6 Steps If Separated From Your Dive Buddy

Your dive buddy is your lifeline underwater. They can me a second set of eyes and support if anything goes wrong. But there are occasions where you might lose sight of each other. Say if you get separated during a dive with low visibility, or if you are focused on your compass only to look up and realize that your buddy swam in the other direction.

What should you do if you’re separated from your diving buddies?

1- Establish a lost-buddy pre-dive plan.

Remember to always make a lost-buddy plan part of your pre-dive check, especially when diving with a new buddy or a stranger. Agree on how long you’ll search for each other underwater (usually one minute) and then agree to end the dive (after making your safety stop) and reuniting on the surface.

Remember to arm you and your buddy’s buoyancy compensater (BCD) with the essential emergency gear like SMB and whistle.

2- Stop and slowly turn 360 °

As soon as you notice that you cannot see your dive buddy, stop where you are, establish neutral buoyancy, and do a slow visual 360° spin. Also look both upwards and downwards to check whether they have ascended or descended. Try spotting your buddy’s bubbles, if possible.

3- Use a signaling device

Use your tank-banger or another audio signaling device to get your buddy’s attention. He or she may be able to locate you by following the direction of the sound.

If you have a dive light on you and visibility is low, use the light while doing your slow spin. The light can be used to grab the attention of your buddy who could be behind any underwater features like big rocks.

4- Start Ascent

After the agreed time (around 1 minute), start your ascent while repeating the 1-minute turn with noise and light at every safety stop

5- Deploy your delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB)

While at your safety stop, deploy your delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB) or so that your buddy can easily spot you if he is searching for you at the surface.

If you’re doing a boat dive this will also aid the boat crew in locating you.

 

6- Wait at the surface

At the surface, wait for your buddy to emerge while continuing to look for the air bubbles or DSMB. If the weather is good chances are you will be able to spot them. However if your buddy is taking too long to surface do not re-descend, instead inform the boat crew or dive center as soon as possible that your buddy is missing.

 

 


When to Buy My First Scuba Gear

 

You have just completed your open water course and now you are a certified diver. For a new diver, buying scuba gear is the final step, but if you're newly certified, how are you supposed to know what scuba gear to buy? Fear not! We’re here to help.

At the start you will want to buy scuba gear that is cheap, easy to pack and makes a big difference to your dive (rental gear my not fit properly). These are the basics, and as you continue diving you can then invest in other equipment that make your dive more comfortable.

The Basics

Scuba Mask

A perfect fitting mask makes all the difference to your diving experience. Additionally its small and lightweight and easy to pack

To test for a good watertight fitting mask:

  1. Look up at the ceiling and place the mask on your face without using the strap. It should rest evenly with no gaps.
  2. Look forward. Place the mask on your face without using the strap and gently inhale through your nose. The mask should seal easily on your face.
  3. Adjust the strap and put it on your face. Make sure the nose pocket doesn't touch your nose and that the skirt feels comfortable on your upper lip.

 

Fins

The experience of diving is so much more enjoyable when you can move effortlessly through the water. The right pair of fins helps you move through the water with more speed and agility than you would otherwise have managed.

Not to mention, fins are considered more affordable compared to other scuba gears such as regulators and BCDs, making it a great purchase for new divers.

When picking your fins look for a snug fit that doesn't pinch your toes or bind the arches of your feet. If you can't wiggle your toes, the fins are too small.

Wetsuit

When it comes to diving and maintaining a comfortable temperature under the water for long periods of time, you’re going to want a dependable wetsuit. Typically made from neoprene rubber, wetsuits are effective at locking a thin layer of water alongside your skin, which acts as padding and maintains a comfortable body temperature while you explore under the water.

Wetsuits suits should fit snugly without restricting movement or breathing. Insure that the suit is not too loose, however. Gaps at the arm, leg, crotch and neck allow water to circulate and defeat the suit's ability to prevent heat loss.

The Comfort Set

BCD

The Buoyancy control device holds your gear in place, lets you carry a tank with minimal effort, floats you at the surface and allows you to achieve neutral buoyancy at any depth. Before you try on BCDs, slip into the exposure suit you'll wear most often. Look for a BCD that fits snugly but doesn't squeeze you when inflated.

Dive Computer

Some of the most essential pieces of dive equipment are a depth gauge, submersible pressure gauge, and a compass. Dive computers are great tools since they combine all 3.

Regulators

A regulator converts the high-pressure air in your tank to ambient pressure so you can breathe it. A regulator must also deliver air to other places, such as your BC inflator and alternate second stage.

When purchasing a regulator look for a comfortable mouthpiece and select hoses of the right length for you.

 

A regulator with a comfortable mouth piece minimises a clenched jaw