Scuba Safety Tips
We dive for fun and we don't want that to stop.
Follow these tips and you will have a long and enjoyable diving experience.
Get proper training
This is one cardinal rule of safe diving. Having proper training will make you much more comfortable underwater and that is key to having a safe dive.
The best place to start, of course, is by taking a scuba diving certification course.
Don't hold your breath
This is probably the #1 cardinal rule of diving. Remember to always breathe slowly and continuously. Do it in a relaxed manner and exhale fully.
Don't take short, shallow breathes and never hold your breath. Holding your breath underwater can lead to lung injuries.
Be in good physical shape
You must simply come prepared — physically prepared, that is, because scuba diving requires some degree of physical fitness for you to make the most of it. A fit diver has better consumption of air, does not get exhausted easily, can maximize his dive time and be able to make more dives.
Never dive alone! Use the buddy system!
The buddy system is one of scuba diving's safety rules that pairs two or more divers together. Buddy teams should also include pre-dive safety checks, such as air supply, depth and time limits, before entering the water. Diving with a buddy nearby at all times increases safety, practicality and fun. The distance between buddies while diving is usually determined by the conditions and the level of visibility.
Ascend slowly and with control
As you ascend you are ridding your body of nitrogen in your tissues and bloodstream. If you ascend too quickly, you risk decompression sickness.
1. Begin your ascent early. Remember, proper ascent takes time. Therefore, it is important to always keep track of your remaining breathing air. Also, make sure that you have not exceeded the no-decompression limits. If you have, prepare to make decompression stops at recommended depths.
2. Agree with your buddy. Don’t initiate an ascent, unless both you and your buddy are ready. Show a clear thumb up hand signal and wait for a confirmation to make sure your buddy is aware the dive is ending. Stay face to face and within touching distance from each other as you come up.
3. Lookup. reach up and come up. This is a very important step that involves a few things, in particular examining your ascent path and deflating your BCD.
First, look up and around, searching for possible obstacles, so that you don’t bump your head on something as you ascend.
The second part is raising the inflate/deflate hose above your head in preparation for venting the expanding air from your BCD. Depending on the type of you BCD, this may be done differently, however, the important part is to vent the expanding air to prevent rapid, uncontrolled ascent. The rule of thumb is to ascend without using your BCD, but performing relaxed fin kicks.
4. Monitor your ascent rate carefully. As you begin the ascent, place your depth gauge or dive computer in such a position that will allow you to constantly keep an eye on your ascent rate. It is recommended to not exceed the rate of 60 feet (18 m) per minute. Ascending even slower will give you an added margin of safety.
Make safety stops
Always do a safety stop between 15 and 20 feet (5 and 6 meters) for at least 3 minutes after every dive. You can use this time to offgas, check your equipment and plan the final phase of the ascent. In order to make a safety stop easier, you can carefully grasp a stable object, such as a downline, hang bar, anchor or mooring line. Remember, you should leave the safety stop together with your buddy, both carefully monitoring your ascent rate and the surface above.
Check your equipment
You don't want to find out the regulator doesn't work once you are underwater. Checking equipment is especially important if you are renting.
If you own your regulator and haven't dove in a while, it should also be serviced to make sure it is working properly. Do a check of the regulator hoses also.
Being relaxed and comfortable underwater is key to a successful dive. If something happens:
Do not panic and rush to the surface (I know it is easier said than done). But observing this scuba diving safety rule could be key to a safe dive.
Plan your dive and dive your plan
Prior to going under, you and your buddy should know the max depth you will go, the amount of bottom time you'll have and how much air you will start to ascend with. Check your air supply often. You should also agree on the hand signals you will use to communicate underwater.
This is by now means an exhaustive list, but if you follow these scuba diving safety rules, you greatly increase your chance of a safe and incident free dive. And of course that's what we all want.
So when you go diving, take your time, relax, think and go through your safety checklist.
SAFE DIVING TO ALL BUDDIES!!!!!!
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