Safety Tips: The Buddy System

Buddy

  1. Never dive without a capable buddy. The difference of having a buddy and not having one in the event of a blackout is your life. Having a buddy wearing a life vest or who cannot dive as deep as you can is not keeping yourself safe. Choose wisely.
  2. Choose a buddy who more or less has a similar body type and skill as you do. This ensures that you can save each other in case of an emergency. A petite person could have difficulty saving someone of much bigger mass.
  3. Always let your buddy know you are going down using the hand signals (“watch” = pointer and middle fingers pointing to eyes, “me” = pointer finger pointing to self, “Go down” = thumb down).
  4. Acknowledge whenever your buddy does #3 by giving the “OK” signal. This assures the diving buddy that you are watching them and keeping them safe.
  5. When your buddy resurfaces, remind them to hook breathe and ask if they are “OK” using the hand signal. They should acknowledge with an “OK” sign, too (if they do feel okay).
  6. Remember that you are accountable for your buddy’s life. Look at them every now and then as you do when looking at a car’s side mirror while driving just to check up on them.
  7. Dive one at a time. Do not dive together. One buddy always has to be above to make sure they are still fresh enough to save the other if something happens.
  8. Stay near the surface where the diving buddy is. If anything happens you are in the closest proximity to retrieve them.

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Dive safe always.

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