Saturday, March 2, 2013

Buddy System - What Are The Benefits ?

During the confined water and through out your training, using the buddy system is a high priority when you dive. No matter how advanced or skilled you are in diving, you should dive with a buddy. During this topic we will center on why it is important to dive with a buddy.

There are three general reasons to dive with a buddy; they are 1)practicality, 2)safety, and 3) fun. I will talk about each one of these in detail.

As mentioned in a previous lesson, having a buddy will help get your gear on. This not only pertains to the BCD, but also the fins, if you are getting them on in the water. They can help stabilize your footing. On the surface you need to conduct the BWRAF procedure. Your buddy helps remind you of your depth, time, to check your air supply.

If while diving you do go to deep and begin to 'act" funny, then your buddy and help you up. If you panic and start to breathe fast, they can be there to help calm you down. If you get tired on the surface, they will be able to get you to shore with the tired diver tow. From a safety standpoint, diving with a buddy is a must.

3) FUN
Diving is a social activity. It is something that when a dive is completed, you will be able to talk about for a long time. Together, you and your buddy share experiences and underwater adventures. If you see a "big" fish and tell about it, your dive buddy will agree. Diving with buddies will introduce you to a whole new circle of friends.

Good buddies avoid problems in the following ways:
1) Agree on an entry, exit points, and dive objectives
You need to talk about where you want to go, and what you are trying to accomplish in the dive. Are you going to do a out and back pattern, a square pattern, or random. Talk about who will lead and follow etc. Both buddies show use their compass and track the patterns, so it one is off the other can help.

2) Agree on depth limits and how long the dive will be
This goes along with 1 above. Depends on where you are going.

3) Establish and review communications
Are there different dive signs yo will use. Some common ones are up, down, low on air, directions, check you air, I have ?? psi left. Just go over the signs prior to any dive,

4) Discuss how to stay together, and what to do if separated
If separated, search for 5 minutes and then ascend to the surface, rejoin at the surface, continue dive it air supply warrants it. This is a good practice no matter how deep your dive is.

5) Discuss emergency procedures
Tired diver tows, out of air problems, sharing air. etc.

You and your buddy have a responsibility to each other. For this system to work both of you need to take it serious, but still have fun, while working on staying together. So every dive develop the habit of diving with buddy.

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