RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SAFE DIVING
- STAY FIT – SCUBA diving can be a physically demanding sport.
- BE CERTIFIED by a nationally recognized organization.
- Keep current on skills and try to dive at least 12 times a year.
- Continue diving education at all levels, especially after a period of not diving.
- DIVE SAFELY – Always dive with a “buddy” using well-maintained equipment.
- Know your equipment and your buddy’s equipment.
- Use hand signals you both know and agree upon.
- Know your limitations and your buddy’s limitations.
- KNOW THE LOCAL AREA – currents, obstacles, hazardous marine life, safe entry sites
- DESCEND SLOWLY – Avoid barotrauma to the ears, clear frequently, don’t dive with a cold (accepted meds are Sudafed daily and Afrin for no more than one or two days).
- ASCEND SLOWLY at 1 foot per 2 seconds (30’/min). Bubbles can form during all dives.
- Computer: most important use is for ascent rate verification.
- Make a safety stop for 3 – 5 mins at 10-20 fsw with every dive.
- If boat diving, use a safety or anchor line for ascent and safety stop
- LIMIT maximum dive depth to 100ft if multi-day diving.
- STAY WELL HYDRATED (pale yellow urine) and limit alcohol intake.
- PLAN your dive and dive your plan. Work out your own dive profile.
- AS YOU AGE use more conservative dive profiles and slower ascent rates, avoid square profiles, consider Nitrox certification.
- SCIENTIFIC DIVING (shallow): become Nitrox certified and dive more conservative profiles
AFTER THE DIVE:
- NO FREE DIVING during surface interval (prevents off gassing).
- SKIP A DIVE OR TWO if you’ve been pushing the decompression limits
- STAY WELL HYDRATED (water, juices, limited caffeine) and limit alcohol intake
- STAY WARM but no hot tubs or really hot shower, which increases the rate of off-gassing.
- KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DECOMPRESSION ILLNESS
IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS OF ANY DECOMPRESSION ILLNESS
- SEEK IMMEDIATE TREATMENT (better chance of full recovery)
- Always let the hospital know you have been diving.
- Buddy should be with you for information on dive profile and any problems that incurred.
- Bring dive tanks and gear, especially computer, to hyperbaric facility.
- BREATHE O2 if available
- DON’T TAKE PAIN MEDS (mask symptoms)
- REPORT to the nearest HOSPITAL – NOT a chamber (not always staffed 24/7).
- ALERT DAN of a diving accident and possible need for chamber treatment