Our top 10 safety tips for scuba diving
Diving is a relatively safe sport, but diving accidents can happen anytime. With careful preparation, skill confidence and common sense, such accidents can be effectively minimized. Besides that, you need to learn emergency procedures and know how to avoid dangerous situations. Here we offer basic guidelines to reduce the chances of scuba diving fatalities and injuries.
1. Don’t hold your breath
Holding breath underwater can result in serious injuries and even death. Normally, when you hold your breath, the air in your lungs can no longer escape, and ultimately, the alveoli will rupture, causing severe damage to the lungs walls. It’s advisable to keep breathing continuously to allow the excess air to escape.
2. Practice safe ascents
Make sure you ascend slowly and safely every time. When you exceed the safe ascent rate; pressure usually decreases, hindering nitrogen present in the bloodstream from dissolving back into solution. This leads to decompression sickness as air bubbles form in the bloodstream. Always maintain an ascent rate of 9 meters per minute.
3. Establish positive buoyancy
Dangerous diving situations not only occur underwater. They also occur on the surface due to fatigue, panic and unconsciousness. Establishing positive surface buoyancy conserves energy, and prevents exhaustion and drowning. When on the surface, fully inflate your BCD and drop your weights if necessary.
4. Dive within your limits
Diving should be fun and safe, not uncomfortable. If you are not mentally and physically capable to dive, it’s recommended to cancel the dive or change the location. Never attempt wreck penetrations or deep dives if you’re not a qualified, skilled diver.
5. Rule of thirds
The rule of thirds is key to air-supply management. When applying this rule, designate a third of your air supply for the descent trip, a third for the ascent trip, and the final third for safety purposes. This rule is perfect for drift dives.
6. Stay physically fit
Our time underwater is enjoyable and relaxing. But diving in strong currents, exposure to extreme weather, carrying gear and long surface swims can make diving a physically demanding activity. Maintaining a great level of personal fitness is essential to diving safely.
7. Practice vital skills
Basic diving and lifesaving skills are crucial for diver safety. Know how to conduct a CESA, how to disconnect the pressure inflator and how to use your buddy’s alternative air source. Good buoyancy control is also crucial to avoiding risky uncontrolled ascents.
8. Plan your dive
Properly plan and prepare for your dive. This ensures your safety underwater. Agree on maximum depth and time with your dive buddy or instructor before submerging. Similarly, be aware of lost-diver and emergency procedures in your area.
9. Check your gear
Your equipment boosts your survival underwater. If your equipment malfunctions, it could lead to a life-threatening situation for you. Make sure you check your gear and know how to use it before a dive.
10. Use the buddy system
Diving alone is ok, but to stay safe and have a helping hand in case of an emergency, it’s better to dive with a buddy. Remember, when you dive alone, you die alone.
Need that extra safety? Why not use a scuba diving company. Or you can just forget the scuba diving altogether and go snorkelling instead. Be sure to visit: www.australianwildlifejourneys.com/plan-your-trip/special-interest-activities/snorkelling for more resources.