Wednesday 24 September 2014

Divers do it Deeper-5 tips to do it right!

Just four days ago, a new diving depth record was set by Egyptian diver, Ahmed Gabr, as he spent 14 hours completing a dive to a whopping 332metres underwater.

A dive like this can take years of planning and organisation to ensure it is done safely and the bulk of us will never even consider descending to such depths but if you are going to go deep, do it right.

1. Have a Reasonable Deep Diving Objective.

Right from the start of the deeper diving courses, we are told that if you just want to go deep to boast that you have been there, then this is not really the course for you and this theme continues all the way from the PADI Deep Specialty through all the Technical Diving Courses.

If you are making deep dives, you should have a reasonable objective... and that is just one... never try to overload yourself with doing too much on a deep dive. Keep everything as simple as possible.

2. Depth Progression.

I have just completed a couple PADI Deep Specialties here in Cyprus and while there are not many skills involved in the course, it is a great way to progress your depth experience in small steps with the comfort of having an instructor there with you. 

Build the experience and your confidence. Don't just jump in at the deep end!

3. Plan the Dive

When you are making Deep Dives, it is even more important to have a dive plan in place, so everyone knows where they should be, what they should be doing and what happens if something goes awry.

Dive with people you have dived with before and whom you trust. Remember that it is not just you that has to be fit and ready (mentally and physically) to make this dive, your buddy or dive team must be equally prepared.

Also, make sure somebody on land knows where you have gone, how long you will be there and is prepared to activate emergency procedures if needed

4. Have enough Gas

A single 12 litre tank is usually acceptable for dives in Open Water down to the recreational Diver limit of 40m but if you start adding in overhead environments with Wrecks and Caves, you really need to start thinking about some kind of redundancy system in case you have a problem.

Rebreathers, Twinsets or sidemount systems allow you to carry 2 cylinders of breathing gases that works along with the training to allow you to shut one down and breathe from the other in the event of any problems.

Know your SAC (Surface Air Consumption) rate and use it to calculate your gas consumption for the dive. Although, be aware that this is only useful if you know how to do it properly. If not, you could get incorrect information and will be more detrimental than beneficial.

5. In Kit we trust

Configuration of your equipment is a very personal thing and it often takes a lot of little changes to fix any little niggles you may have.

Although, this ability to adjust our equipment is a good thing, we must also realise that sometimes it just takes us a little while to adjust ourselves to new things. Changing equipment on every dive means you never get the opportunity to get comfortable with it and when you are making deep dives, you should always be comfortable with the equipment you are using.

Know your controls and get it right before you dive deep.

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