Safety messages issued for the start of the dive season

Safety messages issued for the start of the dive season

About the author

Luke Blissett
Public Relations Officer at RNLI HQ, Poole.

Start quoteSimple steps like checking your kit is in working order after a winter in the garage and practicing in a pool or in shallow water before the first dive of the season can help ensure your safety.End quote

With the start of the season fast approaching, the RNLI has worked together with other members of the British Diving Safety Group (BDSG), to produce seven top tips for divers to follow before they embark on their first dives of the season. 

Nick Fecher, Coastal Safety Product Manager, said: ‘With Easter traditionally heralding the start of the diving season, the British Diving Safety Group has come together to produce and promote a set of consistent safety tips for divers.

‘We are encouraging divers to follow our seven top tips to ensure they enjoy the start of the diving season safely.

‘Simple steps like checking your kit is in working order after a winter in the garage and practicing in a pool or in shallow water before the first dive of the season can help ensure your safety.’

The seven top tips are:

• Have your kit serviced in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
• Check all your kit is in working order, such as suit seals and rubber straps for perishing, zips and SMB reels.
• Practice your skills in a pool/shallow site before the first dive of the season.
• Plan some work up dives to ease yourself back into the water if you have not dived since last year.
• Be realistic about your fitness levels before commencing the season.
• Don’t let complacency creep in. Inform the Coastguard of your plan and undertake a thorough buddy check before each dive.
• Do not underestimate the risks; accidents do happen to people like you.

Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Luke Blissett, Public Relations Officer, on 01202 663184 or email Alternatively, contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email

Lifeboats News Release

  • Date:
  • Author: Luke Blissett

Titanic Polystyrene Cup – 2005 Expedition – Up for auction now!!!

This auction is being held to raise money for Deptherapy and the RNLI.

The cup is now significantly reduced in size due to the immense pressure experienced during the dive to the Titanic.
Rory Golden, of Flagship Scubadiving Ltd, Dublin, returns to the site of the world’s most famous shipwreck, RMS TITANIC, 1st – 8th August, as a part of the HARRIS EXPEDITION, led by G. Michael Harris, owner of the renowned attraction, Titanic – ‘Ship Of Dreams’ in Orlando, Florida

Mr. Golden will be taking part in a film documentary capturing a Guinness World Record diving attempt by Mr. Harris’s 13 year-old son, Sebastian Harris, the youngest person to ever dive to Titanic. Golden will be in charge of dive safety for underwater camera crews who will be filming the launch and recovery of the submersibles as well as diving to the wreck 4,000 metres deep, and placing a Memorial plaque from Belfast City Council and Harland and Wolff in honour of the men and women who built Titanic, the 22 Belfast men who lost their lives, and all those who perished in the tragedy.

Five years ago, he also placed a memorial plaque from Cobh, the ship’s last port of call, on the ship.

It has always been his dream to return to TITANIC one day and leave a tribute from the city that built it.

It has been 4000 meters below the sea!

It has been 4000 meters below the sea!

Famous Scuba Divers

People Who Have Made A Difference – Plus Some Celebrities That Dive

Famous scuba divers. Almost everyone has heard of Jacques Cousteau. He is probably the most famous diver in the history of scuba diving. And rightly so since he is the one who made it accessible to the average person.

But who else has strapped on a tank and made a difference in the sport? Well, let’s find out…

Photo by Tom Ordway, Ocean Futures Society; Courtesy of KQED
Jean Michel Cousteau founded the Ocean Futures Society

We’ll start with Jean-Michel Cousteau (1938 – ), the son of Jacques Cousteau. He is listed as thefirst certified diver in the world.

It is famously reported that his first dive was when he was 7. He was thrown overboard by his father with his father’s newly invented aqualung strapped to his back. Today he is probably the most recognized environmentalist in the world. He is president of the Ocean Futures Society (a nonprofit marine education and conservation organization) and an influential filmmaker.

Let’s go to Hollywood for some famous scuba divers. Lloyd Bridges (1913-1998). For the younger set, he is the father of actors Jeff and Beau Bridges. He introduced scuba diving to millions of people with his TV series “Sea Hunt”which aired from 1957 to 1961. In this series he played a Navy frogman turned undersea investigator.

