It doesn’t matter if it’s your first dive or your one-thousandth, there are certain rules that must be followed to ensure a safe experience underwater. However, some rules are so basic that the more you dive, the easier they become to forget. The key is to keep them fresh in your mind. You should even consider writing them down and checking the list before every dive tip. Here’s a look at the 5 basic rules that all divers should follow.
Service your gear regularly.
Keeping your dive gear in top shape is one of the most important things you can do to ensure safe trips. You need to make sure that your BC vest, regulator, and computer are in good working order. If you only dive a few times a year, getting your regulator serviced annually should be sufficient. If you dive a lot (say, 100 or more times per year), you’ll probably want to have your regulator serviced more often.
Inspect new gear thoroughly.
If you buy new equipment, make sure you inspect it thoroughly. Put it all together and ensure that it fits you correctly. Make sure you can program your dive computer and that your brand-new wet suit isn’t actually a size too small.
Do a predive check with a buddy.
This one may seem like something that only beginners should do, but there’s no reason to stop just because you get a dozen or so dives under your belt. You and your dive buddy should go through each other’s gear once you have it on, just to make sure that all hoses, weights, releases, and various other equipment are placed correctly.
Stay close to your buddy.
Diving alone is a bad idea, but you should also stay within a 15-second swim of your dive buddy at all times. This will ensure that either of you can provide aid should one of you run into a problem.
Check your gauges.
This one should be obvious, but you’d be surprised how many divers (even experienced ones) run out of air or get too deep just because they’re chasing down some amazing fish they spotted. The point is, it’s easy to get distracted while diving. Make sure to keep an eye on your depth and your air supply throughout your dive. This is where having that buddy close by can be a literal lifesaver.