Safediving: Things you should do before you take the plunge
The thrill of exploring what lies underwater is motivating enough to sign-up for scuba diving. But the question that often pops-up in the minds of those who want to scuba dive is- how safe is scuba? Well, it is a safe sport and reportedly safer than riding a bicycle or traveling in a car or even crossing the street. If there are fatalities involved during a dive, they are mostly due to the ignorance and recklessness of the diver. But if you follow simple safety rules, the risks are minimal.
So here are some safety tips that you should take into consideration before you dive:
Dive with a certified dive center/school:
It is necessary that you dive with certified dive school or center/resort. Look up on the internet and find whether your dive center is affiliated to any of the international Scuba diving certification agencies- PADI, SSI, BSAC, NAUI, CMAS, etc.
Also, it is essential to know if the dive school is well-established and has well-maintained scuba equipment.
Make sure you dive only with a certified instructor:
According to international standards, only a certified instructor is qualified to take uncertified divers underwater. Open Water divers, Rescue divers or even dive masters cannot take you underwater. So, make sure that you check the qualifications of the person who will be taking you underwater.
Listen to your instructor/dive guide:
It is important to listen to your instructor or dive guide as they brief you on everything. “Plan the dive, dive the plan” is the best way to approach scuba- follow your instructor’s brief on where you are going, the route you follow and what you need to watch out for.
Know your dive signals and train well in confined water:
Ideally, you should be trained in a confined water environment before you dive into the open water. Learn your dive signals and ask again if you don’t understand as they are the only means of communication underwater.
Check/double-check your scuba gear:
Underwater, your survival depends on your scuba equipment. Take your time and check all your gear- is everything working properly? If you are unsure about anything, make sure you ask your instructor or dive guide. Being sufficiently prepared is the key to a safe dive.
Make sure you are ready to dive:
Dive because you want to and not due to peer pressure. Diving is meant to be fun, so never put yourself in an uncomfortable situation. Also, don’t dive if you are physically unfit or psychologically disturbed. Listen to the messages that your body and/or your mind is sending out. Another thing that you ought to remember- don’t drink before you dive. It is necessary that you stay hydrated before your dive. It isn’t very smart or “cool” to take risks.
Once, you’ve taken the above factors into consideration, you are absolutely ready for your dive. Always remember to “Dive Safe”. Only then can you enjoy the awesome underwater world.