Many recreational divers entered the sport because of this series. Bridges was also NAUI’s first honorary instructor member.

Zale Perry is another entry with a (partly) Hollywood angle. She played the resident damsel in distress in the Sea Hunt series. Prior to this, she was a test diver for major equipment manufacturers. Zale Perry began her diving career in 1951 and is considered an authority on sport diving. She was key in the development of decompression chamber treatment for diving injuries and is now a member of the Diving Hall of Fame.

Lloyd Bridges in Sea Hunt

We’ll leave the Hollywood angle behind for now and focus on the more serious work of some famous scuba divers. Albert Tillman (1928-2004) along with Neal Hess founded the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) in 1960. NAUI is now the second largest certification agency in the world. Tillman also co-authored Scuba America with Zale Perry.

John Cronin (1929-2003) was co-founder and CEO of PADI. Along with Ralph Erickson, he formed this new professional diver training organization in 1966. PADI is the largest diving certification agency in the world.

Famous scuba divers also include Mel Fisher(1922-1998), better known as the World’s Greatest Treasure Hunter. He found the Spanish galleon, Nuestra Senora de Atochaand Santa Margarita on July 20. 1985. These ships sank over 350 years ago and contained over $450 MM in silver, gold and other artifacts. He is credited with opening the states first dive shop around 1950. He spent his life in various aspects of the dive industry (teaching, filming, treasure hunting).


Mel Fisher with some of his underwater treasures.

Sylvia Earle (1935- ) is probably the best know female marine scientist. Nicknamed the “Sturgeon General” or “The Queen of Deepness” she is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and a former chief scientist for NAOO (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). At 3280 feet, she holds the record for solo diving. Earle is also one of the original inductees into theWomen Divers Hall of Fame.

Eugenie Clark (1922 – ), also known as The Shark Lady, is known for her research on sharks and poisonous fishes. She has caught and studied over 2,000 sharks. With her research, she has given the world a better understanding of why fish behave the way they do.

Let’s end with a few celebrity divers. Not because they contributed anything to the sport, but because it’s fun: Tom Cruise, Tiger Woods,  James Cameron, Lauren Hutton, Bill Gates, Kathleen Turner, Paris Hilton, Gene Hackman, Nikki Taylor and Penelope Cruz to name a few.

In fact, Shape magazine recently ran an article saying that some celebrities such as Jessica AlbaSandra BullockKatie Holmes, and Nina Dobrev took up the sport as a form of physical fitness. It is the new celebrity fitness trend. The magazine reports you can burn up to 400 calories in 30 minutes of diving. Not too shabby.

As Tiger Woods so famously put it, maybe one of the attractions of diving for famous people is: “The fish don’t know who I am.”

This list is by now means exhaustive. It would take a book to write about all the people that have made contributions to the sport of diving. But, hopefully, it has given you a good introduction. For information on more scuba divers who have made a difference to the sport, check out the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame.

New Celebrity Fitness Trend: Scuba Diving


Sick of the gym or the cold winter weather? Then it’s time to try the new workout that celebs like Jessica Alba,Sandra BullockKatie Holmes, and Nina Dobrev of the CW show The Vampire Diaries love: scuba diving! Although scuba diving may seem like more of a fun vacation activity rather than a workout, scuba burns tons of calories while tightening and toning your body.

“Scuba diving provides a full body workout that combines cardio and strength training to burn calories, tone muscles and even improve breathing” says Theresa Kaplan, director of communications for The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). “Although your body is buoyant underwater and you feel virtually weightless while scuba diving, maneuvering through water requires constant motion by your entire body, thus toning and strengthening muscles in your thighs, shoulders and your core.”

In fact, just 30 minutes of scuba diving can burn up to 400 calories for the average woman. Most diving excursions last about 30 to 45 minutes, so depending on the diver’s experience level and the type of dive, it’s not uncommon to burn 500+ calories during one workout.

One of the best things about scuba diving though — and the reason why so many celebrities enjoy it — is because it doesn’t feel like a workout.

