Diving Safety – Take Heed of the Caution Signs

If you are looking for a sport that is unique, beautiful and at the same time adventurous, that sport is scuba diving. Everyone should give it a try at least once in their lives. They would find the experience of being underwater both exhilarating and relaxing at the same time. Scuba diving though can be a dangerous sport without proper training and preparation. Proper equipment together with precautions can make this sport a safe and wonderful activity. The following are a few safety tips to go through before taking up scuba diving.

Dive Training

Certification can be attained by taking a recognized dive training course. If you are only diving for recreational purposes then it is advisable to take along a certified instructor with you on your dive. Should you wish to take up diving more seriously, enroll in a course that will actually give you a scuba diving certificate. This may not necessarily be as an instructor but one that will register you as a certified and capable scuba diver.

Physical Conditioning

A visit to the doctor would be a good idea to undertake before you take up scuba diving. The doctor should give you the all clear for the physical exertions required in scuba. Though scuba diving is mentally relaxing, it involves enough physical effort that people with weak cardiovascular and especially respiratory systems would need to think seriously about first before indulging in. A person can be disqualified from diving if they are found to have asthma, a weak heart and tendencies for asphyxiation. Although the scuba gear allows those who don't know how to swim to navigate underwater, it is advisable that you know how to swim. After all you will be in the water.

Dive Site Awareness

Ranking is given for your scuba diving training and certification depending on the underwater hazards you have been trained to handle. Do avoid places that you are not certified to manage. This is due to the hazardous nature of some dive areas which would need special certification and training in specialized equipment.  These hazards include scuba diving in shark infested waters, ice floes, coral reefs with toxic or aggressive underwater life forms, underwater caves and shipwrecks.

Properly Maintained Dive Equipment is a Must

Care and maintenance of scuba diving equipment should also be included in the training and certification. This is important to keep your gear in top condition. Man is not biologically aquatic and no matter how skilled you are at navigating underwater, your equipment is what will keep you alive down there. When renting equipment, do give it a thorough check especially test dates. Be certain to examine it carefully to ensure there are no flaws in the gear that may cause it to fail during a dive. If your breathing apparatus gives out underwater then drowning is a real possibility.

Buddy Diving – Don't Dive Alone

Having a buddy who is more experienced like an instructor is a good idea when embarking on a scuba diving excursion. Do not go with a buddy who is inexperienced in scuba diving. This would only make diving more dangerous. On the other hand, if you are experienced and are taking an inexperienced diver with you than be sure that your partner knows how to follow your instructions once underwater. When diving alone, at least have someone manning the boat on the surface to make sure you've got a buddy watching out for you.

Dive Site Weather Conditions – Due Diligence Before The Dive

Be aware of the weather conditions and reports before the dive. You would not want to wind up diving during a typhoon or worse a thunderstorm. Though the conditions may seem okay for diving, make certain you take enough medical equipment to compensate for sudden changes in the weather. Adverse weather such as heat waves can be problematic. Even though you may be underwater, heat waves have been known to cause heat stroke and dehydration to divers who thought they were safe from it. This happens because water conducts heat more efficiently than air.

Be Aware of the Danger Signs

It is essential to have some knowledge of medical signs and symptoms. The following are a few conditions that afflict divers. Hypothermia, dehydration, heat exhaustion, asphyxiation and a diver-specific malady called decompression sickness. This occurs when a diver's body is exposed to prolonged breathing of high pressure gas and rapid decrease in pressure after ascending too quickly. Upon returning to the surface, the body cannot adapt quickly enough to the lower surface pressure and this can cause air bubbles to form in the blood resulting in dizziness, sickness and vomiting from system shock.

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