Sea Safety Guide
To reduce the likelihood of problems occurring divers should never dive without proper preparation. Part of this preparation is to understand safe diving practices.
Ascent rates shall not exceed 15 meters per minute.
Though most dives go smoothly and without incident, minor problems while scuba diving sometimes occur. Skills for solving problems while diving are taught at all levels of certification. Anticipating a problem is the first step in solving it.
The best method of solving problems is to stop, think, breath and then act. When a diver learns this basic principle they can usually solve minor problems underwater without having to come to the surface or abort the dive. If they remain focused and refuse to give up, they have a chance of solving more serious problems.
Another great method of problem solving is to use the "what if" method. Divers will think of different situations like equipment failure, out of air/low on air problems or losing their dive buddy. They picture the situation in their mind and picture how they would respond. If they do this enough problem solving becomes a reaction that they do not have to think about.
Good problem solving skills will help divers keep minor problems from turning into big ones. These skills will also help divers not to panic underwater. They are able to stay calm and deal with the problem.
Safety for scuba diving is a combination of safe diving practices, good problem solving skills and common sense. These three things are necessary to minimize the chance of a problem or incident happening during a dive.
What is perfect buoyancy
Apart from being the fundamental skill that underpins all diving from both an enjoyment and safety point of view, what do we really mean by proper buoyancy control? The objective level of required skill will vary depending on the activity and experience but what should that be?
Well not the ideal but a minimum tolerable target
+/- 1 - 0.5m
Well not the ideal but a minimum tolerable target when diving at this level and not doing anything other than a safety stop or two
Deco procedures and Instructor
Get into deco and this should be the objective. Instructors should be looking at demo quality at definer stages better than this.
Think SAFE - Dive SAFE
BSAC Safety and Development Manager
For more detail and information please visit BSAC Safety
The WEIGHT CHALLENGE
One of the most common reasons quoted by divers for giving up the sport is a ‘bad back’. The sport requires the use of fairly substantial, cumbersome and heavy equipment and yet there are some very simple and basic steps we can all follow to safeguard ourselves. Use the right muscles The largest and most powerful muscles in the body are the thighs. Lifting heavy weights like diving equipment should make use of these by placing the feet either side of the equipment, bending at the knees and keeping the back straight.
Keep it straight
Bending your back and lifting a weight away from the body creates a pivot effect that increases the effective strain/weight as much as ten times. Keeping the back straight and using bent knees to keep the lift in the same plane is much more efficient and safer.
Keep it close
WE all know from experience that the most comfortable and apparently efficient way to carry our dive equipment is strapped to our back. This allows the kit to be held close and the weight to be supported by the shoulders with the load distributed down a straight spine to the legs. Carrying kit in front of the body is less efficient not least because the weight is usually supported by the arms which must be held away from the centre of gravity again inducing a pivot or fulcrum effect. Keeping the weight as close to the body, in what is sometimes described as the ‘green zone’ will reduce this effect
Break it down
If you have to carry kit more than 10m break it down into smaller components and make more trips. This is even more important after dive when a significant nitrogen loading also has to be considered.
Advice and pictures courtesy of Patricia Smith, BSAC Advanced Instructor and Area Coach.
Think SAFE - Dive SAFE