Scuba Certification In Northern Virginia: 6 Common Scuba Diving Mistakes
Scuba Diving is a very safe sport. However, like anything else things can go wrong. Every year the Diver’s Alert Network or DAN collects statistics relating to the previous years mishaps in scuba diving. From this analysis it is possible to spot contributing factors to scuba diving emergencies. Here are the five most common as reported by DAN.
Mistake #1: Neglecting Your Heath
As divers, we have an obligation to maintain good health. DAN recommends an annual physical by a physician familiar with dive medicine for anyone over 35 or any time there is a noticeable health change. As we get older it becomes even more important to maintain good physical conditioning not only when scuba diving but in general. Heart attacks are a leading cause of dive fatalities.
Mistake #2: Divers Exceeding Their Level Of Experience and Training
When we scuba dive we increase our dive experience and this builds the knowledge and skills inherent to dive safety. As divers make more dives, they gain experience and practice with basic and emergency skills. This will better prepare them to meet challenges that may occur on a dive. However, if we are attempting to try a totally new type of scuba diving endeavor commons sense dictates that we undergo some additional training and practice prior to this new experience. Many divers, however, think nothing of pushing the envelope so to speak without any additional training or thought.
Mistake #3: Poor or No Buddy Communication
As scuba divers we routinely dive in buddy pairs for both safety and practicality. It is only good common sense to sit down with your dive buddy prior to the dive and review your dive plan. During this time a review of safety procedures should also be discussed. This goes a long way in preventing dive problems. Maintaining this contact and communication throughout the dive contributes to dive safety.
Statistics have shown that a majority of dive accidents occurred with divers either diving along or who had become separated from their buddies. Good communication can prevent this error.
Mistake #4: Not Practicing Those Critical Skills
When you received your initial scuba diving training you were taught not only basic skills but several very important skills related to dealing with scuba diving emergencies. Just like any other skills unless you either use these skills or practice them you become rusty and they are no longer second nature. Then if a problem arises it is far more difficult to preform them. DAN data clearly shows that many dive related accidents are a result of diver error, not necessarily equipment problems. All scuba divers should routinely practice those important skills and if they have not been scuba diving in a while consider taking a scuba review course to refresh those skills.
Mistake #5: Not Maintaining Your Scuba Diving Equipment.
Equipment issues are involved in a large number of scuba diving injuries. One of the advantages of owning your own equipment is that you know it fits you properly and that you are familiar with its characteristics. Owning your own equipment makes you not only a better diver but a safer diver. However, you must still have your equipment serviced on an annual basis to be sure that it is functioning in peak performance condition.
Mistake #6: Not Accepting Personal Responsibility For The Dive.
Each and every diver has equal responsibility for the conduct of the dive. Everyone should be aware of what takes place during a dive and be prepared to modify the dive plan if conditions occur that could increase risk. All too often divers routinely follow the Divemaster or group without regard to their personal depth, dive time or remaining air supply. You would not want to drive a car without a gas gauge, but I have seen scuba divers following computer profiles without their own dive computer. Running out of air or exceeding your allowable dive time is far more serious then running out of gas on the highway!
No matter how experienced a scuba diver you are, what your certification level, or how long you have been diving, it is imperative that you follow the same common sense scuba diving rules that you were taught when you were first certified. If you avoid the mistakes we just discussed you will go a long way to making your Aquatic Adventures safer….