Let’s establish a “Scuba Divers Safety Day” but not to think of it as just a single day but as an opportunity to refresh our approach to safety-related topics for the upcoming year.
Have there been any new procedures or updates to emergency processes or training included in any of the multiple SCUBA organization such as PADI, SSI, NAUI, CMAS, RAID or any of the other 45 scuba organizations that you are aware of?
Have you physically handled and checked to see if ANY of your equipment could do with some TLC maintenance before the season ramps up?
Have you tried to look up and review the incident report summaries from last year to learn from the misfortunes of others?
When was the last time you reviewed your emergency procedures and then practiced your responses?
Have you just thought about it? Did some hands-on practice? Did buddy checks before and during the dive? Have you thought about potential situations that COULD lead You to panic especially if not current in practicing your correct responses or having the right operating gear?
YOU need to approach every day as it’s a “Diver Safety Day”.
Because the days we forget that are the days when we’ve provided complacency the opportunity to win the battle for our wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around us.
So how do we shift from thinking about safety from time to time to having it become part of everything we do? How does it become second nature?
Simply put, we divers must embrace a safety culture. Safety culture needs to become an integral part of the Dive Planning makeup and follow thru.
Culture is to a group what personality or character is to an individual. And whether you know it or not, your dive partners and or active club members has one.
Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s great, but I guarantee there is room for it to improve.
Act! Whether you’re old or young, seasoned, or green, we all play a part. Making that commitment will make the sport safer for you and your friends. Breaking just one link of an accident chain can stop a fatality from occurring.
Remember to think safe, plan Your dive, then dive your plan to Stay Safe!
Every single diver, dive club, dive shop, every business providing services to divers should be opened to supporting a diver safety culture by providing information and opportunities to refresh a diver’s approach to safety-related topics all during the year.
Breaking just one link of an accident chain can stop a fatality from occurring.
Sticking to the basics is a good way to reduce any type of diving risk. It is impossible to predict all the unusual situations that can lead to a diving injury or fatality, but the precautions you can take are almost always the same.
Reduce the chances of experiencing an unusual injury or fatality the same way you do a common one: Carefully plan and execute each dive, rehearse emergency procedures frequently, properly maintain and check your equipment.
It’s the common things that will keep you safe in uncommon circumstances.
What are the most common reasons leading up to diver fatalities?
Panic Kills. What leads to panic?
Major items are poor air management, poor buoyancy control, entrapment, under skilled for the dive, misuse of diving equipment, not following basic safety rules and human error.
Are you Physically Fit?
Another is our own physical condition. Our physical strength and stamina decrease as we get older. Just because you did this dive 10 years ago does not mean you can safely do it today.
Health issues increase as we get older and how our body reacts to physical stress and exertion have changed. Sometimes we think we can do a particular dive but when we really think about it, we know we should not. Its hard to say NO when you’ve done it before.
Have you “really” maintained your gear?
How often have you dove already knowing about “small” equipment issues and not fixing them before the dive? You know what I mean, the regulator just bleeds a little, the top BC relief valve bleeds a little or doesn’t work all the time but the bottom one does. I know the Velcro fastener on the weight pouch sometime does not hold but I can manage if I lose it. I still have 500# of gas, so we still have time to look around a little more.
Most fatalities are the result of improper responses to situations which can rapidly become life threating and emergency situations can and do occur during in what should have been a leisurely dive.
You can often avoid a panic situation if you have air, but you must avoid the temptation or mine set that some time occurs that if you have air you have time to fix all the problems without surfacing.
A complacent attitude about this part of dive makes those emergency situations more likely, so be ready for those abnormal occurrences that can lead to injuries and fatalities. We encourage all divers to look ahead, consider potential risks and ask themselves these questions before getting back into the saddle this season.