Let’s be honest: Sometimes, the most fun place to be on the planet is below the surface. Scuba diving gives us access to the eternal mystery of the ocean.
With more than 70% of the earth’s surface covered by water, there’s far more to explore underwater than on land. Yet, if you want to dive into the world of underwater exploration, seeing things that most people can never even imagine, it’s important to understand scuba diving safety.
Scuba diving can be dangerous. However, with the proper scuba diving safety equipment and training, you should have nothing to worry about.
What gear is needed, and what are the scuba diving safety measures that you need to follow? Keep reading to find out now.
Why Scuba Diving Is Worth It
With a lot of training required before you can explore the ocean on your own, and with tons of safety equipment needed, you might be wondering if scuba diving is even worth it. After all, it takes time, effort, and money to get started.
The short answer is yes, it’s absolutely worth it. It’s estimated that somewhere between 50% and 80% of all life on earth lives underwater. That’s a lot of fish, whales, dolphins, and other creatures you can only see when you put your flippers and mask on.
Plus, you can see some of the most complex, dynamic, living environments: coral reefs. These beautiful and breathtaking places are unfortunately disappearing fast. So, if exploring places like the Great Barrier Reef is on your bucket list, be sure to do it sooner rather than later.
You’ll also be among a very small minority of people who have ever explored underwater. Most people on the planet are content to explore on land, never some much as diving more than five feet in their local waters.
When you venture out into deep water, seeing creatures, corals, and landscapes beneath the surface, you’ll know you were one of the few who have ever had this experience.
Dangers Associated With Scuba Diving
The benefits of scuba diving are clear. You can explore the oceans and seas without holding your breath, giving you ample time to become one with the oceanic environment.
Yet, it’s not all fun and games. The risks of scuba diving are very real.
One of the most common ailments suffered by scuba divers is decompression sickness. When you are underwater, you are in an environment where the pressure is higher than up on the surface.
When you breathe in compressed air from your tank, your body absorbs extra nitrogen. If you ascend to the surface too fast, the pressure will change too quickly. The excess nitrogen will begin to bubble up inside of you, causing discomfort and pain.
Drowning is another important concern. It’s not the lack of oxygen, since you always have a supply in your tank. It’s usually the result of panic.
Of course, there are also rare incidents of being attacked by aquatic life. Most creatures under the sea are not aggressive and won’t bother you unless you get too close or stick cameras in their face.
Scuba Diving Safety
While there are very real risks associated with scuba diving, there are also very simple steps you can take to limit or avoid them. Here’s what to do.
You can’t dive if you aren’t certified. In order to get certified, you’ll need to take official training courses. Certification courses are the foundation of scuba diving health and safety.
During these courses, you’ll learn all about diving. You’ll learn about pressure, and how your body deals with the compressed air you are breathing.
You’ll learn how to pace your dive, as you’ll need to descend and ascend slowly. You’ll learn how to use dive computers to ensure you are always diving within your limits.
And most importantly, you’ll do a ton of practice diving with certified professionals. Nothing beats real-life experience.
Always Dive with a Buddy
One of the most important scuba diving safety tips is to always dive with a buddy. Never go underwater without someone who is also certified and is comfortable with their equipment.
Most risks can be avoided or handled accordingly with the presence of more than one diver. For example, if one diver experiences malfunctioning equipment, the buddy diver can help share air with the other while they safely ascend to the surface.
If one person begins to panic, the other diver can be there to assist them back to the boat or shore.
Have the Right Scuba Diving Safety Gear
Scuba diving can only happen with the right gear. Unlike freediving, where very little is required, scuba diving is a gear-intensive activity.
In the beginning, all of your diving should take place under the supervision of a dive shop or training center. They’ll have all the gear you need.
As you get more and more comfortable, and as you want to dive more frequently, you’ll want to acquire your own gear. This includes a mask, wetsuit to regulate body temperature, air tanks, regulator, and dive computer.
Want to make diving even more fun? Or, do you simply need to cover more ground for photography or research purposes? Then you need a sea scooter.
Use them to get around underwater, saving your legs and arms from having to swim so hard.
You always need to pace your dive. Your body needs to adjust to the pressure and the use of compressed air. This means descending and ascending slowly.
Ascending too quickly can result in decompression sickness, which is something you never want to deal with. New divers frequently feel the need to ascend quickly due to low oxygen or as a result of mild panicking. This is why you should spend a lot of time diving under supervision until you are very comfortable underwater.
Enjoying Our Most Abundant Ecosystem
Scuba diving is one of the most unique and rewarding hobbies you can pursue. More than a hobby, it can be used in careers for research and conservation purposes.
Learning scuba diving safety is always the first step. Your safety is almost entirely in your hands. If you ever feel uncomfortable about a dive, it’s best not to do it.
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