Keep reading to learn more about how to be the best diving buddy you can be.
Here’s the thing about scuba diving: it should never be done alone. In fact, one of the rules in scuba diving is to have a diving buddy. But having a great dive buddy starts with being a better dive buddy. In this article, we’ve gathered tips to ensure you and whoever you dive with have the most enjoyable and safe diving experience!
1. Plan your dive together.
First things first, it is important to create a dive plan together with your dive buddy. You should agree upon the maximum depth you want to achieve and the dive duration. Make sure to discuss any of your diving peculiarities, such as sensitive ears or a need for a slower descent.
2. Always do a safety check.
Divers often overlook this, but it is a very important step in the buddy system protocol, and you should always follow it with no exceptions. Before diving, a great dive buddy should do a safety check for their own and their buddies’ equipment. Make sure they are wearing their gear right, such as dive masks, and if everything works properly.
This tip does not only help you have a safe diving experience, but it will also help you build trust and collaboration.
3. Practice underwater hand signals.
A good dive buddy is a great communicator on land and underwater as well. Of course, you won’t be able to communicate underwater verbally without using radio equipment, so divers must learn common hand signals to communicate with their buddies.
Review your underwater hand signals with your diving buddies. You don’t have to learn everything, but it is necessary to learn the hand signals for problems or out-of-air signs.
4. Stay close to your buddy at all times.
Divers use the buddy system for a reason. It is important to stay close to your diving buddy at all times— how close usually depends on the dive conditions such as visibility and currents.
The general recommendation is to be at arms’ reach from your dive buddy and check in on them every 30 seconds.
In a few words, you should be close enough to respond quickly if your dive buddy needs immediate help. You need to stay close to help your buddy in scenarios like getting low on air, equipment malfunctions, or injuries.