Scuba diving to explore the wonders of the oceans is becoming a popular activity with more and more enthusiasts signing up for excursions on their vacations. If you’ve been making enquiries about scheduling a dive, you’ve probably learned that you’ll need to get extensive training and the necessary certification. Like research conducted at the National Center for Biotechnology Information reveals, unfortunate incidents do occur at sea. But, by following the rules and regulations of safe diving, you can have an enjoyable holiday. Before planning the activity, make sure to get a clean chit of health from your doctor and learn everything you can about the safety precautions to be taken. Read ahead for some of the most important rules to follow and how your instructor will help you prepare for them.
Have an Efficient Buddy System in Place
One of the most essential cardinal rules of scuba diving is to have an efficient buddy system. Indulge in the activity only in the company of other trained divers. Like the skilled professionals at ScubaTony advise, follow the directions of the expert guide overseeing your excursion. At the time of introducing you to the specific undersea area that you will be exploring and explaining what to expect, the instructor will teach you a series of hand signals. Learn these signs carefully because that’s how you’ll communicate with your team members in case of an emergency. In addition to relaying a signal in case of a problem, you must also understand how to pick up on distress signals other divers are giving you. Practice before you enter the water, so that the communication comes naturally to you.
Conduct Detailed Testing of All Diving Equipment
Like the folks at LiveAbout recommend, learn to inspect your wet suit and other gadgets and devices and identify possible problems. Work with a dive buddy to check each other’s equipment and make sure it is working like it should. Typically, all scuba diving gear should be examined for five critical features.
- Check the BCD. The BCD is the Buoyancy Control Device, an inflatable bladder that forms a part of your diving gear. Since the entire diving equipment that you’re wearing is heavy, having the BCD on allows you to float and maintain neutral buoyancy when under the sea. For this reason, you’ll make sure that the inflator and release switches are working properly. The device also has a safety valve that prevents the bladder from overinflating. Examine the BCD and its functioning and ensure that it is strapped on securely.
- In addition to floatation aids, the scuba diving suit also has lead weights. These lead blocks compensate for the added buoyancy you’ve added to the gear and keeps you from rising to the surface when you’re not ready. Typically, the weights are worn around the waist and ankles, and have a release button. Familiarize yourself with the release system, so you can open it in case of an emergency. Before diving, check that it is securely fastened.
- The breathing apparatus and other devices are fastened to your body with a series of straps around the groin, chest, shoulder, and waist. All of these straps should be lying flat on the body and tightened to prevent them from catching on any hooks or objects that may be jutting out.
- Check the air supply system and regulator. Get your diving buddy to take a few deep breaths from the regular while you keep watch on the pressure gauge. If the gauge remains steady, you’ll know it is working perfectly. Similarly, inspect the backup air supply. Remember, the air valve should be either fully open or fully closed.
- Put on the mask and check that the fins are securely fitted on your feet.
Descend Gradually into the Depths of the Sea
When entering the sea during scuba diving, controlling the speed of your descent is vital just as this feature on WorldNomad explains. Not only will you avoid accidentally touching and destroying delicate coral and other sea creatures, but you’ll also preventing stirring up the sand on the bed of the sea. in this way, you’ll have better visibility and prevent the possibility of uncomfortable and possibly, painful ear pressure. You can also descend to safe depths and not cross any preset limits.
Clearing Water Out of Your Scuba Mask
Despite all the precautions you take, there may be instances when water enters your scuba mask. If that happens, know that it is possible to clear the mask without needing to ascend to the surface. Your diving instructor will likely train you on the technique and direct you to practice in a shallow pool. Here’s how:
- Hold your face in a position that is vertical to the surface. Rely on the expert diving guide to help you.
- Make a tiny opening at the bottom of the mask to allow the water to escape. Wedging your little finger is typically effective.
- Exhale through your nose a few times. Holding your tongue on the bottom of the nose helps you stay focused on your breathing.
- Gradually, you’ll watch the water going down and out of the mask as air fills the area above.
- Remove your finger and adjust the mask back into place.
Ascend Gradually to the Surface
You must follow all the safety precautions when rising to the top at the end of your scuba diving excursion. Keep in mind that undersea pressure causes a buildup of nitrogen in your tissues. Rising gradually forces out the nitrogen so you avoid issues like painful bends. Further, like the American Lung Association warns, you’ll also prevent damage to your lungs.
Whether you’re a nature lover, conservationist, or a swimming enthusiast who loves the sea, scuba diving excursions can prove to be a fascinating way of exploring the treasures of the oceans. Make sure to follow the safety instructions provided by your guide carefully and enjoy every moment of your vacation. In complete safety!