Safety Precautions to Follow When Diving in Strong Currents

Posted by Goggles n More on 22nd Sep 2014

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Safety Precautions to Follow When Diving in Strong Currents

Wouldn't it be nice if every dive you took was into beautifully calm waters? Some trips will certainly have calm, serene waters that allow you to traverse the underwater landscape as you please. Other times, however, you'll encounter what seems like the “washing machine” effect, pulling and tugging you in all different directions. To ensure your safety and the safety of other divers in the area, you need to follow some basic steps when diving in strong currents.

Listen To Your Divemaster

I know this probably sounds like common sense to most people, but you need to carefully listen to your divemaster, especially if the current looks choppy. A good divemaster will check the weather conditions and current before heading out; they'll let you know where you're going and what to expect under the surface.

Even if it's bright sunny day with no clouds in the sky, there could still be strong currents under the surface that you need to be aware of. Listen to your divemaster and don't be afraid to voice any concerns or questions you have.

Ask Local Divers

Some popular dive sites are notorious for having strong currents. If you haven't done so already, ask the local divers what they know about the site. Most divers will gladly share their experiences and advice with you. Using this information, you can better prepare yourself for the dive and any strong currents that may arise.

Surface Marker Buoy (SMB)

Surface market buoys (SMB) are essential for diving in waters with strong currents. You may not realize it, but even small currents can pull you out into different directions. Once you resurface, you'll be far away from the dive boat. Using a SMB, however, will allow the dive boat to keep an eye on you at all times. These otherwise simple devices use an inflatable marker to indicate where the location of a diver is. As you move around under the surface, it will continue to move with you. SMBs are cheap devices that are well worth the money for strong-current dives.

Know Your Limits

Don't push yourself to dive strong currents unless you are fully comfortable and confident in your abilities. There's nothing wrong with waiting a dive out until the conditions clear up.

Following the tips outlined here should make strong-current dives easier. Just remember to heed your divemaster's instructions, gather information on the site from local divers, and use a SMB to mark your location.