Diving is considered a risk sport, because it takes place in a hyperbaric environment, different from what we are used to. However, if we follow safe diving rules we can reduce that risk considerably.
Some measures to dive safely are:
1.Stay in good physical and mental condition
It is important to stay in shape to cope with the conditions to which we are exposed, including the continuous practice of the skills necessary for diving.
Being in good physical shape also helps us when it comes to expelling nitrogen correctly. In general, dive computers do their calculations for the average person. We should also avoid consuming alcohol or unusual substances such as drugs or certain medications before a dive, as they can alter natural bodily reactions.
2. Be familiar with your dive sites
Underwater orientation can be tricky, especially when it’s your first time exploring a certain dive spot. This is why it is advisable to request information from local divers or go with a guide.
It is important not to dive outside the limits set by your training (depth and time) and to be comfortable with the conditions of the dive.
Each diver is different in terms of preferences and experience, so it is up to each one to decide if you feel comfortable with the dive you are going to do. It’s important to remember that recreational diving is all about enjoyment.
3. Use complete, well-maintained and reliable equipment
If you dive regularly, it is advisable to get your own diving equipment, since in this way you will always be aware of the conditions of this and you will feel comfortable with it.
Before each dive, the correct functioning of the equipment must be inspected and must be checked by a professional within the periods established by the manufacturer, for the tank, the regulator and the vest it is usually every 12 months.
4. Listen and follow the instructions given in the briefings
As responsible divers we must respect the advice and the plan established by the person in charge of guiding the dive.
The guides are professionals trained to take care of the divers who are in their charge. In addition, they know the most interesting points and the possible risks that each dive has, so it is of great help to take into account their indications.
5. Know the established buddy system
In recreational diving, the companion system is of vital importance. In general, we divide the groups into pairs to be able to take care of our buddy.
We must establish an effective communication mechanism, as well as an action plan in case of separation.
The protocol established in case of getting lost is to look for a minute underwater and, in case of not finding my partner, to surface, since it is safer and we have a better vision.
6. Perform all dives without decompression
Currently, in recreational diving, it is forbidden to plan dives with DECO in Spain.
We must leave a margin of safety and respect the times without stops established by our computer or diving boards.
In addition, we must limit the maximum depth to which my level of training and experience indicates.
When ascending, we must do it slowly and making a safety stop at 5 meters for 3 minutes.
7. Maintain proper buoyancy
The mastery of buoyancy is useful both to improve our air consumption and to avoid damaging the environment.
For this we must adjust our ballast before each dive, so that we can get rid of it quickly if we need it and float on the surface with our vest completely swollen.
Mastery of buoyancy is one of the things we learn in the Advanced OWD course.
8. Constantly breathing
Breathing in a relaxed, constant way and avoiding overexertion while we are underwater is another thing we must remember as divers.
The most important rule of diving is to never hold your breath!
9. Use a support station whenever possible
In this way we make sure that we always have an aid on the surface.
10. Know and comply with the laws of diving
Regulations vary depending on the dive location, so it is highly recommended to know them before diving in a new place or ask your trusted dive center.
In our case, we follow the BOE.