Next of Kin
All divers on trips need to have current next of kin details on record. If your personal/next of kin details change it is your responsibility to inform the dive leader for the trip.
Early Season Diving
Consider practicing basic dive skills in the pool. A pre first UK sea dive visit to an inland dive site is strongly recommended regardless of what level of experience or qualification. Take it easy during your first UK dives of the year; don’t push yourself at the beginning of the season; it is not safe to do so.
Pre-Dive Kit Check
February and March are good times to get your kit serviced and to check it out generally. Do your drysuit seals need replacing? Cylinders tested? Replace strobe batteries before the first dive and check batteries/charging of torches. Check knives are sharp and coated in grease. Remember to allow sufficient time (2-3 weeks) for servicing. Follow manufacturer recommendations for routine maintenance.
Allow time to get tanks filled before diving. If using Nitrox, ensure you have the right mix for the planned depth. If you are not present when the tanks are analysed, ensure you analyse the tanks before you use them. Mark the tanks with the MOD and mix.
If you require a dive medical please check it is still valid.
You must carry a Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB) and reel (except on Level 1 dives, see levels). It is recommended that you also carry a knife or snips and a torch or strobe, as well as a whistle or other audible signalling device.
Alcohol and Medication
Divers are advised to limit their alcohol consumption during the 24 hours preceding a dive. If you suffer from sea sickness the alcohol will make it worse.
If you drink before a dive you are placing yourself and potentially your buddy in danger, and are certainly at a greater risk of narcosis and DCI due to dehydration.
If you are taking any medication please confirm with a dive doctor that it is safe to dive whilst on the particular medication.
Please drink lots of water whilst on diving trips and don’t get dehydrated.
Monitoring of Air
Please monitor your air gauge regularly. Divers should surface with a minimum of 50 bar, in accordance with diving recommendations.
Descents and Ascents
Start ear clearing at the surface and continue to clear all the way down. Do not continue to descend if you cannot clear both ears or if either hurts. Ascend as required and try again. If you cannot clear both ears you MUST abort the dive.
Maintain contact with your buddy at all times
Descend and particularly ascend slowly. Fast descents may mean you hitting the bottom out of control and fast ascents could result in a loss of buoyancy control and potential DCI problems.
Ascend no quicker than 18m per minute, or well within the ascent rate suggested by your computer. Slower is generally better.
Obtain guidance if you haven’t used a DSMB before, or are uncertain how to deploy a DSBM properly. If you have not used a SMB before, or are out of practice, go to the pool and have a play with them before you dive in the sea. Assist your buddy in the deployment of their DSMB and reel during your early dives; this will teach you how to use them properly.
Follow standard guidelines for buddy procedures. Remember visibility in the UK can be poorer. If you feel uncomfortable about a dive, end it.
Incidents, Accidents and Injuries
If you are involved in any of the above, you must notify the dive organiser (and skipper if applicable) as soon as possible.
If you think you might be suffering from DCI inform the dive organiser and/or skipper immediately. Please do not remain silent.
Boats and Skippers
The skipper is always in charge of the boat. Listen carefully to the boat briefing and follow instructions about placement of kit. If you are uncertain about any aspect of the dive or procedures, please ask. If you haven’t dived from a boat before read the Boat Diving section in the Adventures in Diving manual and/or ask for a full orientation from the dive organiser or skipper. Follow instructions from the dive organiser and skipper at all times. If in doubt about anything, please ask!
All divers wishing to dive below 30m must hold the PADI Deep Diver Specialty that qualifies them to a maximum of 40m, or equivalent from another certifying agency. Even PADI Divemasters are only qualified to 30m without the Deep Specialty. Below 25m a redundant air supply is advised; e.g. a pony.
You can download a full copy of the document:
Club Rules Recommendations and Advice: things you need to know about the club rules and general advice.
And Finally… Remember to dive within your training, experience and ability. Follow recommended safe diving practices – and have FUN!