Diving safety is the aspect of underwater diving operations and activities related to the safety of the participants. The safety of underwater diving depends on 4 factors:
The environment, the equipment, behavior of the individual diver, and performance of the dive team. The underwater environment can put severe physical and psychological stress on a diver and is beyond the diver’s control.
Equipment is used to operate underwater for anything beyond very short periods, and the reliable function of some of the equipment is critical to short term survival. It is recommended to use the best prescription scuba mask. Other equipment allows the diver to operate in comfort and efficiency.
A certified recreational diver is generally responsible for their own safety, and to a lesser, and poorly defined extent, for the safety of their dive buddy.
What Should Divers Do For Their Own Safety?
Here are the tips for all divers to keep in mind to ensure that they are diving safely.
You’ve heard it before – plan the dive, and dive the plan. Planning a dive is important when it comes to safety. Although this is important for difficult or deep dives, it still applies to every dive that you do.
2. Verify The Safety Of Your Equipment:
Check your equipment a week prior you plan to dive. Make sure everything has been serviced and maintained properly. Use the scuba dive cameras and check batteries of your dive computer and underwater torch.
When you arrive at your destination and are ready to kit up, check that your equipment is working properly. If you are diving with a buddy, then check his equipment also and ask him to check all your gear too.
3. Test New Equipment In A Controlled Environment:
Test out a new piece of equipment. However, for safety, it is always best to first test new equipment in controlled conditions. The best option is to test it in a swimming pool.
If that is not possible, then use it during an easy shallow dive first. You don’t want to struggle with new equipment on a deeper dive.
4. Make Sure You Are Ready To Dive:
Along with the equipment, your body needs to be ready to dive. If you are feeling ill or unprepared to dive:
listen to the messages that your body is sending you. It’s more important to miss a dive as you’re not feeling up to it than to take risks.
5. Find Out About The Current Conditions:
Before you dive you must have an accurate assessment of sea conditions. The surface conditions may affect the safety of boat launches.
The water temperature is important because that determines what type of wetsuit to wear. Being too cold or too hot when you dive is uncomfortable and may compromise your safety. Find out what the underwater conditions are.
If there is very poor visibility, very strong currents, or other problematic conditions then it is safer to postpone the dive to another day.
6. Dive Within Your Limits:
You must have often wondered, How deep can you dive? But Under no circumstances one should dive beyond his limits.
If you are only qualified to dive to a certain depth, then ensure that the dive plan doesn’t exceed that depth. This applies to specialized diving with additional certification.
Do not attempt something like cave diving unless you have qualified by completing the related certification.
7. An Alert Diver Is A Safe Diver:
There is a reason why divers are warned not to drink alcohol for 24 hours before diving.
You don’t need to have alcohol in your system when you dive because you need to be alert.
If you are having hungover or very tired, it is not advisable to dive. You need to be alert and focused to dive safely.
8. Consult Your Gauges Regularly:
If you are diving with a buddy, then let him know when you reach half your tank, and again when you reach your reserve.
You and your buddy should from time to time ask each other how much air the other has left.
9. Know The Dive Signals:
Marine life enthusiasts get excited about learning the signals for different species. The important hand signals are those pertaining to safety.
Make sure that both you and your buddy understand an array of signals. Not being able to convey messages accurately and understand each other underwater poses a safety risk.
10. Avoid Colliding With A Boat:
Always carry a marker buoy with you. Plan your ascent as close to your boat as possible. When you do your safety stop, be sure that you are at the recommended depth.
If you don’t control your depth and buoyancy properly then you face the risk of doing your safety stop at propeller depth.
Even if you are diving with a buddy or a team, you need to take responsibility for your own safety. It is up to you that you follow everything that you have learned about safe diving.
In this way, you will avoid endangering yourself, or the other divers with you on the dive.