“The act of exploring the underwater world and being one amongst a sea of unique creatures and organisms is an exhilarating and life-changing experience unlike no other,” Kaplan says. “Scuba diving provides a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, which is why so many people, celebrities included, are drawn to this activity.”

While many celebrities go scuba diving in tropical areas — Dobrev recently earned her Open Water Diver certification at the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa over the holiday season — you don’t have to go to a beach to scuba. PADI, which is the world’s largest recreational scuba diving organization, has more than 6,000 dive centers and resorts and 135,000 PADI instructors worldwide. For those who don’t live near open water, they can still learn how to scuba dive in a confined pool at their local PADI dive center, Kaplan says.

“PADI offers a Discover Scuba Experience for those who aren’t quite ready to dive into the certification process, but want to experience the act of breathing underwater,” she says. “For those who are ready to start their certification process, PADI provides a wide range of courses such as Open Water Diver, which can be started at a local dive center or online through PADI’s eLearning option.”

One of the best things about scuba diving though is that it does give you a unique adventure to go along with your workout. For example, one can spot Whale Sharks in Utila, see Manta Rays at night in Kona or swim along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Kaplansays.

No matter where or why you scuba though, be sure to warm-up, stretch and hydrate just like you would for any other workout.

“Although you may not feel it underwater, you are actually sweating and exerting energy while scuba diving, so it’s important to stay hydrated during your diving excursion,” Kaplan says. “Getting plenty of rest and stretching beforehand will also help prevent any cramping underwater and will allow you to swim through the waters with ease.”

Information taken from

11 Quick Tips for Avoiding Motion Sickness

Even the smallest things can disrupt comfort while traveling and diving. Perhaps nothing ruins a dive trip more quickly than an urgent need to “feed the fish” from the railing. Thus, most divers try very diligently to avoid getting motion sickness – but how? What really works?

First, we need to understand what causes motion sickness. Often termed “sea sickness,” this malady really has little to do specifically with the ocean and everything to do with motion, so “motion sickness” is a more universally accurate term. When such motion causes the tiny sensors in our body to register something’s amiss, we start to feel a bit queasy, and if not remediated quickly, nauseous.

So how can we avoid motion sickness? Here’s an 11-part strategy:

1. Need to feed. A meal before you board is highly important. For most people, an empty stomach is more sensitive to being irritated, so filling it with comfort food 45-60 minutes before leaving shore is smart. Load up on carbohydrates at breakfast and avoid acidic and greasy foods, as they may contribute to motion sickness. Lastly, avoid alcohol and cigarettes.

2. Medicate. If you know you’re especially prone to motion sickness, investigate the use of over-the-counter antiemetic medications such as meclozine (Bonine, Antivert, Meni-D, Antrizine) or Dramamine. Meclozine reduces the activity of the portion of the brain that controls nausea. These medications are highly effective in most individuals, and thus can be a preventive measure for short trips or for mild cases of motion sickness. Be sure to start medicating the night before the dive trip to start establishing the proper blood level of the drug.

3. Go gingerly. In addition to medications, many divers swear that the intake of ginger is a simple and tasty way to help avoid getting ill. If this works for you, it’s an easy solution – just carry a Ziploc baggie of ginger snaps aboard and munch on them before and between dives. Although it’s not yet clear to researchers exactly how and why it works, studies show that the ginger root contains a number of chemicals that seem to help relax the intestinal track. As a result, ginger is often helpful in reducing the risk of nausea.

4. Avoid “conflicting instrument readings.” Look out across the horizon so your eyes can register the same type of acceleration changes your ears are reporting.  Avoid visually focusing on things that are close-by, and most especially, avoid reading for more than a few seconds at a time. Also, face the direction the boat is traveling.

5. Your nose knows. Odors can complicate the mix of signals to the brain, increasing your likelihood of becoming ill. Avoid smelling diesel fumes, cigarette smoke, perfume and of course, anyone else’s vomit.

6. Minimize movement. Standing in different locations on the boat’s deck will result in different amounts of velocity/acceleration being transferred to your body.  Stay topside, close to the center of the vessel.

7. Keep hydrated. Continue to drink plenty of fluids while on board and throughout each surface interval. This will help keep your stomach more full and will help your body metabolize food and process everything else better.

