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What Should Divers Do For Their Own Safety When Diving?
Divers should use common sense while diving, perform pre-dive safety checks, perform safety stops, stay away from alcohol, and more. Following the fundamental instructions and being aware of the risks can minimize many risks associated with diving.
Although it is well known that scuba diving can be dangerous, it can also be an exhilarating and fantastic experience. Certifications cover a large portion of diving safety, but much of it is plain sense.
This is without a doubt the most important of all diving safety rules, as failure to follow it could result in death. The fluctuating pressure of air in your lungs can rupture the lung walls if you hold your breath underwater at the depths that scuba divers reach.
The American Red Cross recommends a minimum water depth of 9 feet for head first dives, which include dives from pool decks.
Ascending slowly is critical for avoiding decompression sickness. Make safety stops at 15 feet and deep waters when appropriate during your ascent. Aim never to exceed 30 feet/ 9 meters per minute. During a dive, it is essential to check your depth gauge, watch the timer, and plan your surfacing point. Familiarizing yourself with your surroundings and being alert for surface objects like boat motors is essential.
While it is essential to avoid reverse squeeze, the most common reason to ascend slowly is for divers’ safety. When a diver ascends from deep water, the pressure of air decreases, and the exposure protection becomes buoyant. The most significant change in pressure is between 10m and the surface, so it is vital to ascend slowly to minimize the risk of decompression sickness.
However, it is not enough to follow a speed recommendation. Divers should be extra cautious in the last twenty feet of the ascent and, if possible, time the Dive so that you reach the surface promptly.
Before ascending, a diver should become neutrally buoyant and keep it there throughout the entire ascent. While ascending, the diver should avoid spending the entire time staring at the dive computer.
Instead, spend the time scanning the surface and rotating their body to get a full 360-degree view. Most organizations recommend that divers hold their low-pressure inflators at the highest point they can reach. This will help keep them from colliding into boat propellers.
Always have another diver with you
If diving with a buddy, you should know their limits before diving with them. You should dive to your certification level or the limits of your shallower buddy’s certification. If diving with someone else, you must frequently communicate with them about your limits. Always respect the limits of your buddy, as well as theirs. During a pre-dive safety check, the divers should know each other’s equipment and be aware of each other’s air release and alternate air sources.
Your equipment is vital to your underwater survival. Before your Dive, check all your equipment to ensure that everything is in working order, including your fins and mask. A buddy check will also be proper if you are unsure how to use your equipment. Most equipment-related accidents occur because a diver misunderstands how to use their gear. Always carry your dive flag, so other divers can see you if they need to pass you off as an inexperienced diver.
Regardless of your experience level, a good diver is always learning, and if you are unsure about something, contact the local dive shop. If you are nervous, talk to your buddy before your Dive, and if you feel uneasy, don’t dive with them. They should be less than a hand’s reach away from you. When diving, periodically check the surface to ensure it’s clear.
Always breathe underwater
If you are planning to dive, you should practice breathing underwater before diving into the water. Take a deep breath through your mouth, keeping your nose and mouth closed while you breathe. Once you feel comfortable and easy with this method, you can dive. Remember that holding your breath underwater is more dangerous than holding it on land.
Drowning or endangering yourself would be the last thing you want. Never dive into deep water without a mask.
Holding your breath while underwater can cause many problems, including lung injury. A lung injury caused by air bubbles escaping into the chest cavity and bloodstream. This can lead to a potentially fatal condition known as arterial gas embolism.
Children, powerful swimmers, are at risk for hyperventilation and can drown if left unsupervised. You can prevent this by reminding them to breathe whenever they swim and never leaving them unsupervised.
Always have a dive computer
A dive computer is essential equipment to always have for your safety. It can help you calculate your decompression time, surface air consumption rate, and air time remaining. Although these instruments are beneficial, divers should still use backup instruments and decompression tables. Before diving, check that your dive computer is working correctly. If it doesn’t, terminate your dive immediately.
A dive computer can be bulky but designed to look like a watch. Some of them have sleek designs, while others have chunky looks. The critical thing to remember is that these items should be worn underwater and not look lame. You don’t have to look like Kanye West to dive safely. You don’t need to be Kanye West to dive with a dive computer.
Dive computers track personal exposure to the two breathing gases, oxygen, and nitrogen. They help to maximize bottom time and avoid decompression sickness. They also keep track of individual movements in the water. A dive computer will re-sample depth every few seconds and warn you if you exceed safety standards. It can even prolong your stops if you need to. Moreover, most dive computers include emergency decompression instructions.
Skip the Alcohol Before the Dive
Alcohol or excessive alcohol consumption before diving will influence your performance in terms of being forgetful and enhance your nervousness and anxiety. Drug use is also included in this.
Also, understand that the majority of dives begin in the morning. Visiting the dive store while intoxicated or hungover is not a good idea. This puts both you and your diving companions in danger.
