Dive Safe this Summer

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(source: iStock Photo)

As some of you may have seen there are already several reported diving fatalities this year, with the diving season kicking off in the northern hemisphere many divers will be pulling the gear out of mothballs and hitting the water so we thought it might be a good idea to go over a few points to remember to keep safe this summer.

  1. If it’s been 6 months or more since your last dive you should consider doing a skills refresh, it’s surprising how quickly some skills are forgotten.
  2. If your dive equipment has been sitting in the back shed for some time it would be wise to send in those regs etc for a service to make sure all is well, especially if your off on an overseas holiday, parts may not be readily available where your going.
  3. Wetsuit “shrunk” over winter? It’s easy to let your fitness slip when the weather outside is crap. While you don’t need to be a super athlete it is a sobering point that  studies have shown that nearly a third of all scuba diving deaths are from heart and/or circulatory problems, so consider going to your GP for a check up. It’s especially a good idea to get your ears checked, ear squeeze is one of the biggest problems holidaying divers have when trying to get down for their first dive.
  4. If you’re going to dive overseas make sure you pick a GOOD dive centre and not the cheapest, there’s probably a very good reason that dive centre is €100 cheaper than anyone else. You get what you pay for, do you really want to put your life in the hands of idiots? A good centre will want to see your cert card and log book, if you haven’t dived for a long time they will require you to do a check/ re-fresh dive, they will show you around the dive centre, take a look at their regs, are filters in place and clean? Have a look at their compressor room, it should be clean and not used as a storage room for paints, oils etc, there should also be a service log next to the compressor showing regular filter changes. Check the tanks, they should be tested every 5 years and there should be a stamp on the side proving this has been done. Have a good look over everything else, mask straps, fin straps, if the equipment is worn and unserviced go somewhere else.
  5. If you’re boat diving you may end up in a large group, all too often divers get left behind because of poor accounting methods. Someone on the boat should be taking down the names of the buddy pairs and checking you off and on the boat, if they are just counting numbers then there is a high risk of them counting people twice. Don’t just rely on the DM or boat master, take some responsibility for yourself, arrange with another buddy pair to check each other in at the end of the dive. Always take your own SMB ( Surface Marker Buoy ) and reel and make sure you know how to deploy it. Also some other signalling device such as a whistle or horn to gain attention. Consider packing a small bottle of fresh water in your BCD pocket (make sure the neck is sealed), if you do end up with a long wait in the water it may just make all the difference.
  6. Finally, never get forced into doing a dive your uncomfortable with, there are alot of big egos out there in the diving community, leave them to it, diving is supposed to be fun, if you spend the whole dive scared and chasing the guide around what’s the point? It’s just not worth your life.

So from the Dive Hive team, we wish you a safe and fun diving season and look forward to seeing your logged adventures and hopefully some photos as well.

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published on April 28, 2011 by jason
tags: , , , , , category: tips & hints

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