“Buddy” means friend or partner. When we use it in scuba diving, it is two divers who are responsible for each other. We dive with buddies because it is very important for safety, especially for potential emergencies. In scuba diving, a diver cannot dive alone. No solo diving is allowed. For a safe and comfortable dive, every conscious diver should have a responsible buddy.
Stages of Dive Buddies:
Here, in this article, I’ll try to explain how and why dive buddies are responsible and ipmportant to each other step by step.
Dive Buddies Getting Prepared
You have arrived at the dive center/dive boat. And taken out your dive equipment. When you start to mount you scuba, you might need a hand. Your tank valve might be too tight to open or you might need a screwdriver while holding your regulator. It can be anything about your equipment. Your dive buddy would like to help you and you’d also help your buddy. By this way, you can shorten your equipment preperation time and consume less energy. You can keep this energy for your dive.
Dive Buddies About to Dive
You have adjusted your equipment and almost ready to go. Wait ! You guys need a safety check.. You and your buddy better check:
- BCD : Clips, size, inflator/deflator working?
- Weight: You got your weight belt? Proper weight for the dive? Weight belt bucket is on the right side (should be on the left side of the diver)?
- Air: Does your buddy have enough air for the dive? Is the tank valve open?
- Rleases: Are releases working easily? Are they on the right place and secured?
Dive Buddies On the Surface
You are about to descent. You and your buddy should be close to each other. If you are on the shore, both buddy members may fall while walking in water. This is something that might harm you especially if there are rocks around. If you are an unexperienced diver, you’d most likely fall due to your imbalance caused by the equipment. Wearing fins is another thing that really needs a help. Standing on one foot when the water is low is not that easy. When you are descending, the buddies must be very close. One of the equipment might make a fuss even if you have made your safety checks and you guys need to surface. Or one of the dive buddies might not be able to equilize air and would like to ascent a little bit to try again. While doing this, your buddy would really need a help.
Dive Buddies Underwater
Under the water, you should be near your buddy -not under, not back, not front but near- And buddies should ask their current tank pressure (let’s say, how much air has left in their tanks) and ask for okay. You should stare at your buddy one in 2-3 minutes and be sure that he/she is safe. Your buddy might be tired (in streaming water, we experience this), entangeled (fish nets?) or experiencing out of air.
Let’s take this example. If your buddy hasn’t checked his/her pressure gauge, out-of-air situation may occur. If you are close to your buddy, you’d use your alternate air source and help within seconds. You’ll then surface safe and go to shore/boat. But if you don’t have a buddy or lost your buddy, you’d be in trouble and try other technique which may not be as safe as buddy breathing.
At the end of the dive, buddies should remind the safety check to each other (a 3 min stop in 5 meters when coming to surface due to safety rules). When they are done, they’d better stay close while surfacing. One might get tired, there might be current and such.
Dive Buddies After the Dive
You’re on the surface after a great dive! There might be waves, current or your buddy might get tired. You should pull your dive buddy to shore/dive boat in getting tired cases. Swimming through the waves arm to arm would really ease the surface swimming.
While climbing the dive boat ladder or taking your fins off, you’ll again need your dive buddy’s hand. Dive buddies take their scuba off by helping each other. Think how difficult it would be when a diver tries to remove his/her scuba from his back when got tired (got 30-40 kg of weight on the diver on average).
Dive Buddies After the Whole Dive
The most amazing part.. You log your dive (divers have log books for saving the dive details and prove that dive when needed) and start to talk about the dive and have fun !! “Did you see that giant grouper?” “Were you able to take the snapshot of that moray?”
From the very start and late end of the dive, a diver needs a dive buddy. By this way, diving is safe, comfortable and non-exhaustive. Be a conscious diver, dive with buddies.
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