Regardless of a diver’s experience, skill, confidence and level of qualification, there are certain things that every diver should remember. This is important not only for the safety of divers, but for the conservation of our underwater environment as well.
1. Don’t touch: As divers, we often don’t realize the extent of damage that we can cause simply by touching the marine life, so, even if it feels tempting to touch the turtle’s back or some colorful coral. Don’t. Touching coral can cause permanent damage, ultimately causing it to die. Every diver should at all times avoid chasing or touching any marine animals.
2. Buoyancy skills: Buoyancy is a deceptive skill. It can seem relatively easy to learn, but it is actually quite difficult to master. Perfecting your buoyancy skills is a must. Any diver should be able to ascend or descend by inhaling or exhaling, respectively. A diver should only use his buoyancy compensator device (BCD) to compensate for changes in depth during a dive. This is one of the most important skills a diver can master. Breathe in to go up, out to go down. If you want to master your buoyancy all you have to do is practice and practice on very dive.
3. Watch your air: Stating the obvious. Still remember to monitor your air, as often as you can. This is essential if you are to dive safely and avoid running out of air. Managing your air is never a waste of time, in the long run you’ll get more dive time.
4. Dive Gear: Dive gear is essential in ensuring a diver’s safety. Therefore, all divers need to regularly service their gear and keep it well maintained at all times. If you look after your gear then you will be able to rely on it during your dives. Take care of your dive gear, and your gear will take care of you. Don’t slack on the dive equipment maintains.
5. Watch your fins: If you don’t have control and awareness of your fins, you will probably unwittingly break something and/or kick someone in the face. If you hit something: Stop, look and if necessary take a few strokes with your hands to get out the way and regain control. It’s all about your finning techniques and knowing where you are in the water. Spend some time training your possession and finning techniques. Preferably on a sandy bottom. A lack of awareness whilst kicking with fins can cover coral with sediment (affecting photosynthesis), upset habitats and wash away small creatures
6. Never exceed your limits: Even if there the best reason to go that deep or do that dive. Don’t ever exceed what you feel you can dive, or what you are trained to dive. The only thing that can really result form this is DCI (Decompression illness). This is the extreme, I know, but is it really worth risking, just to get a bit deeper? And if it’s that cool down there, why not get the proper training for that depth? In order to ensure Your safety, you should never exceed your personal limits on any dive. This includes limits regarding training, experience, skills, and what you feel comfortable with.
7. Don’t follow peer pressure: This goes with point 6, don’t dive if you are not confident it’s the right dive plan for YOU. Don’t let anyone else say what is right for you. Always hold the right to call a dive. All divers need to ensure that they are comfortable with the proposed plan. This is not the time for you to let other divers dictate what is right for you. You need to be confident that you can cope with the intended dive and that it is well within your own personal limits.
8. Listen to the briefing: There’s nothing worse than a diver who didn’t pay attention to the dive guides briefing, and ends up getting lost or spoiling the dive, because he didn’t know what to do. So just pay attention.
9. Keep blowing bubbles: It’s the most important rule in scuba diving, so by now you should already know it. There are plenty of other ways to extend your dive time, so don’t waste time holding your breath. It doesn’t give you more dive time and it can be very dangerous. Remember to inhale and exhale throughout your dive. Don’t ever hold your breath!
10. Do NOT Touch!: Yes we covered this already, but this point deserves repetition. Don’t touching anything underwater. The old caveat remains the same: Take only pictures leave only bubbles. It’s really that important that I had to mention it twice. If all divers keep touching just one thing a dive, we’ll end up having nothing left.
What did we miss?
What is your top 10 list of important scuba knowledge? Did we miss any points? Tell us your best scuba advice in the comments below. All the other divers want to know as well.