Diving safety series #2 – Signal Check

Scuba Diving GearThe ability to communicate is one of the main traits of the “dominant species” in this planet (whoever coined that term I am sure he did not dive!). Communicating with other people, is very important, but doing it underwater is crucial.

Unless you work diving missions for National Geographic or are filthy rich (and we all hate you for that… in a nice way of course!) and you have special gear that allows the use natural language while diving, you are limited to the use of hand signals to ensure you can efficiently transmit messages to your buddy and other divers around.

I am not going to review all the signals divers have at their disposal to transmit messages while underwater. For that, you can click here. However, I want to point out that it never hurts to go over a quick signal check to make sure that you and your buddy will be able to communicate while underwater. Specially if it is the first time you dive with that person.

Even if you have been diving with your buddy for some time, I have noticed that when more experienced divers do it, others in the group look at them and do it too. So, unknowingly you might be helping other divers.

.What I usually do is to go over the most important signals (no need to go over the entire manual again!). This is my short list of signals to check:

    • OK
    • Ascend/Descend
    • This depth
    • How much air do you have?/how to indicate remaining air
    • Something is wrong
    • Danger

I hope this little contribution encourages to perform a quick signal check next time you dive, and you never know, maybe by doing it, you are just becoming a safer diver.

Safe dive!


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