Tag Archive: safety

Why Should Divers Preform a Pre-Dive Safety Check?

Good organizational skills will help ensure a trouble-free diving trip. A successful dive begins before you even leave your home, with checks on weather conditions and equipment. Even if someone else is organizing the dive, make sure you are well prepared and informed.

Getting Off to a Good Start

On the morning of the dive, get a detailed, up-to-date weather forecast specific to the site you are diving, and double-check tide times if appropriate. If you don’t feel well for any reason, make an honest assessment of whether you are fit to dive that day. It is better to sit out a dive than to feel ill underwater and have to abort. Illnesses affecting lung or circulatory efficiency also increase the risk of decompression sickness – a very good reason for skipping the dive.

Always check your gear before you set off on a diving trip. Before you leave home, you must be sure that you have everything you need. It is good practice to make a checklist of all the items you will need, and keep this in your bag. When you arrive, be sure to transfer all your gear from the initial mustering point to the actual dive site, or onto the boat you are diving from. All too often, divers leave a vital piece of gear on the dock, such as a weight belt or mask, and only realize their mistake when the dive boat reaches its destination – by which time it is too late.

Diving With a New Buddy

Diving abroad often means that you will dive with strangers. Make sure you give the dive organizer an honest assessment of your level of ability and interests, so they can pair you with a suitable buddy. Even if you don’t know your buddy, give them all the respect and assistance you would offer a familiar dive partner.

Diving From a Boat

The boat should have been booked in advance, but even so, it is polite to call the skipper again before you arrive. He or she will be able to confirm that weather and conditions are favorable for diving. When you board, check that the boat has adequate first aid and safety signaling devices on board, and appears to be in a seaworthy condition. Before you leave shore, notify the coastguard or relevant authority – and do not forget to inform them of your safe return when you get back. Ensure that the skipper reviews safety procedures, including the location of lifejackets, flares, and life rafts, and demonstrates the underwater recall signal.

Diving From the Shore

If you are diving from the shore, always check for the easiest possible access to your dive site on arrival (or before) to avoid long walks down to the beach with heavy gear. You may need permission to drive to the water’s edge to unload.

Watching the Weather

Obtain a forecast that includes the wind speed and direction, sea state, and visibility (fog, mist, etc). Do not take any risks with diving in bad weather-it is better to miss the dive than dive in surging seas or in visibility so poor your boat cover will not be able to locate you. You should also check tide tables to establish the timings of slack water. This is critical when diving areas affected by strong tidal currents.