8. Stay cool. If you become overheated while on deck, you’ll be more at risk of becoming ill. Wear a cap to keep the sun off your head and face, sit in a shady location between dives and peel off part or all of your wetsuit.

9. Heads up! If you feel the urge to vomit, move to the leeward rail (with the wind at your back), lean forward and try to direct your explosion toward the sea. The fish will thank you. Never go into the head (marine toilet).

10. Dive in. If you do begin to feel the early signs of motion sickness, get into the water and submerge several feet below the surface, doing so will usually quell the queasy feelings because your body will stop receiving the conflicting acceleration readings.

11. Regulate it. If you happen to become ill while underwater, such as just after submerging, it’s usually perfectly OK to vomit in your regulator. It’s not the most enjoyable experience, but it’s typically over very quickly and you’ll feel better almost immediately.

The bottom line is that motion sickness can be managed and/or minimized by planning ahead with sufficient sleep, proper food intake, use of medications and consciously taking avoidance actions while on-board, before the first signs of motion sickness manifest.

Have fun and dive safe!

How Motion Sickness Occurs

Our body’s primary motion-sensors include the inner-ear sensors, our eyes and deeper tissues of the body surface. Technically speaking, the inner-ear sensors detect changes in acceleration rather than motion, such as the movement a boat makes when bobbing on top of waves in the ocean. When our body’s internal instruments sense these acceleration changes, and those changes aren’t confirmed by other sensory inputs, such as visual feedback from our eyes, the conflict in the sets of data they deliver to the brain can trigger motion sickness. Scientists aren’t sure what causes the nausea that comes with motion sickness, but the most popular hypothesis is that the conflicting data from multiple sensors causes the brain to assume that toxins have been ingested, and the body’s automatic response is to internally induce vomiting.

Information provided by

TOP TIPS: Maintaining BCDs and drysuits

TOP TIPS: Maintaining BCDs and drysuits

The dive season is here and its time to make sure that all your kit is ready for the season kick off.

Two fundamental pieces of dive kit that we all seem to neglect during the season is the BCD and Drysuit.

Follow these simple tips and get you can’t go wrong?

Want to take it a little further? Then why not book onto the Equipment Speciality course and learn how to get years of trouble free service from your dive kit.


If a regulator fails underwater it tends to lead to one of the following situations: inhaling water, an air leak reducing your air endurance, or a freeflow causing catastrophic air loss. With good training, self control and an alternative air source, all of those events are easily survived. The nightmare scenario of the regulator actually failing to supply air is fortunately extremely rare. The vast majority of divers understand that to avoid these risks their regulators need to be regularly serviced.

Compare that to a BCD. Failures that I have witnessed over the years include: shoulder buckles failing; bladders leaking air and losing buoyancy, direct feed inflation units stuck causing rapid ascent, dump valves failing causing unexpected descents, and cinch bands failing (on one occasion causing the cylinder to be jettisoned down the stone steps of a harbour wall. How we dived for cover that day!). BCDs, and for that matter, drysuits are not maintenance-free devices. When you consider the consequences of these failures, it is clear that BCDs and drysuits are as much a part of your life support system as your regulator.

So why is it that for every ten or so customers that bring a regulator to my workshop for a service, only one brings their BCD as well? Here’s a list of things to cast a critical eye over:


• Shoulder and waist buckles – check these for cracks and replace as necessary, although this may mean renewing the stitching. If your local dive shop can’t help directly they may well know someone with a heavy-duty sewing machine – a sail maker, for example.

• Inspect straps and stitching – especially at the shoulder anchor points as well as the webbing where it is pulled through buckles. This is particularly important on BCDs that spend a lot of their life in swimming pools, as pool chemicals have a very detrimental long-term effect on BCD fabrics.

• Cinch band buckles – look for cracks in the plastic as well as failures of stitching.

• Integrated weight pockets – check the weight-release system to make sure that the weights are secured properly and not prone to accidental jettison because of damaged buckles or Velcro.

