Scuba diving is one of those activities that promise to add a special thrill to your holiday. A chance to explore the underwater world and the stunning sea life is definitely an exciting and rewarding proposition. Scuba diving can be a lot of fun; however, it can also turn out into a disaster if safety procedures are ignored.
Scuba diving like any other activity has a method to it. There are procedures and rules and safety precautions to be followed. This post describes all these points in detail. This post is for you if you are planning to go on your first scuba dive.
Scuba diving tips for beginners
Scuba diving facilities have trained instructors who will apprise you of the safety rules and procedures, to be followed. Be attentive, watch, learn and practice and follow the same on the actual dive. Ask questions and clear your doubts, when you are still on land. The deep sea is not the ideal place to ask for clarifications.
A good instructor will ensure that you get a grasp of all the procedures before you dive to explore the underwater world. This article provides a lowdown on safety precautions to take for those who are just starting out.
Get an instructor
You are wrong if you think you can just rent scuba diving gear and go on your scuba diving adventure. This underwater sport requires skill and precision. There are techniques to be learned, which makes it imperative that you receive proper training before your first dive.
Ensure that the facility that you register with, offers the services of a trained scuba diving instructor, who has experience with training beginners.
Do not go solo
The ocean is not your backyard, where you can step out alone. Do not dive alone, should be the biggest safety mantra that you must follow. Always dive with a diving buddy. Having someone with you is like having a safety harness. A diving buddy will be your support system in a life and death situation.
Though scuba diving is safe, accidents and mishaps can happen. You do not want to be alone, underwater, if something unforeseen happens.
You don't have to be tied to your diving buddy, but you must know, at all times, where they are. Also, be aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye out for each other. You are there as each other's safety harness. Watch each other's back. If you spot danger, signal to them. Do the same if you are in any kind of trouble.
Make sure that you are physically fit to go through the scuba diving experience. Check with your doctor if it is safe for you to participate in this underwater sports adventure.
Avoid the dive if you suffer from a health condition that could become aggravated. Health conditions that you should be concerned about include those related to the coronary system, the circulatory system, hypertension and epilepsy.
Know the equipment
There is a lot of equipment or gear involved in scuba diving. You need to get yourself acquainted with all the equipment, know how the pieces work and what their main functions are. You need to learn how to fix minor snags on the equipment, without panicking.
Knowing the equipment will boost your confidence and help you have a safe dive.
Always check your equipment before a dive. Make sure it functions the way it is meant to. Do not dive with faulty or damaged equipment. The equipment must also fit you well.
3 misconceptions about scuba diving you should clarify
Master Hand Signals
Hand signals are the only way to communicate during a dive. It is important that you learn all the hand signals before you descend into the water. Hand signals will help you alert the others if you are in distress. There are standard hand signals to be used underwater. Practice these hand signals with your diving buddy.
Underwater breathing techniques
Breathing correctly, is crucial, during a scuba dive. There are special breathing techniques that you will need to practice for your dives. Breathe slowly, taking quick deep breathes is not recommended.
Do not hold your breath either. Breathe normally, but in a slow controlled manner. Lack of oxygen, even in short spurts could impair your body. You need that constant supply of oxygen.
Track air supply
Keep an eye on your air supply. You don't want to be in the depths of the sea, and suddenly find yourself running out of oxygen. Your oxygen tank is your lifeline, you will be unable to breathe without it. So, know how much air you have left in the oxygen cylinder.
Ensure that the tank has enough air supply for you to ascend safely.
Follow correct techniques throughout your dive and follow these practices even as you ascend. You must ascend slowly. Ascending too quickly can cause reactions in the body which will in turn cause a condition called decompression sickness. This can be fatal.
Rapid changes begin taking place in the body, as you start to ascend towards the surface. And if these changes are not allowed to happen in a controlled manner, it could lead to severe complications.
One major change that occurs in the body, at this time, is the elimination of nitrogen from the bloodstream. The body has its own mechanism and pace at which it works. You cannot hasten the process of nitrogen expulsion by the body, by ascending quickly.
Ascend at a slow pace; not more than 30'/minute, with a three-minute halt every 15'. Rest a while and then proceed towards the surface.
Plan your dive. Dive your plan
Make this your motto. In fact, scuba divers all over the world go by this maxim. It is important to chalk out a plan before you proceed for your dive. Everyone diving with you must be part of the planning. You also need to follow through your plan. So, stick to whatever has been decided. Don't suddenly decide to do your own thing.
Plans should include the fundamentals of diving, such as, how deep would you be diving, the length of time you propose to remain underwater, calculate the amount of air you'll require for the dive, go through the hand signals with each other, checking the equipment before the dive etc.
Scuba diving takes you into unknown territory. You have to ensure that you remain safe throughout the adventure. Follow the guidelines for your safety and the safety of others, and enjoy the experience.