning agent so went back to tape and marker pen.

I’m a big fan of the Diver ID stickers and they do on all my cylinders, boxes and my primary light.  The original version of these stickers (as seen on my primary light) came as 2 layers; the reflective backing and the lettering.  This had the very small issue in that the sticker could easily wear or scuff.  New newer version is much more durable as it comes with a laminated protective layer on top.  The new stickers are much thicker to handle, but surprisingly easier to fit.


The adhesive is really strong once bonded so you don’t have to worry about them falling off, however I would add that if you need to remove them, removing the sticky residue from the cylinders can be a pain!

12 months ago, I was the unfortunate victim of a theft which resulted in over £10,000’s worth of equipment stolen from my car.  As you can see from the picture below, identification on the thief’s Gumtree advert was easy and the majority of my equipment was returned.

More information on this, and the importance of insurance can be found here.

The stickers are so durable that my club has started using them to ID their cylinders.

I use the SOLAS stickers on my DSMBs and lift bags.  I’ve not had an issue fitting these although I have had the odd corner peel which was easily fixed with aquasure, but then what do you expect when it’s constantly being rolled/unrolled? 


The new version also comes complete with the laminated protective layer.  And your mobile number can also be added, just in case you lose it.

Last year my wife lost her DSMB and reel whilst diving in Cornwall.  Fortunately it was found at returned, all because of the Dive Signs stickers.

I do own some MOD stickers but do not currently use them as I still prefer pen and tape, but that’s just a personal opinion.

Overall, Dive Signs produce an excellent product with a number of different applications.  Take a look around any of the UK inland dive sites (and coastal sites) and you’ll see them everywhere.  I’ve been purchasing these for my own equipment for years and will continue to do so when required.

The boring bit!
All opinions expressed in my articles are my own and may differ to other instructor’s and agency guidelines; by no means are they wrong and I would not wish to disrepute any of them.  This article is for information only and should not replace proper training.

Safe diving!

Timothy Gort
BSAC, PADI & SDI/TDI diver training
l Mob: 07968148261 l Email: l