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SAFE DIVING TIPS

All diving involves a degree of risk, because, after all, we are air-breathing mammals who have no sensible reason to be underwater. If we accept this premise, and admit to ourselves that we are voluntarily entering an alien environment, we are more likely to approach our diving with a sensible degree of caution. We must also acknowledge that we rely totally on our equipment while diving.

These safety hints apply to ALL dives, and should be read in addition to those hints for specific types of diving.

  • Be trained by a recognized agency. Such training will make you aware of the more common problems you will face underwater, and how to reduce the likelihood of these problems occurring.
  • Be medically assessed by a doctor who has appropriate training in diving medicine. Some medical conditions are not compatible with safe diving, while other conditions may allow you to dive safely with caution.
  • Thoroughly prepare and check your gear prior to diving. You rely totally on your equipment while underwater.
  • Choose dives that match your training, experience and confidence. Dive within your comfort zone on all dives.
  • Listen to your inner voice. If you do not feel right while underwater, or you feel that you have exceeded your comfort level, abort the dive.
  • When you first reach the bottom, establish neutral buoyancy, ensure your ears are OK, check your air status and your depth, tighten your weightbelt, then signal your buddy that you are OK. Make these actions a standard part of ALL dives.
  • Watch your ascent rate on all dives. You should never exceed an ascent rate of 10m/minute when diving shallower than about 30m. .An ascent rate of 5-6 metres per minute is recommended in the last 10m of ascent.
  • Complete safety stops on all dives that exceed 10m depth. Safety stops assist with reduction of excess nitrogen, which reduces the risk of DCI. They also slow your ascent rate, by forcing you to stop for a period of time. The rule of thumb is 3-5 minutes at 5-6 metres. An additional deeper stop of 2-3 minutes at 10-15m appears to be beneficial after deeper dives.
  • Always dive with a buddy. Your safety and your enjoyment will be enhanced by being with a companion while underwater.
  • Plan your dive. You and your buddy should agree on depth, time, air cut-off, and safety stops.
  • Plan your dive so you surface with a minimum of 50bar. Don’t look at it as wasted air, but as insurance against the possibility of some emergency that causes your air consumption to increase.
  • If you have had a layoff from diving, or you have been unwell, do some easier dives to regain your confidence and skill.
  • Revise your skills regularly. Practice such survival skills as mask-clearing, regulator removal, and air-sharing regularly.
  • Log your dives. A record of your diving history may come in very handy should you ever seek higher levels of training.

DIVING MEDICAL QUESTIONS

Do you have any diving medical related questions? Do you have any concerns about the effects of diving? Follow the link below to find all the answers to many common and some less common questions relating to diving medical issues.

DIVING EMERGENCIES

As divers, we hope to never find ourselves in need of emergency medical assistance as a result of a diving accident. However, statistics highlight that accidents do happen, even to the most experienced divers, so we should all have a plan of action that will prepare us for the unexpected.

If you ever find yourself in an emergency situation, when in New Zealand, your first step should be to call the DAN funded Diving Emergency Services Medical Hotline on 0800-4DES 111.

As we all know many of the world’s top dive destinations are in remote areas that are difficult to access and often result in significant costs in terms of emergency evacuation and subsequent medical treatment. Therefore, DAN strongly recommended that all divers be adequately covered for such a contingency. And remember, if you are prepared for the unexpected you are free to focus on what’s most important … enjoying your diving!

When outside New Zealand divers should call +61-8-8212 9242. DAN also funds this Diving Emergency Service (DES) Hotline based at the Hyperbaric Unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia. This number is available to all divers throughout the world.

For more information on dive safety and being prepared visit www.danasiapacific.org or call +61-3-9886 9166

DAN offer professional diving insurance also. If you are a diver training to pro diver level then please check out the DAN pro diver insurance. DAN offer professional diver liability insurance as well as recreational dive insurance. Mermaids can train you as a diver to dive instructor level or higher (PADI MSDT or PADI Staff Instructor). Working diving is great fun and a dream job – to enjoy it fully make sure that you are fully insured for peace of mind. Check out Mermaids professional scuba diving internships for training to professional diver.