Keep your body in shape
In reality, diving can be physically exhausting because of the potential to work against solid currents, carry the equipment, and be exposed to harsh weather.
A quality hotel not only increases your endurance but also increases your air intake. In contrast, if you are unfit, this might make things more difficult for you and ultimately cause you to exhaust your resources much more quickly, making people anxious.
In diving, there are many considerations for safety, including depth, gas mixtures, and specialist equipment. It is crucial to stay within training limits. Open water divers, for example, can scuba Dive to a maximum depth of 18 meters. But most dive agencies limit divers to 60 feet. If you’re tempted to go deeper, you may not have the appropriate training. If you’re unsure, always consult your Dive professional.
Avoiding decompression sickness
The symptoms of decompression sickness can strike while a diver is underwater or 36 to 48 hours after. There is no cure for this ailment, but you can take measures to reduce your risk. For the most part, the best way to avoid decompression sickness is to avoid diving conditions that place you at risk. Stay within your training limits and strictly follow your dive table. If you suspect that you are experiencing decompression sickness, contact a dive master immediately.
During diving, nitrogen gas accumulates in the body tissues and bloodstream. This buildup causes decompression sickness symptoms. The amount of nitrogen a diver has in his body will depend on the depth, time under pressure, and rate of ascent. Decompression sickness symptoms may be more severe if the diver ascends too quickly or is coming up too quickly.
Symptoms of decompression sickness can range from minor to severe and can occur in people from any profession. The most common symptoms are muscle fatigue and joint pain, chest and abdominal pain, and loss of consciousness and vision. It can be challenging to keep balance while diving due to the pain of the lymph glands. The prognosis is even worse when the person develops symptoms in the head and neck.
Checking in with your buddy
Workplace buddy systems often involve regular check-ins with colleagues to ensure their well-being. A buddy provides the lone worker a second opinion and peace of mind. But like any system, buddy systems can fail when unforeseen incidents or circumstances arise. But sometimes, a buddy’s advice is invaluable for your safety. Some workers value having someone to consult with if an accident or hazard occurs.
A buddy system can be risky when a mobile signal is poor or nonexistent. If a lone worker doesn’t have a cell signal, they can’t reach their buddy in time. This increases the risk of a false alarm, resulting in expensive escalation procedures. Some lone worker safety solutions overcome these drawbacks and reduce response times. Here are three examples.
BWRAF (checking in with your buddy for safety) is commonplace in our daily lives. We fill out checklists before leaving home and ensure we’re prepared for unforeseen circumstances. Diving is no different. But if you’re new to the sport, buddy checks will help you prepare for the unknown and prevent you from facing problems. They also save you time! That’s why BWRAF is essential for your safety.
Be aware of your limitations
You should set and maintain your limits and those given in the agency training. Never go beyond your comfort zone or exert yourself.
Before the Dive, discuss your boundaries with your dive guide. Never push yourself or your companion beyond what is comfortable. Establishing such boundaries prevents anxiety—which can lead to perceptual narrowing.
Accidents involving the inability to control and resolve these issues underwater are frequently caused by anxiety and perceptual constriction.
Check your safety equipment
You need scuba diving equipment as a life support system if you want to spend a lot of time underwater. This fear and mistrust of gear might grow when diving with unfamiliar equipment. For this reason, having your diving gear is better depending on the rental gear.
It’s crucial to test your dive equipment in secure settings before you begin constructing it. For instance, you may suit up and dive into a pool to test your gear, ensure it works as it should, and get comfortable with it. Ensure you consistently service and maintain your equipment to build your confidence in it further. Never try to build replacement equipment or fix diving equipment yourself.
Before the Dive, you should inspect the equipment and perform your checks if renting it from a dive business. This includes testing the inflate/deflate controls and ensuring the BCD is leak-free, and smelling and tasting the air from the tank.
Additionally, make sure the scuba tank has had a recent visual inspection and look up the date of its hydrostatic test. When assuring a diver’s safety, equipment inspection is crucial.
Know the environment you dive in
It’s critical to familiarize yourself with your diving surroundings in addition to your diving gear. The following are examples of this.
- You must be aware of your limitations and never scuba dive in situations outside your training and certification scope.
- You should educate yourself on the diving conditions at the dive sites you plan to visit. Tidal conditions, currents, and surface conditions are also considered because they can differ from dive site to dive site.
- You must always be careful and aware of your surroundings, including where your dive partner is.
Make A Safety Stop
A safety stop is a 3-minute stop at a distance of 5 m. The most significant pressure shift takes place between 10 m and the surface. Your body will have a little more time to release nitrogen if you stop in the middle of this range before making your last rise to the surface.
Since it is optional and not a decompression stop, you can skip it in an emergency. Don’t do that unless it’s an emergency.