Scuba diving can be a fun and healthy recreational activity as long as you are aware of the risks and take the proper precautions. People often shy away from this sport after hearing scary statistics but in reality you’re more than three times as likely to die swimming as you are scuba diving. The first and seemingly obvious but often overlooked step is to get a complete physical and make sure you are in good physical shape before going diving. To scuba dive, you need to have a strong heart; most scuba diving related fatalities are cardiac problems After getting the doctor’s okay to go diving, make sure to go to a proper facility to get trained and SCUBA certified. These classes can last a short period or a couple of weeks but you should never go diving until you feel completely comfortable in the water. Before going on a dive, check to see all your equipment is functioning properly and get a good understanding of the layout of the area. Be aware of where any reefs or shipwrecks are in the area. If the area you are diving in is known to have an abundance of kelp, you may want to carry a knife to cut yourself or a fellow diver free. Never consume alcohol or drugs before scuba diving – your judgment needs to be at its sharpest when diving in case anything unexpected comes up. For safety reasons, you never want to dive alone. It may be the best idea to find a more experienced scuba diver to go with if you yourself don’t have a lot of diving experience. Plan to start out with short dives as a beginner and gradually build up to longer and deeper dives. You never want to overtire yourself. Diving while exhausted or feeling ill is asking for trouble because your body is not in good shape and your mind is not alert enough to deal with problems that arise during the dive. The biggest and potentially deadly mistake amateur divers can make is ascending rapidly when something goes wrong or they are under the impression there is danger. This can cause intense pain or possibly death. As long as you have air, you want to ascend at a steady but slow rate to the surface. Always have a number to call for emergency diver services if you need help upon reaching the surface; it’s best to not have to scramble around looking for the number once an emergency arises.
Daniel Blinman is writing on behalf of Scubaskool, who offer diving holidays and diving internships