When my alarm went off, I sat up in bed to check my phone for updates that I’ve missed while I was asleep. Emails… Instagram… WhatsApp… Facebook… Hmmm. I saw a Facebook post by a close diving friend of mine, and it caught my eye because he hardly posts anything.
“… Although, I wasn’t directly involve in the accident, I had some exchanges with the family members and they would like to be left alone. …”
My eyes flew open, my heart started racing, and I was wide awake. Even though I haven’t dived in awhile, I knew it must’ve been another dive accident that took place. I quickly googled the news, and saw that over a weekend dive trip in Tioman, an instructor and his student had drowned. Even though I was so far away, the news still hit me hard, as diving is a sport I hold really close to my heart, and knowing something like that happened, really pains me.
While there is nothing I can do except offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victims, I can definitely share some safety tips with anybody who may be new to diving, or thinking of trying it out. There has been a string of incidents in recent years that might have tarnished the reputation of diving as a sport, but I would like to point out that if one practices safe diving procedures, the risks can be drastically reduced.
5 Safety Tips for a Happy Scuba Diving Trip
- BWARF: The acronym for B: Buoyancy Control Device, W: Weights, A: Air, R: Releases F: Final check. This checklist is taught right off the bat with any Open Water certification, and I cannot stress how important it is. It may seem lame, but try looking cool when you are almost out of air, or if you forget weights and you start floating up toward the end of your dive!
- Service your equipment: Well serviced equipment is less likely to malfunction while you are underwater.
- Dive Buddy: NEVER DIVE ALONE! If you are a new diver, always make sure you pair yourself up with someone who is experienced.
- Don’t be a Hero: If you’re not feeling well, don’t even think of getting into the water. Not only are you endangering yourself, you are endangering your buddy.
- Say NO to drugs: Combining drugs or alcohol with the wonderful experience of being underwater may seem like a great idea, but it is not. Don’t do it.
Well, that’s my 2 cents worth of Diving Safety Tips. As someone who’s suffered from sinus infections from being unable to equalize while underwater, I also highly suggest getting travel insurance to cover any medical bills you might have after your trip. DirectAsia.com offers fantastic insurance coverage for non-competitive sports during travel. So, if you do decide to venture underwater, give DirectAsia.com a call before you dive down!