Check the integrity of weight pouches

• Leak check the BCD by inflating it – if it deflates but you still can’t find the leak then it’s time to fill the bath and look for bubbles. A small hole can sometimes be repaired with polyurethane adhesive, but this may not be possible if the hole is close to or at the seam. If your BCD is quite old and it appears to have a few pin holes, then the material is probably porous, in which case it’s time to consider a new one. With your BCD in the bath, now is a good time to wash the inside of the BCD with a sterilising solution (same stuff used for baby bottles). Oral inflation of BCDs is a required training skill so it makes sense to ensure that your gear is hygienic.

• Hoses – stretch the corrugated hose and look for cracks due to perishing and stress. Direct feed hoses eventually perish and crack so inspect the entire length of the hose, especially underneath the hose protector.

• Dump valves can leak because of debris underneath the diaphragm – most BCD dump valve assemblies simply unscrew; so as long as they are not too tight or require special tools/procedures, it’s easy to remove and clean them. Operate each dump valve to make sure that they seal properly and don’t leak.

• Direct feed inflation units – they frequently look fine on the outside but can hide corrosion and debris inside. Submerge the direct feed unit with it connected to an air supply and check for leaks. Check that the button works easily and reliably with no tendency to stick. Also check that there is a good fill rate. A slow rate of inflation is usually caused by a filter blocked by salt and corrosion.

• Emergency inflation cylinder – if your BCD has one fitted then it must be tested on the same basis as your main diving cylinder, every two-and-a-half years. The trouble is that because it’s only you that has to fill it and not a compressor operator, it is easy to forget this. Potentially this is very hazardous, because these cylinders do not have an easy life. They tend to get filled and emptied rapidly and have been known to be flooded with sea water from the BCD.


• Neck and wrist seals – carefully stretch these and look for tiny cracks or holes. Also check that there is still plenty of elasticity in the seal. Dust the seals with unscented talc to help preserve them in storage.

Stretching a wrist seal reveals that it is perished and close to failing

• Use a toothbrush to clean sand from the teeth of the zip – as the zip starts to wear look out for loose threads and trim them with sharp scissors before they unravel any further. Wax the zip with beeswax or a proprietary wax every time. There is not much change, if any, from £100 to replace a drysuit zip.

• Boots – check these for cracks and holes. Minor damage can be repaired with polyurethane repair adhesive. Check the insides for small stones or grit.

• Leak check – one way of leak testing the suit is to block off the seals with suitable objects such as bottles or balls. With the zip closed and dump valve blocked off, inflate the suit fully and then systematically spray soapy water all over the suit until you find bubbles. Small holes can be patched with polyurethane adhesive. First clean the area with a cloth dampened with thinners and then create a patch by brushing a thin layer of adhesive over the hole. If you’re concerned with aesthetics then you can make the patch on the inside of the suit.

• The inflation valve should operate smoothly – if it’s stiff to operate get it serviced without delay. The consequences of it seizing underwater and causing uncontrolled inflation of the suit could be lethal.

• Inspect the dump valve carefully – if you’re getting wet on most dives then it’s quite possible that there is sand or debris under the valve seat. Resist the temptation to service inflation and auto dump valves yourself. They usually require special tools and procedures that require careful attention to ensure that they work properly afterwards. That said, the simple cuff dump valves are very straightforward to open up and clean out.

You can now turn your attention to basic kit – delayed SMBs and reels, weight belts, masks, fin straps and buckles. There surely is no bigger frustration than being fully kitted, only to break a fin strap seconds before going in the water!

Article thanks to Sport Diver and Martin is a PADI MSDT and BSAC National Instructor with 30 years of diving experience.

Scuba diving history, how it all begin?

The story behind scuba diving is a long and interesting one, filled with intrigue, military prowess, incidents of drowning, ingenuity on the part of inventors, tourism and exploration. The first written mentions of human’s interest in what lies underneath the water is of course Homer’s Odyssey, followed by another classic: Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

scuba helmet

History of Scuba Diving

As said, the history of scuba diving is very long and it is hard to ascertain what is and isn’t a true account of course. We will try to give a brief overview below.

