This week’s Friday Feature is sponsored by LiveAboard.com but more about them later, Scuba diving has been through a series of different marketing strategies through the years. When scuba diving was marketed as dark and dangerous to appeal to the lads and adventurers, fewer families signed up. When it was made to be light and happy and safe, the adrenaline seekers went elsewhere so the public view on scuba diving shifts between the light and the dark but the rules around scuba diving rarely change and there are some big scuba diving No Nos.
Yes scuba diving has become safer and safer and most of it takes place in the sunny and warm waters of the tropics but it’s still a serious activity and the rules you learn in your courses are there for a reason, and while some of these are definitely in your text book some of these you have to learn on the waves. As a general rule of thumb, never say any of these words or phrases to a scuba diver as a few bonus no nos, never ever say: Goggles, flippers, oxygen tank
So, Hi I’m Mark from Simply scuba and here are a few BIG Scuba Diving No Nos!
You don’t need to touch my stuff, leave it alone. I have spent a lot of time, effort and most importantly money on my dive kit and I don’t want to see people fiddling with it, especially underwater. If you want to take a closer look at my setup then by all means ask and I’ll probably say yes so we can both improve our setup but I may have left my stuff a certain way so if you meddle with something and I don’t notice then I could be in trouble down the line. If you’re trying to fix a problem that I’ve missed then great, it’s a good sentiment, but I’ll never learn. If you assemble your buddy’s kit for them every time then they’re never going to do it themselves and they’re never going to learn how to look for and fix problems themselves.
The same goes for in the water don’t touch my stuff without telling me, there was a guy in the news recently who thought it would be a funny prank to turn other divers air off. Hilarious! But insanely dangerous. If there’s something wrong with my rig like a leak or an entanglement or you need something from me then definitely tell me but don’t screw around with my stuff without my knowledge. Also if you’ve assembled someone else gear or meddled in some way and something goes wrong, then the very best case is that you’re going to feel rubbish about it. The worst case is that a jury of your peers may have to think about what you did…
This one’s obvious, and should have been drilled into you during your first course. Don’t go down too deep, don’t stay down too long and don’t come up too quick. Dive computers will do their very best to keep you to this rule so if you ignore your dive computer and skip a stop or try to reset your deco so you can jump in the water sooner then you’re an idiot. That extra 5m might not look far to quickly dive down to take a photo but that extra 5m can be all the difference to turn a happy recreational dive into a deco dive and now your dive computer is showing you some scary new symbols that you don’t recognise or understand because you didn’t read the manual.
The same goes for overhead environments like caves and wrecks. Just because the water is clear and warm right now if you don’t have the right training or equipment then you can get lost, fast. Getting lost in open water just means you have to wait a while for the boat to pick you up or you have a long surface swim to get back, On that note, Bonus NoNo; Don’t forget your SMB or signalling device. Getting lost in a cave or a wreck is much much worse than getting lost at a dive site. It doesn’t really matter where you do your safety stop but if you can’t physically get to 5m then you ain’t going to make it back.
In fact; don’t touch anything underwater unless you absolutely have to. Corals for example, might be made from calcium and can cope with strong currents and marine life cruising in and around it but it’s surprisingly fragile. Coral gets broken all the time by divers who get too close to it and either flail around because they can’t move in the water effectively or they just don’t seem to know where their limbs are in the water or that their feet are much bigger than they usually are. And that tiny tap with your fins has just undone a hundred years worth of growth.
Sticky fingers are also not welcome on dive sites. Valuable artifacts from history and beautiful examples of nature are amazing to see and that’s why most of us dive certain sites but if you slip it in your pocket then nobody else gets to see it again ever and all it does is just sit in your garden or cupboard and gets forgotten about. Many things are actually quite dangerous to touch not just for you but for the marine life too. There is plenty of potent venoms underwater and marine life uses a lot of spikes and pointy things to get such poisons in to you.
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This should really go without saying but if you’re the kind of character that doesn’t get on well with others then you’re going to have a bad time on a dive boat. I know that you’re probably paying them but that doesn’t mean that you can treat them or their ship like trash. Being rude, arrogant or just “that guy” is the easiest way to never get invited back and to have a rubbish time on your trip. They probably won’t do anything bad to you but they certainly won’t go out of their way to help you out.
Everybody deserves respect in this world and if you owned a boat and some obnoxious diver just threw their stuff all over the deck, expecting you to clear it up, what would you do. Remember that these people are directly responsible for hanging around for an hour while you go off on a jolly, and then they stick around to pick you up out of the water, so lets give them their due respect.
Incidents are usually the result of a cascade of events and usually happen when something small is overlooked. Lots of little problems often add up to one big accident so if you see something or feel something then try to fix it there and then because if you skip passed it then it could contribute to something a lot worse. If your fin strap feels a little loose then sure you can work with that, but if your buddy needs help and one of your fins falls off then you’re not going to be any help and the whole situation is going to be alot worse than if you take an extra minute or two to sort out your little problem.
Some divers are superstitious, and a little too superstitious at times, reading into little signs and feelings but in my experience it’s better to ask someone “hey, when’s the last time you tightened that nut?” or “hey, that strap looks a bit tired” then let it fail. That little conversation could be nothing or it could save a life. That little wake up call may make someone look twice and say “huh, maybe I should charge that battery” or swap that strap over because if something’s going to break it won’t on the surface with everybody around to help it’ll be at depth by yourself in the suckiest situation possible.
So there were a few scuba diving no nos but I’m sure you have a few of your own so lets discuss in the comments below if you have anything interesting to say. As ever; you’ve made it this far in the video so lets discuss what you need to do now. You’ve watched the video so we can check that off our list, next on the list is to click on a thumbs up icon, can you see one of those? Yeah click on that, next is a subscribe button, you should really click on that too until it turns grey. Anyway, just to say another thank you to liveaboard.com for sponsoring this week’s Friday Feature, thanks for watching and safe diving