A lack of fitness, buoyancy problems, missed buddy checks and revisions, and inadequate dive planning, often lead to accidents.
Not only beginners have problems diving. Experienced divers overestimate their abilities, neglect their abilities, or deal sloppily with checks and their equipment. You should avoid these five mistakes!
1. Inadequate fitness
Few people stay fit for life. Adopting a healthy lifestyle early on can help postpone the ailments associated with aging. If health problems arise, it is important to discuss them with the doctor, act, and make changes. Diving can be a lifelong pastime. Before diving, make an honest assessment of whether you are medically fit for diving. Watch for signs of acute illness and familiarize yourself with the risks and essential precautions associated with chronic illness.
Being physically fit means to have cardiovascular health and physical strength to dive safely and in a controlled manner. Do you have a problem with drift dives? Are you exhausted after swimming long on the surface? Do you have massive problems getting in and out? And are you able to help your buddy in an emergency? All divers should be physically able to do so.
2. No dive planning
One of the most important preparatory steps is dive planning. The briefing does not have to be complicated or inflexible, but it is important to prevent and manage diving accidents.
• Find out about currents, depths, marine life, entry and exit points, boat traffic at the dive spot
• Inform someone who does not submerge and who waits on the surface about the dive time and discuss a possible safety chain. Make sure that this person stores important emergency telephone numbers on the mobile phone.
• Before diving, make sure that you and your dive buddies have the same dive plan. Discuss contingency plans in case conditions change during your dive. Say the maximum depth, bottom time, and signs for “half tank”, 50 bar, ascent and descent, safety stop, and go through the important emergency signs.
3. Balance problems and too much lead
It is not surprising that the most common accidents of divers are related to buoyancy problems: barotraumas, uncontrolled ascents, injuries from marine life. Inefficient buoyancy control can cause the dive going deeper than planned, changing the intended dive profile, and possibly increasing air consumption. Constant adjustments can also affect air consumption. The worst scenario is an uncontrolled ascent which puts the diver at risk of a pulmonary overdistension injury (pulmonary barotrauma) and significantly increases the risk of arterial gas embolism. Ear injuries are also often associated with ineffective buoyancy control. If you feel uncomfortable pressure in your middle ears or sinuses during the descent, stop the descent, ascend, until it releases the pressure, try to balance it and, if successful, continue to descend. If you encounter an inverted block as you ascend, descend a little and try to balance. These procedures are difficult to perform without proper buoyancy control.
Most injuries from marine life are because of inadvertent contact between divers and the stonefish. Proper control of buoyancy is important to protect us and the environment. And remember, proper buoyancy control starts with the lead. And unfortunately, most divers wear too much of it around their hips. During diving training, students are always leftovers so they can stay nice and down. Later, many still dive with several kilos too much. This increases air consumption and is just a waste of energy. Never forget the lead checks. If, at the end of the dive, you are floating at 50bar in the bottle, holding your breath, and diving on the exhale, the amount of lead is good.
4. Forgot buddy problem and check
A common reason for problems underwater is poor communication with the buddy. This show by many reports from our “Learning from mistakes” section: Passed buddy checks, errors in equipment configuration, incorrect breathing gas management, and assigned diving partners who care little about each other lead to dangerous situations repeatedly. We should discuss the underwater signs with the buddies before the dive. The risk of accidents is usually greatest at the beginning and end of the dive and when entering and exiting the dive. For this reason, the buddies should always dive so closely together until they reach the depth and during the ascent that they can react immediately in an emergency. An out-of-air situation with a diving buddy ten meters away can end in dire straits.
5. Equipment not maintained
In many reader reports from the “Learning from mistakes” section, venting regulators and defective inflators lead to dangerous reactions. It exposes the heart of the diving equipment to high loads during transport and use, which often leave traces. It is essential to observe the maintenance intervals and to bring the controller to an overhaul in a good time. Your life ultimately depends on the regulator!