Learn more about safety stops and why you should never miss one.
You learn a couple of vital lessons when you scuba dive, but the most integral part is that you should never miss a safety stop.
To describe it simply, a safety stop is a break that a scuba diver makes before their ascent to the surface.
In this article, we’ve gathered everything you need to know about why you should always put a safety stop when you dive.
What Is A Safety Stop?
A safety stop is a three-minute stop that every scuba divers do at a depth of 15 feet/5 meters before they return to the surface. It is an encouraged and extremely good practice to do in every dive regardless of the depth.
But why is it that important, you ask? Each time we dive, our body absorbs extra nitrogen since we are just breathing compressed air. The deeper or longer we stay underwater with our breathing apparatus, the more nitrogen will be absorbed.
And when you ascend to the shallow water, the additional nitrogen begins to dissolve from your body, reducing the pressure of air imposed by the water around you.
Do you know what happens when you shake a soda bottle and open it suddenly? That’s similar to when you quickly make your way up to the surface. The pressure reduces rapidly, causing the formation of nitrogen bubbles in our blood vessels and tissues. And you should know that it is treacherous when these bubbles get snared in your body because it can lead to Decompression Sickness a.k.a “the bends.”
That is why it is recommended to make a safety stop at 15 feet/ 5 meters, as it gives extra time for your body to discharge excess nitrogen that got dispersed in your system during the dive. Maximizing the time to pause and regain control can help a diver sustain a safe ascent rate.
Tips For A Perfect Safety Stop
Do It At Your Own Pace
It is important not to always be in a rush when it comes to a safety stop. It is recommended to do it gradually and to keep it slow at a recommended 30-feet per minute pace to the surface to prevent the risk of lung-expansion injuries.
Time Your Safety Stop
It is a must always to time your safety stops. A dive computer will help you track depths and safety stops on each dive. You can shop our newly launched H1+ here. Designed with your safety in mind, it displays real-time depth, temperature, and activity time.
Search For Reference Points
It is recommended to keep your head up and set your depth gauge at chest level to keep your torso at the accurate depth when you reach 15 feet. You can also inspect your surroundings for reference points at 15 feet/5 meters that you can use to complete a safety stop, such as shallow reefs.
Scuba diving is fun and exciting…
But it is always important to follow certain procedures to ensure that you are diving responsibly and safely.