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33 WAYS TO DIVE SAFER

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33 WAYS TO DIVE SAFER

Post Number:#1  Postby Narco » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:51 pm

Just to share with you guys. Things most of us already knew but over years of diving, we tend to forget. It is good to remind each other or at least by reading this, we can refresh the rusted knowledge.. hehe  :D

Three of the country’s leading divers give their top safety tips. Interviews by Jo Mattock

1. Make sure someone on shore knows where you’re going and when you’ll be back. This could be the coastguard if everyone is on the boat, or it could be a friend or relative left behind. Charles Hood

2. Check weather and tidal conditions before heading out in a boat. CH

3. Sort out small problems as they happen, before they turn into one big problem. Richard Bull

4. Plan to have a day or two for a shakedown before going away on a big trip involving deep diving. It gets the problems sorted before the pressure is on. RB

5. The more planning you do, the safer your dive will be. Still do your homework on sites you know. Jeff Reed

6. Make sure your kit is appropriate for the diving you’re doing. A bailout option that will get you out of trouble at 18m will not tick the bailout box for a 50m dive. RB

7. If somebody else is in charge, make sure you know what the plan is. Question it if you’re not clear about anything and speak up if you’re not happy with it. RB

8. Configure your kit the weekend before a dive trip. You’re more likely to remember everything and know where it all is than if you set your kit up at the last minute. CH

9. Remember to always plan the dive in advance and stick to it wherever possible. The old saying ‘plan the dive, dive the plan’ is extremely good advice. JR

10. Bear in mind that your exit point for a shore dive might not be the same as your entry point, especially on a falling tide. CH

KIT STOP

11. Have your kit serviced and don’t forget to have all the small things checked too, such as the dump valve on a drysuit. CH

12. Carry two torches and avoid using a dive torch around the house – the batteries soon die out! JR

13. Always carry a delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB) or flag, unless you’re diving in very sheltered conditions. Familiarise yourself with using a DSMB; even if you don’t need to use one on a dive, use the end of a safety stop to practice sending one up. CH

14. Divers have a tendency to be overweighted. Check your buoyancy and weighting in shallow water with a cylinder that is approaching reserve. JR

15. Use different coloured DSMBs, one colour to signal you’re ascending and the other to signal you’re ascending and there’s a problem so you need to be picked up first. Make sure you discuss this with the boat’s skipper beforehand. JR

16. A drysuit is best for cold-water diving below 10°C. Remember heat loss from the head is significant, so consider wearing a thicker or insulated hood if you don’t have an integral unit. JR

17. Make sure you’re visible in the water. Wear a fluorescent hood, or put tape on your BCD so you can be easily seen. CH

18. Make sure you have oxygen on the boat and that everyone knows where it is. CH

19. Don’t be a Scrooge when it comes to consumables. This applies especially to rebreather diving. Why do some divers take such a pride in squeezing an extra 45 minutes out of a canister of absorbent? Sensors give up and batteries go down. You’re already saving a fortune on gas over the open circuit trimix option, so spend a few bob on the things that wear out or get used up. RB

20. If you have a new piece of kit, first practice with it in situations where you can afford to get it wrong. RB

21. On your own boat, make sure you have a VHF radio. Don’t rely on mobile phones. CH

22. Always carry a knife that’s well maintained, easily accessible and can cut microfilament line. Have a go at cutting microfilament line, just to find out if your knife is suitable. JR

GETTING WET AND MINDSET

23. Try to use a shot- line; many accidents occur due to loss of buoyancy during the final stages of a dive resulting in DCI. With a shot-line you can stop a rapid ascent simply. JR

24. Monitor your gas; too many deaths occur due to out-of-gas situations combined with separation. JR

25. Have some creature comforts on hand after a dive. A flask of tea or hot chocolate, while wearing a hat will help you keep warm! CH

26. In low visibility never be more than 2m from your buddy. In clear water, avoid being further than 5m apart. In an out-of-gas situation 5m is a long distance to travel. JR

27. Keep generally fit. Diving’s an aerobic sport and physically demanding, especially if something goes wrong. Do something like walk a mile everyday, or lift weights to help you with carrying your gear around. CH

28. Don’t be cajoled into diving in bad conditions. Weather can worsen while you’re under the water. JR

29. Kit up in plenty of time before the dive so you can sit still, control your breathing and visualise the dive. Go through each stage of it and contemplate the ‘What ifs’: ‘What if I can’t get back to the shot-line?’ ‘What if I lose my primary gas supply?’ and so on. Then visualise solutions to these possible problems. When you hit the water you’ll be confident, relaxed and up for a great dive. RB

30. Early on in the season, think about setting safety factors on your computer, or dive with nitrox on air tables to get more conservative dive times (but be aware of your maiximum depth). CH

31. Never be afraid to walk away from a dive. There’s a big difference between being a bit nervous about something new and knowing that you really shouldn’t be doing the dive. RB

32. Build up your depth experience in steps of, say, 5m, ideally with a more experienced buddy. JR

33. Don’t be afraid of telling people if you suspect a problem prior to or after a dive; the sooner it’s dealt with, the better. JR

THE TIPSTERS

Charles Hood
DIVE’s senior correspondent and resident equipment expert Charles Hood is a BSAC first class diver with 30 years diving experience.

Jeff Reed
Jeff Reed is BSAC’s new National Diving Officer and as such is responsible for diver training in the organisation. He’s a BSAC First Class diver with approximately 2,000 logged dives.

Richard Bull
Richard Bull has worked as a diving consultant on TV shows including Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Pacific Abyss and many others. A BSAC First Class diver and Advanced Instructor, he’s instructed Sir Richard Attenborough and Lord Robert Winston!
I'm Not Perfect, but I'm Limited Edition
Narco
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Re: 33 WAYS TO DIVE SAFER

Post Number:#2  Postby run » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:06 pm

thanks for sharing it narco. hopefully more DC will spare the oxygen on boat.
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Re: 33 WAYS TO DIVE SAFER

Post Number:#3  Postby Narco » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:46 pm

Hehe.. 'Play' safe.. hehe
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Re: 33 WAYS TO DIVE SAFER

Post Number:#4  Postby gavstang » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:49 am

THanks for posting it up..newbies need all the advice they can get..
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Re: 33 WAYS TO DIVE SAFER

Post Number:#5  Postby andrrewdamien » Thu May 10, 2012 11:45 pm

Tips give above are really very helpful for divers. There are so many things you have to keep in mind if you are beginner and before diving. You have to check out all required equipments like suits and safety mask or safety glasses etc.
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Re: 33 WAYS TO DIVE SAFER

Post Number:#6  Postby decimal86 » Fri May 11, 2012 8:24 am

thks for the useful tip

just as a dive centre insist on a check-out dive, i always take a walk to the compressor room to see the state of the compressor and where the inlet air hose is located.

on tioman 2 yrs ago, i had cooking oil smell in my tank, gave me a huge headache
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
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Re: 33 WAYS TO DIVE SAFER

Post Number:#7  Postby Narco » Fri May 11, 2012 9:30 am

Decimal bro, lucky enough just cooking oil.. if petrol or diesel, how? hehe.. I agree with you, take a walk to the compressor room and test the air prior to the dive.

when i go thru the list and compare it to my observation, seems like half of the tips are followed by divers that ive met.. i wonder..
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