Diving. We’re attracted to it for different reasons. For some it’s a sport, for others its an art, and for others it’s a weekend or holiday where you get to immerse yourself in a different world….well, not quite, but a different part of our world nonetheless. Some like fish, others coral and some, like me, get a buzz from caves.
But no matter what brings you to diving, and keeps you here, the importance of thoroughly checking your kit can’t be emphasized enough. Whether that’s checking gas, lines and lights a few days before a cave dive, the traditional ‘pre-dive safety check’ before a recreational dive, or running through your checklist when setting up a re-breather. No matter which agency you have trained with, at whatever level, they all teach the importance of thoroughly checking equipment prior to a dive.
Generally speaking, most mainstream brands of scuba equipment are pretty reliable. You can also help by choosing a reputable dive centre that checks and services it’s kit regularly. But here’s the thing – without our kit we can’t survive underwater for very long. And, despite being a relatively safe sport, kit goes wrong. Most of the time this isn’t significant. But sometimes it is. We manage risks in other areas of our life (wear a seatbelt?), we have to do the same when it comes to diving. Frankly, a quick press of a BCD inflator or regulator purge button as a pre-dive check isn’t going to keep you alive if a dive goes wrong.
In addition to following safe and conservative diving practises, and no matter what level of diver you are, we can help make our sport even safer by checking our kit thoroughly before every dive. If you have your own kit, that starts way before the first dive of your trip. Does your BCD inflate and stay inflated? No? Still plenty of time to patch the leak or buy/rent a new one. Are there any visible bulges or cracking in your regulator hoses? Are your fin straps wearing thin? Prior to your dive, are you checking your weights are secure? Is your air clean – how does it taste? Do both/all of your regulators work? Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list for every level of diver and I don’t want to replace what your Instructor has taught you.
All too often, we see divers – at all levels and despite being reminded – doing only the most basic or cursory checks of their kit. Nine times out of ten, just like not wearing a seat-belt, they’ll probably get away with it. But, pre-dive checks and following safe and conservative diving practices help for that one occasion. At Seaventures we check and re-check our own kit and our guest’s kit. We service our equipment regularly, we remind our guests to check their kit prior to every dive and we ask our guests to follow safe and conservative diving practices. We want our guests to have a safe and enjoyable dive – in that order – every time.