PART OF THE THRILL of diving is encountering the unexpected; you never know what is going to emerge out of the blue, or what critter you might discover hiding in the muck.
But there are certain surprises we would rather do without underwater; running out of air, losing our buddy, becoming entangled, taking a hit of DCS are just some of situations that we can do our best to avoid with a little bit of planning and a good dose of common sense.
Make sure you are prepared for the unexpected with these basic guidelines.
DO Plan your dive and dive your plan. Talk through the whole dive with your buddy and/or dive guide, including all emergency procedures and entries and exits, and don’t deviate!
DO Dive with a responsible operator. Make sure that the dive centre you choose has well-maintained gear, an emergency plan, oxygen on the boat, and properly trained guides
DO Get kitted out. Your standard dive kit should be well maintained and should include basic safety gear. Speciality dives will need speciality equipment – don’t dive without it!
DON’T Scrimp on the kit. Dive gear is life support gear, and cheap or second-hand equipment could cost you when push comes to shove
DON’T Dive if you’re not well or have had a heavy night. Illness, alcohol in the system, and dehydration can impair your judgement and put you at increased risk of injury
DON’T Worry about calling off a dive if it’s not going well. Conditions might surprise you once you descend, and it’s okay to decide that you don’t want to continue