4 Basic Scuba Diving Skills for Beginners (Part 2)
Jun 20, 2022
Congratulations, you made it to Part 2!It looks like you are very serious about wanting to become a scuba diver. Who can blame you? When you did your introductory dive with your instructor, you immediately fell in love with the underwater world! You don’t really know why humans weren’t made with fins or at least invisible ones when the surface of the Planet Earth is about 75% water. You have even been fascinated with life underwater after watching countless documentaries, videos, and films that feature the beautiful life down the deep, blue sea.
There are many levels of certification that you can get once you decide you want to be licensed as a scuba diver. But before you even get to that phase of acquiring a certification for your diving, you must first know beginner diving skills. Scuba diving is an extreme sport because you are defying what your body can do. So to ensure your safety and for you to fully enjoy scuba diving, here is the second part of the four other beginner skills that you have to learn.
Clearing a Mask that has been Flooded with Water
Beginners would usually panic when their masks get flooded. So during training, you should already learn and master clearing your mask. This stops you from panicking when that dire situation comes up, especially when it’s in open water, an area where you wouldn’t be able to control all factors. In your course, the instructor would most likely ask you to show him or her how you clear a mask that is partially flooded and fully flooded. You would also learn and need to demonstrate in class how to remove, replace, and clear that mask all while underwater. You would find yourself panicking, especially if you are new to the sport and/or a non-swimmer. It will be incredibly stressful but the important thing you have to do is to not panic, stay calm and breathe in, breathe out.Remember this, it won’t matter how much water is in your mask. The clearing method is the same regardless of the amount. What you need to do is to take a deep breath through the regulator and then hold the top of the frame of your mask using your fingers. Look up and then breathe out using your nose. What will be coming out from your nose will allow the water to be expelled from the mask bottom. Repeat this until your mask is completely cleared.
Releasing the Tension when You Get a Leg Cramp
You know how it feels when you get a leg cramp while you’re on land. You feel annoyed and irritated, sometimes caught off guard that you have to pause until it goes away. When you get a leg cramp underwater, it’s a different story. It will obstruct you from swimming properly, which can lead you to drown. Our point is, it’s dangerous. But lucky for us humans, it’s easy to recover and it doesn’t really different when you’re recovering underwater or on land. You will make use of your hand signals here, tilting your palm facing downwards from side to side and then pointing to your leg that is having cramps. One way is to also open and close your fist then point to the cramped leg. Of course, you have to make sure that you have already held the attention of your scuba diving buddy. They will help you to grab the tip of your fin, pulling it towards the direction of your body while making sure that your legs are straightened and stretched. You can also extend your heel and calf which can help in making the cramp go away.
Breathing Off a Regulator that is Free-flowing
You might encounter an instance when your regulator would malfunction while diving. Do not panic when this happens. Note that your regulator can let air flow freely instead of it closing off. What does that mean? You will still be able to ascend while breathing off your regulator safely. So one, stay calm. Then afterward, peel half off your mouthpiece that will make the free-flowing air forcefully escape into the water. Sip the remaining bubbles and check your numbers, making sure that the ascent rate is safe while you make your way to the surface.
Knowing What to Do During an Out-of-Air Situation
Ideally, you should never get to this point that you’ve already run out of air. It’s a nightmare and might seriously cause your demise. You need to be closely checking your air consumption because again, you don’t want to run out of air.The good news is that this can still be dealt with, and there are two ways on how to save your life if your tank runs out of air. First off, you can use your buddy’s alternate air source (this is why it’s very important to have a buddy with you! Never dive alone, we repeat, never dive alone). You must use the out-of-air signal to your buddy, doing a slashing motion on your neck. Once they’ve gotten the signal, they will give their spare regulator for you to put in your mouth and clear from water. Firmly take a grip on your buddy’s forearm as you ascend together at a safe rate.And then, there will be an instance that yes, you are swimming with a buddy but they might not be close to you. Your best option is a Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent. Make sure first that you are neutrally buoyant. Do an upright position and swim safely towards the surface. One of your arms should be raised over your head to protect it from any obstructions that will come your way during the ascent. You have to exhale all the way when you go up because you might suffer from decompression sickness if you don’t.How to Store Your Gear: You may store your gear in a storage chest or plastic containers in your garage. Make room for them by installing smart storage solutions that will maximize the storage capacity of your garage.