As divers you enter a world that is basically hostile. Without the right equipment and compressed air divers can only survive for a limited period of time under water. However, diving is a relatively safe sport in comparison to many other activities - as long as you follow some basic rules and codes of conduct.
A medical examination is essential before you start diving. In order to obtain a diving certificate and to be able to dive worldwide, a medical diving certificate is required. Only a detailed examination by a doctor can uncover any medical conditions which may be dangerous or even life-threatening during a dive. Physical fitness, reduced alcohol consumption on any diving holidays and a generally healthy lifestyle help to remain level-headed and cope with any physically challenging situations that may be encountered under water.
Education & constant training
In addition to your own fitness, basic education and constant training plays a very important role in diving. This is where newcomers to diving acquire the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge on the subject of underwater safety. Regular training in first aid or simulations of emergency situations help to increase a diver's level of experience, enabling him or her to react competently and quickly in a real emergency.
Teamwork Diving is a team sport. Even though today solo diving courses are available, it is simply more fun to dive with friends. Your dive buddies are also the ones you can alert if you have any problems during a dive. Regular joint exercises such as alternate breathing on a diving regulator or the recovery of an injured diver make it easier to react calmly in a real emergency.
Indispensable: your diving equipment Besides their own knowledge and their dive partners, any diver's actual life insurance under water is their equipment. The diving regulator keeps us divers alive as it provides us with vital oxygen. Regular professional maintenance of all the equipment is indispensable. A broken jacket can also cause serious accidents if, for example, it can no longer be filled with or emptied of air. Thoroughly check your equipment before each single dive. And at least once a year, depending on how often you use it, all equipment parts should be checked by a professional expert. When using a dive computer, do not miss out to ckeck the battery!
Know and respect your limits There is a basic rule to diving that keeps you safe: the more conservative you plan and approach your dives, the safer your dives will be. Sport divers should avoid decompression dives if possible and pay attention to their no decompression limit, especially during repeated dives. Every diver must find out all deatils about conditions under water at the diving spot before the dive. If you feel overwhelmed by strong currents, poor visibility or cold water, it is better to skip a dive than to dive with a feeling of unease or fear. Cold, poor visibility, dark water and bad weather can also cause stress and panic attacks. Therefore it is essential to keep all your dives within your personal limits. Refrain from a dive when you feel uncomfortable about it in any way at all. This reduces risks of an accident to a very large extent.
So if you take care of your own health, your buddies and your equipment and always plan your dives carefully and within your own limits, you have gone a long way for your own safety and the safety of those diving with you.
Text Bettina Winert
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