In rescue, we teach students to fix small problems before they turn into big problems. Like in life, untended small problems in diving can escalate into life altering accidents.
So, in honor of two brand new rescue divers out in the sea, a short list of small problems that can become huge if untended:
1) Don’t forget to breath. Holding your breath on land can lead to: passing out. Underwater, it can mean lung over expansion, embolism, death.
2) Stay in shape: A strong body is a ready body. A body ready to swim for miles if necessary, or lift heavy objects. Even friends.
3) Be well rested. Being well rested makes you alert to prevent accidents, brake your brakes on time, stop a friend from kneeling on an urchin, stop a buddy from bolting to the surface. It prevents you from making little mistakes, and big ones.
4) Service your gear. Spend money when you have to. It’s always worth it. Take care of it between services. Don’t take unnecessary risks-if your gear malfunctions while you’re on the boat, call the dive. Don’t push it.
5) Get DAN insurance. Protect yourself and your family from huge financial burdens for dive accidents. Insure your gear, insure your trip, insure your body, insure your mom (I know I did).
6) Call a dive any time you feel unsafe. No one should ever pressure you to dive. One of my most spoken phrases in my Open Water SCUBA classes is…Diving is fun! If it’s not fun, you don’t have to do it.
7) Take classes to learn new skills, and to practice old ones. Take a CPR class and refresh it every year or two. You never know when your skills WILL SAVE A LIFE.
Safe diving everyone!