While virtually anyone can learn to SCUBA dive, the great care and attention to detail necessary for the activity should not be underestimated. For many people, SCUBA is something that brings people face-to-face with their mortality. There needs to be that attention to detail, because without it, you risk injury and death.
But we all make mistakes, especially when we are learning, and they are bound to happen at one time or another. The following mistakes are actually quite common, but have a considerable impact on your diving experience. Taking the time to think through your impending dive experience, and making sure you are capable and gear-ready before you get on the boat will help ensure you don’t pull these 5 rookie moves.
Lack of Buoyancy Control
This mistake is a big one, and without a doubt, buoyancy control is a skill that is acquired with time and practice. But poor buoyancy control can lead to damage to local marine life or other SCUBA divers, as well as injury to yourself if you ascend too quickly. It is important to take all factors into consideration when adding weight, such as wetsuit material, buoyancy characteristics of the tank(s), and the type of dive you are doing. If you only add exactly as much weight as the situation calls for, you will have more success achieving neutral buoyancy. You’ll also stay within other divers’ social graces by not trampling a coral reef or kicking someone in the face.
Running Out of Air On a Scuba Dive
An air shortage is the type of mistake that shouldn’t happen to a conscientious diver, and by far poses the biggest threat. It is absolutely crucial that you monitor your gauges and the time you’ve spent underwater to avoid a panicked situation. The only way to ensure your safety is to be mindful of checking your stats frequently. A tip to help you remember is to write the acronym DATA on your hand, which will remind you to check:
Enjoy all the sea has to offer. But don’t let it distract you from staying alive!
Straying From Your Dive Buddy While Scuba Diving
There is excellent reasoning behind the buddy system implemented by SCUBA divers. You are engaging in an activity that has life-threatening potential. There are amazing people out there who have managed to rescue themselves from certain death, but more often in life, the goal usually has an assist. Dive buddies are your life’s backup plan when exploring the depths. Communication is key underwater, and having an extra set of eyes, along with extra air if necessary, can mean the difference between a great dive and an emergency. Don’t make the mistake of losing track of your dive buddy.
Awareness of Others
This one is how to avoid mistakes — just be aware of the world outside yourself. Contain your gear within a gear bag, and make sure it is out of the way where people will not have to step (or trip) over it. Having a positive attitude and an interest in learning is one of the best ways to make your and everyone else’s experience enjoyable. No matter how many dives you have been on, pay attention to the dive master’s briefing of the dive site. Take responsibility for your own safety, and don’t compromise the safety of other divers. Pretty basic stuff.
Losing Your Gear
Because the act of SCUBA diving involves complexities with equipment to ensure the diver is properly suited for the dive, it can be an expensive hobby. This is one great incentive to make sure your gear and accessories are attached correctly and securely. Spending over $100 on a pair of good quality fins is meaningless when it isn’t tight enough on your foot and sails off with the ocean currents. Always perform checks topside to avoid losses like this underwater. Mistakes like this cost you more money!
Guest blog by bookyourdive.com