Regardless of a diver’s experience, skill, confidence, and level of qualification, there are certain things that every diver should remember. This is important not only for the safety of divers but for the conservation of our underwater environment as well.
1. Do NOT Touch!
As divers, we often don’t realize the extent of damage that we can cause simply by touching the marine life, whether it’s a turtle or some colorful coral. Touching coral can cause permanent damage, ultimately causing it to die. Divers should at all times avoid chasing or touching any marine animals.
2. Don’t Follow Peer Pressure
All divers need to ensure that they are comfortable with the proposed plan. This is not the time for a diver to let others dictate what is right for him. A diver needs to be confident that he can cope with the intended dive and that it is well within his own personal limits.
Buoyancy is a deceptive skill. It can seem relatively easy to learn, but it is actually quite difficult to master. Perfecting your buoyancy skills is a must. Any diver should be able to ascend or descend by inhaling or exhaling, respectively. A diver should only use his buoyancy compensator device (BCD) to compensate for changes in depth during a dive.
4. Watch Your Fins
If a diver does not have complete control and awareness of his fins, then he will probably unwittingly break something and/or kick someone in the face. If his fins hit something, the diver needs to stop and see what he has hit and even take a few strokes with his hands to get out the way and regain control. A lack of awareness whilst kicking with fins can cover coral with sediment (affecting photosynthesis), upset habitats and wash away small creatures.
5. Dive Gear
Dive gear is essential in ensuring a diver’s safety. Therefore, all divers need to regularly service their gear and keep it well maintained at all times. If you look after your gear then you will be able to rely on it during your dives.
6. Keep Blowing Bubbles
This might be number six on our list, but it’s the most important scuba skill of all. Remember to inhale and exhale throughout your dive. Don’t ever hold your breath!
7. Watch Your Air
A scuba diver needs to monitor his air throughout the dive, checking it as often as possible. This is essential if you are to dive safely and avoid running out of air.
8. Never Exceed Your Limits
In order to ensure their safety, divers should never exceed their personal limits on any dive. This includes limits regarding training, experience, skills, and what they feel comfortable with.
9. Listen to the Briefing
Not listening to the briefing means that a diver will not know what to do on the dive. This will at best spoil the dive or, what’s worse, result in his getting lost.
10. Do NOT Touch!
This point deserves repetition. Divers should not touch anything underwater. The old caveat remains the same: the only things you can take are pictures, and the only things you can leave behind are bubbles.