The desire to stay alive is a strong one, so it's understandable you want to know how to avoid scuba diving accidents. Scuba, while normally a very safe and fun activity, can be extremely dangerous if you don't know what you're doing.
Ready to stay safe, yet still have fun?
- Get certified. This is really important. Without certification you can't get a hold of most equipment, but most importantly, certification gets you comfortable with diving and teaches you a whole huge range of safety tips. You'll hear this over and over again, but its better to beat a dead horse than to mourn a dead diver.
- Keep breathing. If you're underwater, you're breathing. Don't hold your breath, even if you're running low on air. Better to end your dive early than suffer an air embolism.
- Buddy up. Don't dive by yourself. What happens when there's a problem and you're alone? What if you run out of air, get caught in some seaweed or fishing line, or your regulator starts free-flowing? You can always ask your dive buddy for help, but not if they don't exist!
- Dive within your limits. If you're a beginning diver, maybe the turbulent water with heavy currents and sharp drop-offs isn't for you quite yet. Don't go investigating inside wrecks unless you've been specifically trained to do so. Low visibility water can cause divers to panic or become lost. Deep water has its own problems. You shouldn't dive in conditions any more strenuous than those you trained in!
- Plan the dive, dive the plan. Know what to do and where to go. Establish with your buddy what happens if you get separated and how long to spend at each area underwater. This way you can keep a closer eye on your air supply and have a plan if one of you surfaces but the other doesn't.
- Maintain your equipment. Make sure everything has been inspected and check your equipment before every dive. This includes keeping equipment clean after every dive!
- Relax. This is one of the only sports in the world where your goal is to exert yourself as little as possible. Relax, coast, use gentle movements and don't get tired. Exhaustion is a serious problem when you're 100 feet deep!
- Pursue more training. Rescue diver courses are some of the best courses you can take. Not only will you learn all about diving safely, you'll also learn a ton about first aid and rescue in the dry world! It only takes a few days and it can totally change the way you dive.
- Hydrate. Drink lots of water before and after your dives. Because you're in the water, you don't realize how much water you're losing through perspiration. A few large glasses of water are never out of order! Just remember to use the restroom before any long dives!
- Have fun! Just as important as all the other tips on how to avoid scuba diving accidents, having fun is the reason why you're there. If you're miserable, you're much more likely to make dangerous mistakes, so have fun and remember your training!
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