Diving is a water sport that more and more people practice. This doesn’t mean that the only thing you need to practice it is basic equipment and waters to dive in. Unlike other minor risk sports, to practice a safe diving you need to take a beginner’s course that includes theoretical, practical tests, including the famous diving baptism, and medical tests.
On the other hand, you should know that the human body is not accustomed to the pressure and to the changes of this one in the depth of the sea. For that reason, before diving for the first time, inform yourself about how the diving equipment works, and follow a series of techniques and recommendations to avoid incidents or to diminish their negative consequences. Most of the diving accidents are due to recklessness and excess of confidence on the part of the diver!
Keep in mind these recommendations to avoid problems during your first dives, practice safe diving!
1. Safe diving implies specific requirements and preparation – train yourself properly!
Like any sport, diving requires knowledge and training prior to its practice, especially if we are novices.
The practice of Underwater Activities is regulated by law, which dictates that “every person who submits to a hyperbaric environment, must previously perform a specialized medical examination”, which will be repeated every two years in the case of sport and recreational divers.
Another requirement for safe diving is to take the approved training course, which also includes a medical examination. Inform yourself and sign up with enough time before diving for the first time. Never dive without having done this course, because our body is not accustomed to the pressure that exists in the depth of the sea, which causes many accidents during the dives.
Inside the water, due to its density and the load of our diving equipment, any movement will cost you more effort, even more if you have to face a complication. For that reason, before diving, you must have followed a physical training to prepare your body. You will reduce the risk of suffering cramps due to muscular fatigue and you will strengthen your legs, gluteus and lumbar zone.
2. Dive always in company
Another commandment of safe diving. Never dive alone; do it, at least, with another diver, and without being too far away. To know to communicate with your companions under the water is fundamental to warn to them of some danger or to confirm that the immersion marches well. However, being prepared to know how to act in the face of certain setbacks and to help yourself is crucial. We refer to problems such as cramps, loss or malfunction of equipment, obstacles, etc.
3. Have your diving equipment ready
A complete equipment in perfect condition is essential to practice a safe diving. When you buy the first one or renew it, try it in a simple and controlled immersion. Before diving, check that you have no problems. Let’s move on to the elements that we have to take with us when we dive for the first time.
- Neoprene suit
- Diving goggles
- Dive fins
- Buoyancy Compensator
- Lead or Dive Belt
- Scuba Tanks
- Dive clock
- Dive Computer
- Diving light
- Diving knife
4. Look for information on diving sites
The state of the sea will vary depending on the area and time of year you travel to dive. In addition to the attractions to observe during your immersion, you will have to consider a series of aspects to practice a safe diving.
If you are going to dive for the first time, do it in calm waters, with scarce waves and currents, not very deep, and whose conditions allow a good visibility. Pay attention to what is happening around you while you are underwater. Many diving accidents are produced by the impact with boats.
5. Knows the consequences of pressure changes in diving
Sudden changes in pressure are not well tolerated by the human body. When we dive, the pressure increases as we submerge due to the volume of water falling on us. Therefore, during the ascent, we must control the speed so that the pressure is gradually regulated and we avoid the decompression syndrome. To dive safely, we must respect the ascent times according to the depth and duration of the immersion.
The speed in which they leave small bubbles to the surface while you ascend is a good guide to know that we are ascending of a safe way. A usual rule is to ascend slower than the column of bubbles that is emitted with each exhalation of air.
6. Prepare your body and mind just before you dive
To increase agility and dexterity of movement, perform a series of stretches.
In addition to physically, you must also prepare yourself mentally. One of the golden rules for safe diving is to know how to stay calm. If during a dive there is a problem, fear and insecurity can become your worst enemies, because an uncontrolled maneuver could seriously damage your health. Remember, the depth under the sea is higher than on the surface. Later on you will understand better why we insist on this subject.
7. Take care of your ears: What is the Valsalva maneuver?
You will notice the change in pressure when your ears become clogged. Avoid this by performing the Valsalva maneuver, which consists of plugging your nostrils with your fingers and blowing through your nose at the same time. Try to perform this operation every meter you descend.
8. Stay calm if you have any problem, it is an ally to have a safe dive!
While you are diving you can find some problems that, if you are afraid and insecure, could play a bad trick on you. Getting tangled up in algae, lines or fishing gear, cramps or injuries, earache, etc. Therefore, before these setbacks the main thing is to act with head and serenity, so that we solve the problem and avoid worse consequences. Wanting to ascend quickly to the surface is too dangerous!
9. Control your breathing
When we are immersed in water we tend to hold our breath by reflex action. Even if you are diving with oxygen, holding your breath unnecessarily can cause you to feel anxious or panicky and damage your lungs.
10. Purchase dive insurance
Throughout this article we have mentioned the various risks involved in diving. If, irremediably, you have an accident or health problem, it is important to be protected with a diving insurance that guarantees you the adequate medical assistance, among other needs.