Diving is an incredible sport, past time, and way of life but it also comes with responsibility. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, your safety should always be your top priority.
Get certified to scuba dive
Ensuring your safety underwater begins by acquiring the knowledge and skills to become a certified diver. By doing so, you’ll have the advantage of learning about essential dive principles and familiarizing yourself with your scuba gear. It will also enable you to master underwater signals and other diving procedures. When you become a certified diver, you’ll also be qualified to make dive plan with your dive buddy.
Octopus Diving Center offers beginners, advanced and professional courses when diving in Muscat, Oman. Whether you are just starting or want to improve your diving skills, we have the ideal course for you. Just book directly online to begin your adventure.
Ensure that you’re fit to dive
It is recommended to see a local physician and get a medical examination to make sure that you’re fit to dive. If you think that you are physically healthy to go diving, then getting a medical examination to confirm this will be a walk in the park. Your safety is not something to be taken lightly so don’t leave anything to chance. It will also be easier for you to complete the medical statement which is necessary before learning to dive.
Whereas, if you’re a certified diver, then you should know that you have to be in a good physical condition before going on a dive tour. If you have a headache, cough and/or colds, fever, and other health conditions, it’s best to avoid diving. Do not dive when you’re not physically well because you are not just endangering yourself but your dive buddy as well.
It goes without saying that you also have to be mentally ready for the dive. If something is troubling you, set it aside so you can focus on the dive. If you think you are too distracted or emotionally distraught, it might be best to postpone your dive to avoid putting yourself and your buddy at risk.
Plan your dive
Take time to plan your dive carefully with your buddy. Start by finding out as much as you can about the dive site before the trip. Some of the important things to look into are depths, visibility, and current. You should also note the entry and exit points, surfacing techniques, marine life, and so on. Agree on the maximum time that you will spend underwater as well as depth. Familiarize yourself with emergency and lost-diver procedures especially if it’s your first time at the location.
Listen to your dive instructor
It is imperative that you listen to your dive instructor before you make your descent. At our diving center in Muscat, it is a protocol to brief our divers before each dive. We discuss the location, the route to follow, things to remember during the dive, and other safety concerns. Your safety is very important to us so we would appreciate it if you give us your undivided attention.
Perform the buddy check before each dive
The buddy check is an essential part of diving that you should not skip, regardless of your level of diving proficiency. This safety procedure is usually introduced during the Open Water Diver course and it’s something that you should always perform before each dive.
To make things easier to remember, you can use the mnemonic “Begin with Review and Friend” – BWRAF. This simple pre-dive guideline can help prevent diving mishaps.
- B – BCD/Buoyancy – Check your buddy’s BCD to ensure the correct air feed connection. Test the inflator button and all of the deflate valves.
- W – Weights/Weight Belt – Inspect your partner’s weight belt to determine if everything is properly secured and tucked the right way to enable quick release. Familiarize yourself with your buddy’s weight belt and built-in weights so that you can release them in case an emergency calls for it.
- R – Releases – Check if your buddy’s BCD is strapped properly and teach your buddy and vice versa how to open the release in case of an underwater emergency.
- A – Air – Find out if your buddy’s air is fully turned on and then let him take a few normal breaths while you observe the pressure gauge. Watch out for signs of fluctuations in the needle. You can also purge the regulator while observing the needle. Perform this check for the primary regulator as well as the alternate source of air.
- F – Final Check – Once you’re done with the earlier steps, the finale is a visual inspection of all your diving gear – snorkel, mask, fins, dive torch (if you’re using one), and other devices. Are there any loose hoses or other things that might swing while you’re underwater or hit coral reefs? If so, make sure you secure all loose parts to avoid getting snagged or damaging the coral reefs. Take a look if your dive computer is functioning well before giving your buddy the all-OK sign.
Dive within your limits
Under no circumstances should you exceed your diving limits. Diving is exciting and it’s good to take on new challenges but not to the extent of risking your safety. For example, if you’re an Advanced Open Water Diver, you are qualified to dive to a depth of 30m with a buddy. Diving deeper than your training or experience can put you and your partner in jeopardy.
Always strive to be a smart and responsible diver by taking underwater safety seriously. Remember these safety tips on your upcoming dive and have a memorable trip.