Scuba diving can be an incredible experience. It transports you into an entirely different world, filled with amazing creatures and stunning landscapes. It can create unforgettable experiences and it is therefore no surprise that it is becoming an increasingly popular leisure sport in the United Kingdom. However, scuba diving can also be a very dangerous sport and accidents while scuba diving can unfortunately cause serious, life-changing injuries and even death. In order to avoid such accidents, there are some simple rules that you can follow to make sure that you are staying safe while scuba diving.
Top tips for staying safe while scuba diving
Growing up, you learn that following certain rules is essential to your survival. Your parents teach you to wash your hands before you eat, look both ways before crossing the road, and so forth. Life is risky and following these rules can help to minimise these risks. This same principle is true for scuba diving. There are many hazards associated with this sport, but following a few simple rules can help you to avoid injury and dive safely:
- Never dive alone – Choose a diving buddy whose training and skill levels match your own. Spend time with your buddy learning how each of you dives and practise safety procedures together before you dive.
- Do not hold your breath – It is important to breathe normally to avoid possible injuries or illnesses. These include lung over-expansion injuries, oxygen toxicity, narcosis, decompression sickness and carbon dioxide toxicity.
- Do not stay down too long – Plan your dive carefully and then stick to the plan. Always make sure that you follow the divemaster’s rules and never end the dive with less than 500psi in your tank.
- Do shallow dives – The shallower you dive, the longer you can stay there. There are also less risks associated with shallow dives. For recreational divers, 40 metres is the generally accepted maximum depth.
- Do not ascend faster than your smallest exhaled bubbles – Ascending too quickly can cause nitrogen bubbles to form in your tissues, which can obstruct arteries, compress nerves and create a harmful chemical reaction in the blood.
- Never dive with bad equipment – Make sure you look after your equipment by having it serviced regularly by an authorised technician. Equipment failure is the most predictable and most preventable cause of scuba diving accidents.
- Dive at your skill level – Never attempt to take on a dive that you are not trained for.
- Remember your safety stop – Do not forget to hang out for at least three to five minutes at a depth of about 4.5 metres. This is the best-known way to eliminate nitrogen from your system.
What if something goes wrong?
Sometimes accidents happen, despite our best efforts. If you have been injured in a scuba diving accident that was not your fault, give Accident Advice Helpline a call on 0800 180 4123. Our legal advisers will discuss your accident with you and advise you whether you could be entitled to make a compensation claim.
Date Published: December 31, 2013
Author: David Brown