• Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

How to Stay Safe While Scuba Diving

ByKyle Henderson

Jul 20, 2022
Man verifying air tank for scuba diving.Man verifying air tank for scuba diving.

Whether you’re just starting out or an experienced diver, there are a few simple things you can do to stay safe while scuba diving.

The first is to know your limits, both physically and mentally. If you’re not feeling confident or capable of a dive, cancel it or change to a site that is more within your comfort zone.

  1. Know Your Limits

While diving is an exciting experience, it’s important to know your limits. Not only will this keep you safe and reduce your risks of getting hurt, but it will also allow you to enjoy the experience to the fullest!

One of the most common safety issues is that divers get too excited and start swimming too fast. This can lead to fatigue and increased air consumption. This can also make it difficult to maintain neutral buoyancy, which is crucial for keeping yourself safe while underwater.

Another common safety issue is a diver getting separated from their buddy. This can be a dangerous situation as it can lead to serious injuries or death.

This is why it’s very important to stay with your buddy at all times while scuba diving. They will be your lifeline while under the water and they can help you navigate if you become lost or confused.

They will also be able to alert you if something isn’t right or you are feeling uneasy. They are also an excellent source of communication and can provide you with information about the environment, waves, currents, temperatures, and visibility.

Aside from these basic tips, there are many other things that divers should be aware of. These can include:

  1. Don’t Hold Your Breath
    This rule is the most important of all scuba diving rules. This is because it can lead to an air embolism, which is a serious injury that can result in death. This occurs when the air in your lungs expands during ascent, and it is pushed against the walls of your lungs. Eventually, it will break out of the air bubbles and find its way to arteries and other organs.
  2. Don’t Hold Your Breath

In scuba diving training, the most important rule is to always breathe normally and never hold your breath. This is due to Boyle’s law, which states that the air inside your lungs expands during ascent and contracts during descent. This means that if you hold your breath during a dive, you could end up with a lung over expansion (also known as a pneumothorax) or an arterial gas embolism, which can be fatal.

A lung over expansion is a serious condition that can cause pulmonary barotrauma, which is characterized by difficulty breathing and pain. It is also possible for an alveolar rupture to occur, which is a rupture of the lining of your lungs that can cause serious damage and even death.

Fortunately, a diver can avoid these problems by always breathing properly and continuously throughout their entire dive. If they do not, they should take a safety stop at the end of their dive and ensure they have enough air to get back to the surface safely.

There is a tendency among divers to hold their breath while scuba diving, as they believe it will help them conserve air. This can be dangerous and counter to what you were taught in scuba diving training.

The most common reason that people hold their breath underwater is because they are worried about losing too much oxygen or being unable to ascend quickly. However, this should be the exception and not the rule.

This is a dangerous and unnecessary practice because it can lead to an alveolar rupture or pulmonary barotrauma. As soon as you notice these symptoms, it’s crucial that you seek medical attention immediately.

  1. Stay With Your Buddy

There’s no doubt that having a buddy on your dive is an invaluable asset. They can provide a second set of eyes if something goes wrong underwater, help you get untangled from kelp, notice symptoms of narcosis, and much more.

However, it’s important to remember that buddy separation is a real possibility. The best way to avoid this is to establish a lost-buddy plan before you dive. This involves agreeing on a safety stop time, how long you’ll search for each other underwater, and how you will surface together when the dive is done.

In good visibility, buddies should stay within 3-4 meters (10-13 feet) of each other. During low visibility or drift dives, divers should decrease this distance to whatever is necessary for them to maintain a visual on each other.

To keep you and your buddy in touch, make sure you have a dive light switched on at all times and carry it around your buoyancy compensator. Flicker the light as you turn or use your buddy signalling device (tank banger, whistle, etc.) to alert your partner that you’re turning.

If you can’t see your buddy, take out your delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB) or safety sausage to alert them that you’re near the surface. Alternatively, try a slow visual 360deg spin to see if you can spot their bubbles or other indicators that they may be nearby.

You and your buddy should also fill in your logbook straight after your dive, so you have a record of the dive’s highlights. This will help you remember and share the experiences you had on your dive, as well as give you a chance to discuss any issues or challenges that you might have encountered on the dive.

  1. Know How Much Air You Have

Having a good knowledge of your air consumption rate (SCR) is one of the most important things you can do as a diver. It will help you plan your dive accordingly so that you can avoid any unnecessary stress.

This will help you conserve air during your dive and prolong your time underwater. Also, it will help you increase your safety margins and decrease the risk of decompression sickness.

It’s also important to make sure that you don’t waste any of your air supply by using more than your tank can hold. This is especially true when diving in a group.

Another thing you should do is check your air gauge frequently. This is the only way you can be sure that you have enough air for the entire dive.

You can also communicate your air level with other divers by using hand signals. For example, you can tap two fingers lightly onto the palm of your buddy’s opposite hand and say “100 bar.”

There are also some other useful hand signals that you can use during a dive, such as the thumbs up and the ”OK” sign. These signs can be used to ask other divers if they’re okay or to let them know that you need help.

Another important hand signal is the ”Not OK” sign, which can be used to tell other divers that something is wrong. This can be a sign of trouble equalizing or a problem with your air source.

  1. Don’t Rush

One of the most important scuba diving safety tips is to not rush. It’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of the dive and make an impulsive decision that could end up killing you.

It is also important to remember that scuba diving can be dangerous if you have certain health problems, so it is best to consult with your doctor before you decide to scuba dive. This is especially true for people with breathing difficulties or respiratory issues like asthma.

Before you head out on a dive, plan ahead to ensure you have enough time to get to your destination, park and suit up. This will also allow you to check your gear and make sure everything is working properly.

Another important rule is to equalize your ears and mask before you start your dive. This is a crucial step for protecting your eardrums from damage and preventing decompression sickness, a condition that can be fatal if not treated quickly.

Moreover, it’s important to ascend slowly from your dive. This is a simple but effective way to protect yourself from decompression sickness, which occurs when nitrogen builds up in your bloodstream.

This can be caused by a number of factors, including the pressure change that occurs at depth and the increased amount of air you use in the water. You should also try to limit the time you spend at depth, since a longer descent can increase your risk of getting into an accident.

It is also important to take the time to acclimate yourself to the water before diving, as this will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed. This is especially important if you are new to diving and have not had a lot of time to become familiar with the sea.