BCD issues and integrated weights safety are some of the commonly neglected areas when it comes to scuba diving. BCD failure is dangerous, so much that it is often advised to cancel the diving session the moment it happens. One button falls off and the BCD inflator will break. When this happens, the mechanism of your BCD will start to give in. This will most likely compromise your dive and might even cause death.
Obviously, none of us want to experience this. That being said, you should abort the diving session once you see anything wrong with your BCD. Pursuing may expose you to a number of hazards, and you don’t want to take the risk.
Rules to Ensure Diving Safety
Accidents can always be prevented when proper precautions are observed. Here are some tips and suggestions to follow to ensure your diving is enjoyable and trouble free the whole time.
- Always perform gear checkup. Before getting into the water, check your gear thoroughly for potential defects. Don’t forget your buddy’s equipment as well – you only got each other to lean on once you’re submerged in the water. Learning how to use every piece of gear is crucial; most accidents happen because of improper education on using dive gear. For example,
- Plan your dive and stick to it. Planning keeps you safe on your trip, whether you are diving with a friend or a professional diver. Before jumping to the water, have your buddy agree to a maximum depth. In addition, you want to know different protocols such as emergency measures, lost-diver procedures, and other necessary drills as these may vary from one diving spot to another. If there is no guide available, you want to learn the dimensions and scopes of the diving site before the scheduled time. Make sure to take the necessary equipment that will get you to the exit without problems. And like other group work, communication is the key to trouble-free diving. Know the various hand signals to use as different divers use different signals, depending on their location. Always stick to the plan you’ve constructed. Check your gauges as often as you could. It’s quite easy to forget about the time and realize that your tank is running out of air and it’s too late.
- Don’t hold your breath. If you’re not aware yet, holding breath underwater can lead to serious injuries. If you do this, the air in the lungs expand and contract. But as long as breathe on a regular pattern, there shouldn’t be an issue because excess air can pass through. If not, air won’t be able to go through since it’s expanding. As a result, the walls of your lungs rupture, leading to damage in that area. When over-pressurization occurs, pulmonary barotrauma occurs, a condition where bubbles flow into the chest cavity and bloodstream, resulting gas embolism and subsequently death.
- Don’t dive if you’re not comfortable. You’re scuba diving to have fun so if ever the situation makes you feel uncomfortable, you shouldn’t pressure yourself to dive if you don’t feel like it. It’s always wise to dive while thinking about your limitations. You don’t have to feel left out if other divers decide to go deeper. The choice is still yours.
- Maintain fitness. Though it may seem like a very relaxing activity, diving is actually a demanding sport. Longer surfaces and stronger currents may require you to carry more gear and be exposed to various weather conditions. Hence, you need to be physically fit to endure all of this. Otherwise, you may overexert yourself. When this happens accidents, quick gasping of air, and panic are common reactions. Avoid taking alcohol and smoking. Obesity and fatigue also affects your diving performance. Based on statistics, 25% of divers who died underwater have existing medical conditions. These people shouldn’t be diving in the first place. So if you’re unsure, speak to your doctor before engaging on a scuba dive to see if you’re physically adequate to try such sport.
- Always use positive buoyancy. One-fourth of diving deaths happen due to issues on the water surface. One of the most common reasons is fatigue, especially when they persist on diving even when they are overworked. You can always practice positive buoyancy. Done successfully, you can prevent yourself from drowning and wasting energy too early.
Sometimes, staying safe at every dive all boils down to common sense. When used in conjunction of everything diving classes has taught you, injuries, hazards, diving issues, and fatality won’t have a place in your next diving trip.
However, basic safety rules should also be kept well in mind. A new diver such as you and your chosen buddy should train on this very well. These and proper diving skills could ensure safe and enjoyable diving, given that you know how to prevent accidents right before they happen.