500BC in Scyllias, a Greek soldier is said to have been able to dive from the ship of the Persian King Xerxes and hold his breath for several hours. He was said to have used a hollow reed to breathe, effectively creating a snorkel, which allowed him to warn his king of imminent danger or approaching enemies.


ancient scuba diver

Several years later, in 414BS, the story of Thucydides appears which states that divers were able to swim to the bottom of the ocean where they were able to remove underwater obstacles that were stopping their ships from reaching the harbors. Some years after that, in 332BC, the great Aristotle reported that Alexander the Great had been submerged in water in what he described as a barrel of white glass whilst the siege of Tyre was taking place.


Unsurprisingly, inventors have always been fascinated by being able to breathe underwater, and many have spent years trying to design scuba gear that would allow divers to stay in the water for several hours at a time. Believe it or not, Leonardo da Vinci actually designed some prototypes. The genius that was Leonardo da Vinci – who also designed the first helicopter for example – turned out to be on to something here.

From the 1700s onwards, patents were being issued for devices known as “rebreathing devices”. However, the first design that actually worked and was completely functional was the one developed and designed by the late Jacques Cousteau, who became world famous for his underwater world exploration. His design was developed in the 1940s.

The History of Scuba Diving as a Recreational Sport

Jacques Cousteau is also said to be the birth father of recreational scuba diving. In the 1950s, he wrote history in a book that led to people becoming seriously interested in scuba diving, creating a demand for the development of recreational diving, which was eventually made possible by the YMCA and the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).

Scuba Diving for Regular People

Scuba diving was initially only possible for people that were in the military or for people who were involved in exploration of some kind. However, in 1959, the YMCA started offering diving courses for regular people, meaning that anybody could do it. Unsurprisingly, it was an instant hit, with people all over the world now having diving licences, travelling all over to find the most interesting dive sites.

Scuba Diving in the Military

Initially, scuba diving was only available for people in the military, so called “frog men” in particular. The military has always been trying to find ways to get behind enemy lines without being seen and this is why scuba diving was initially developed.

History tells us that this practice goes back as far as the Trojan wars, where divers were able to sabotage enemy vessels by diving to these vessels and boring holes in the hulls. The Greek military in ancient times tried to construct complicated underwater defense mechanisms to try to keep the enemy away from the shores.

The Italians used scuba diving extensively during the Second World War. It was the American soldiers, however, that coined the name frogmen, as their diving gear made them look like frogs.

As you can see scuba diving came a long way in history before it became the sport as we know it.

For a full list of scuba courses that we offer at DiveStyle just click here



DiveStyle is on the verge of some amazing changes!

In less that two weeks we will have some great news and fantastic new products coming into the store.

We need to make room so we have extended the in store sale.

There are some fantastic bargains to be had but be warned, once they are gone they are gone!

Pop down to the shop, graba cup of superb tea or coffee and have a browse through all our sale items.


DiveStyle, Unit A, Bridge Farm, Arborfield,
Wokingham, Reading, Berkshire, RG2 9HT
t: 01189 761729

The Ultimate Travel BCD

Oceanic Aeris Jetpack – One Size Fits All!!

The ultimate all in one travel BCD

The ultimate all in one travel BCD

THIS IS NOT A BAG. Fully packed with a week’s worth of travel friendly gear, no checked bags, under 30lbs… Can your BC do this?

The one size fits all Jetpack combines the comfort of a BC harness with the performance of an adventure-style backpack. BC and backpack clip together for carry-on travel, protecting gear and saving on baggage fees. The backpack detaches for diving, leaving a full-featured BC with 30 lbs lift capacity, weight integration and a custom fit.

Much More Than Just A BC.

The Jetpack is the ultimate solution for airline carry-on & transport to and from the dive site. It’s a true hybrid, not a bag and more than just a mere BC. We took a long look at what it means to travel with Scuba gear to a destination and realized pretty quickly that it didn’t make sense to take a BC, your heaviest and most bulky piece of kit with shoulder straps, and stuff it into a bag – so you could carry it… By combining a semi-dry day bag with a one size fits all fully adjustable travel BC, we have managed to create a travel system that can carry a complete set of dive gear (regs, computer, fins, suit, etc) and travel amenities (clothing, toiletry kit, computer, etc) easily for multi-day travel, even a week depending on how you pack… all in only one bag.

