Pre-Dive Scuba Diving Safety Checks


In any dive, the pre-dive safety check otherwise known as the buddy check is considered to be one of the most significant safety measures. Before any dive, this buddy check needs to be performed. There are two main objectives of this pre-dive scuba diving safety checks. The first is ensuring that the equipment of your dive partner is fully functional. The second is to familiarize yourself with your buddy’s equipment. This is to ensure that you know what to do in case of complications during the dive. For instance, having some knowledge on the use of their deflator, knowing how their weights and releases can be freed and being aware of their secondary air reserve.

The pre-dive checks should take place just before your masks and fins are put on. Conducting the buddy checks while still on land or on the boat is always recommended.

Scuba Dive Safety Checks – BWRAF

BWRAF is the acronym given to the five components of the safety check. When broken down, and it stands for; Buoyancy, Weights, Releases, Air, and Final OK.

Dive Safety Check – Buoyancy

The primary purpose of checking buoyancy is to provide assurance that there are no irregularities with the functions of your buddy’s Buoyancy Control Device (BCD). The first task is to inflate your buddy’s BCD but be sure not to over inflate it as any excess pressure may result in your buddy’s BCD exploding. Make sure that you deflate the BCD at the end to make certain the deflator is functioning correctly.

Dive Safety Check –Weights

Checking the weight system of your buddy be it integrated weights or a weight belt is your responsibility. You must ensure that if a weight belt is being worn by your buddy, the quick release should be easy to access and unobstructed. On the other hand, if integrated weights are being used, ensure that you are competent in releasing the weight pockets in their BCD and that they are properly secured.

Dive Safety Check – Releases

You must check that your buddy’s releases are held in place and secured appropriately. Pay close attention to their Velcro waist band and at least two shoulder clips. It is strongly suggested that you count out loud while touching each clip and the tank strap. One method of getting this done is by moving the tank up and down to see if the strap moves, and this can be done by keeping one hand on the first regulator while the other is placed at the bottom of the tank.

Dive Safety Check – Air

You must check your buddy’s air supply to ensure that it is functioning appropriately. This can be done by turning the valve all the way before turning it a half turn back. You must also take two breaths from his secondary air supply to ensure it is working.

Dive Safety Check – Final Thumbs Up

If all checks are OK and your buddy says that he is ready to go, you are now ready to dive.

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