Read these 11 Safe Scuba Diving Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Scuba Diving tips and hundreds of other topics.
Everybody wants to have a good time on their vacation, and for some, that includes alcohol. But if you are going scuba diving, it's a good idea to limit your alcohol consumption, as it leads to dehydration (not to mention those hangovers!). An important tip for safe scuba diving is to remain well hydrated. Be sure to drink plenty of bottled water, get sufficient rest, and hold off on drinking alcohol until the diving day is finished.
From a cave diving course, I learned the importance of streamlining, and "tightening up" my dive gear. For scuba diving safety, avoid dangling hoses, straps, or other items that might entangle you in kelp, a wreck, the reef, or just catch onto the seat of the dive boat as you are making your entry. Eliminate the "dangerous dangles" and you will be a safer, better, and more accomplished scuba diver.
Wearing lead as part of your dive kit can help or hurt your ability to dive comfortably and safely. Too much lead will require that you put a lot of air in your BCD, adding unnecessary drag as you swim. Not enough lead will have you constantly working to stay down. The key is to wear just enough scuba diving weight that you can stay at ten feet without struggling as your tank pressure nears its lower limits, 300-500 p.s.i.
One important scuba diving safety procedure is to make sure that certain pieces of your scuba dive gear fit you properly, especially for beginning scuba divers. Your mask must be comfortable and not allow any water leakage. Your BCD should be snug enough that it does not ride around in the water. Booties and fins should be comfortable and not cause discomfort or blisters. Not sure how to make the scuba diving gear fit well? Visit your local scuba dive store and get a professional fit. Your diving will be all the more enjoyable for it.
In order to exercise safety when scuba diving and to ascend slowly, you must have air in your tank. Monitoring your air supply and air consumption is critical frequently throughout your dive. By the time you are down to 1,000 p.s.i., you should be well aware to where your dive boat or the beach is. By 500 p.s.i. you should be in the process of making a slow, controlled ascent back to surface. Monitoring your air supply is absolutely critical to your well being. Watch your gauges constantly throughout your dive and never, never run out of air.
There are many scuba diving safety tips that help to make diving an easy and safe sport. But most important is to remain within the no-decompression limits and to ascend slowly on every dive. Do not swim directly to the surface from depth. Rather, on each and every dive you make, pause your ascent for a minute or two at 20 feet, and again at 10 feet to make preventative decompression stops. Making a habit of this proceedure will enable you to grow up to be an old mossback diver like me! :-)
Who needs a checkout dive? Unless you have been diving in the last few weeks, you do. At the beginning of a scuba diving trip, or better yet, in advance assemble your scuba dive gear on a full tank and go diving off the beach or in controlled circumstances. Be sure all of your scuba diving equipment is working correctly, that you are properly weighted, and that you are comfortable in the water. Stretch your legs and experiment with your buoyancy, then practice your scuba breathing. The result of a checkout dive will be a safer, more enjoyable scuba dive trip.
Taking underwater photos can be both rewarding and frustrating. Rest assured, it requires a great deal of concentration. Before you try scuba diving with cameras underwater, be sure you are fully confident in your skills as a scuba diver. Understand buoyancy, scuba breathing, and refine your watermanship before you add the considerable additional concerns of photography underwater.
When preparing for a boat dive, be a smart diver, arrive early to the dive boat, find a good spot, and set up your scuba dive gear before the boat even leaves the dock. Keep mask, fins, and other loose scuba diving equipment in a mesh bag under your seat where they can't be lost or broken. Stay out of the sun as much as possible, wear sun block, and if there is any chance of seasickness, take Bonine a couple of hours before departure. Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Plan your dive entry and know how to get back on board after the dive. If you have questions about the dive plan, ask the divemaster before you hit the water. And if all goes well, as it should if you follow these tips, remember to leave a tip for the divemaster and boat crew before you disembark. They'll appreciate it, and be even more glad to see you the next day.
One very important scuba diving safety procedure whether you are beach diving or boat diving is scuba diving with boat traffic. Before surfacing from a dive, look and carefully listen for boat engines, which can approach very rapidly, seemingly out of nowhere. When swimming on the surface, always be prepared to make an emergency diving descent should a boat approach. Above all, never attempt to swim back to your dive boat from underwater. Slowly ascend a few yards away from the boat, and approach it on the surface only when you are sure that a crew member has seen you and that the boat is stationary.
Monitoring air supply is such an important factor to safe diving that you should practice to control and reduce your air consumption. Swim slowly and efficiently and don't waive your arms around or make rapid body movements. Rather than hyperventilating, be mindful of taking long slow inhalations and exhale equally long. Never hold your breath. If you are still having trouble keeping up with the air-consumption of your dive buddies or the dive guide, make a point of swimming ten feet shallower than the others in your group because depth directly affects your air consumption. Relax, control your breathing, and you will become a better diver.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|