If you could choose solo diving or buddy diving, which would you prefer?
It is actually not the question of preference; it is a matter of safety.
If you are a novice diver, the buddy system is a must for you, and if you are an advanced or expert diver, it still might be the right way to go! It is more like a rule of thumb for all divers.
In solo diving you enjoy the adventure individually. However, diving with a buddy gives you someone to share the noble experience with, talk about photos and much more.
Diving in pairs is the most popular form of buddy diving. However, there is also an accepted form, which is especially recommended for some technical diving, like “cave diving”.
By now you may be murmuring the question “why is it so important”? It is indeed important because no one can say that you will never have a problem underwater.
Here are some examples of emergency situations where a buddy’s help can save your life:
- Out-of-air emergency
- Diver can be trapped in net or ropes
- Diver can be carried away by the current
- Equipment failure
- Illness or medical emergencies
Therefore, safety should be the top priority for all divers to enjoy this adventurous water sport; and buddy diving can ensure safety to a great extent.
Creating a good diving pair is of great value to you. Thus, you should consider the question: “what makes a buddy good for diving?”
The Expertise of two divers
The diving buddy pair generally consists of two divers with the same level of expertise and knowledge so that they can complement each other. It also gives a mental support, that if something goes wrong, you will not be on your own. Hence, you are free of all tensions; you can freely enjoy the activity.
The two divers should have good communication between them. They should agree on the direction, duration and other essential things before diving. Having an argument underwater is something that is strictly a ‘no’ for scuba diving.
Here's more about Underwater Communication.
The understanding between diving buddies should be mutual. Conflict of opinion in the middle of diving may take away a lot of joy. A good idea is to hold true to all the signals before entering the water, thus avoiding confusion and misunderstandings.
Another important point is that both of the divers should be of a helping nature and should always keep an eye on one another. This will keep the safety level high when diving. If one feels ill, the other should take some steps to make him/her feel better or help the fellow diver out of the water in a safe and calm manner.
The Buddy You Do Not Want!
Everything has exceptions, and in this case, exceptions can be scary and life threatening. I heard some divers saying “my diving buddy was so careless and indulged in so much individual enjoyment, I was nearly killed. I got caught in the current and he was more into escaping than rescuing me”. In these types of cases, the buddy system fails because one of the divers does not obey the rules of the system while diving.
Here are 5 Questions To Ask Your Dive Insta-Buddy.
The person you do not want to be paired up with is the self- centered ego diver. This is the type of person who never looks after you, and will push you aside if he sees something worth seeing in an attempt to get there first. When he is done and you can take a peek, everything worth seeing is gone or impossible to see, because he has stirred up so much sand.
If you are that buddy, think of other divers at the dive site, and pay attention to your buddy. Do not be the ignorant person that no one wants to dive with.
You can at the most test your co-diver with a questionnaire to gauge whether he/she has the right attitude to become a good diving buddy. If you see something wrong, get a different buddy or if you are confident, go for solo diving with extra precautions. In any case, never compromise your own safety.
Therefore, dive with a buddy for safety. Make it a safe and enjoyable adventure.