Mark took a scuba certification course, has been in the water a few times and is pretty well equipped to handle an emergency. Mark feels prepared for his next dive.
However, Mark could be making several mistakes diving instructors and pros classify as “off the radar.” If you are guilty of making these mistakes, like Mark, be sure to fix them before your next dive. In the end, when you are safely enjoying the underwater landscape, you’ll be happy you did!
Diving isn’t exactly the least expensive hobby, and there are ways to cut corners when it comes to your diving budget, but one thing you should never try to save money on is safety. This tip applies to your equipment, training and accessories.
Don’t use second-rate or used equipment that’s past its prime. Don’t skip out on a refresher course if you need the extra training, and don’t sign up for a cheaper dive trip without researching the company’s credentials. You can save money on the food, the airfare, or the accommodations, but when it comes to diving, allow plenty funds to stay safe.
Your diving partner is a critical factor in your overall safety throughout your trip. If you barely know the person, you have no idea what their knowledge base is or how they will respond to an emergency situation. Be safe, and team up with the dive master or instructor if you are riding solo.
Renting equipment that requires a good fit can cause some unintended consequences. A bad fit can lead to warm water hypothermia, mask leaks, buoyancy problems and a host of other problems.
Not to mention, a rented wetsuit can be hard to disinfect between users, and you know everyone pees in the suit at some point! If you can’t afford to purchase your own wetsuit, mask, fins, snorkel and BCD now, start saving your money before your next dive.
Don’t be afraid to tell the divemaster that you don’t have a lot of dive experience. If your dive group has more experience and wants you to do a more challenging dive than you feel comfortable with, speak up.
While it’s great to gain experience and challenge yourself, diving beyond your ability is dangerous. Consider taking more courses if you often dive with people more experienced than you. The extra education will give you the skills and confidence to tackle more challenging dive sites.
We all have that friend who has been on a million dives. They attest that not only do they know more than the divemaster, but that the divemaster is wrong.
Don’t be quick to believe them! Your friend might know a lot about diving, but your divemaster knows all the details of diving at a particular site, and localized knowledge goes a long way in keeping you safe.
However, if you sense that the divemaster isn’t qualified or is taking a lackadaisical approach to safety, then your friend might be right. Use your best judgment.
One of the best ways to stay safe is to dive and dive often. It sounds contradictory, but if you take a lapse of 6 months or more, you could lose valuable skills that slip away when you don’t use them.
Try to make six dives per year to ensure you don’t miss a thing. If you haven’t been able to dive that often, take a refresher course.
Any other diving tips you can share? Let us know in the comments section below!