The jetpack is ruggedly constructed from high quality durable materials but weighs in at only 6.25lbs. The backpack/BC combo weighs in at a meager 8.25lbs! Fully packed with travel friendly dive gear stays under 30lbs with ample space for the rest of the amenities you’ll need for a week of diving and traveling. The spacious (42 cubic liter) and light semi-dry bag has compartments to enable ease of packing and use during travel making it the perfect day bag for boat dives or shore excursions during your trip.

The Aeris Jetpack represents a true solution for the adventure traveler.

One simple click and it is all yours!

5 Scuba Diving Bad Habits and How to Avoid Them


5 Scuba Diving Bad Habits and How to Avoid Them!

Scuba Diver Bad Habits

Its that time of year again! Time to dust of your scuba gear and get back into the water after 6 – 8 months of watching the weather, or is it?

We are fortunate to dive all year round, this means that our skills are kept sharp and our kit is kept sharp fully serviced, but for many this is not the case.

Each year as the scuba season explodes we always see some classic examples of scuba diving bad habits – from experienced divers no less!

So here a 5 ‘Bad Habits’ to try and avoid for the 2014 season

Bad Habit #1 – Skipping the buddy check
You ask your buddy, “You ready? Yeah? Let’s go diving.” Everything seems fine until you roll off the boat and discover you forgot your fins, your buddy’s tank is loose, or something even worse.

Forgoing a buddy check takes a shortcut on safety and increases the chance of having to solve a problem in the water.  You can learn more about avoiding and adapting to problems in the PADI Rescue Diver course, but the best thing to do (as we teach during the Rescue course) is prevent problems before they begin with BWRAF .

Diver with camera chasing shark

Bad Habit #2 – Shooting fish butts
There were some very expensive camera rigs on board, but an expensive setup doesn’t guarantee good photos. Especially when the photographer doesn’t know underwater photo basics, or fails to practice good marine life etiquette.

I saw one diver with a top-of-the-line camera system taking a photo straight down over a coral head. I’m no photo pro, but I learned in the Digital Underwater Photography online course that shooting straight down on your subject tends to produce flat, uninteresting images. Perhaps it was an avant-garde shot.

I watched another diver race from one critter to the next – chasing off marine life as he went. The dive guides tried to counsel this diver, but he wouldn’t listen, “This is how I always dive” was his reply. I wondered how many pictures of fish butts he had… and how he ever found a dive buddy!

Bad Habit #3 – Not wearing the right exposure protection
Every time I show up at at a tropical dive destination, other divers laugh at me for wearing a 5mil wetsuit and a beanie cap in 28C/82F water. But by wearing the exposure protection that’s right for me, I never have to cut a dive short because I’m cold.

After a few years diving regularly in California I tried the PADI Drysuit Diver specialty and wondered, “why didn’t I do this sooner?” I imagine the cafe owners on Catalina Island wondered what ever happened to that girl who asked for cups of hot water to dump down her wetsuit.

dry suit diver

#4 Wearing the incorrect amount of weight
Picture a brick, the kind used in home building. Imagine carrying it around with you all the time – taking it up stairs, trudging up a hill, etc. Having extra weight on board means your body has to work harder; your breathing will be heavier and so on.

When teaching the Peak Performance Buoyancy specialty course, that brick weight is (on average) the amount I take off a diver’s weight belt. New divers often wear excess weight, and get used to carrying it around. But there’s a major downside – too much weight can lead to excess air consumption. The extra weight means the body has to work harder to push through the water, and on top of it many divers swim continuously to keep themselves buoyant. All that extra effort drains your tank faster than necessary.

Drop that brick and extend your dive time! Review your open water materials for how to do a buoyancy check, or ask your instructor about the Peak Performance Buoyancy specialty course.

Group of Divers

Bad Habit #5 – Neglecting gear service
Woe is the diver who pays half a month’s salary to go on the dive trip of a lifetime and has an equipment problem. When maintained properly, dive gear can last for years. Ask your local dive center about the Equipment Specialist course. You’ll get to know your gear and learn how to perform basic maintenance yourself. That said: some equipment service must be performed by a professional. Use the gear locker section of your ScubaEarth profile to keep track of when your gear gets serviced.

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