In addition to checking your scuba gear as you are assembling it, divers of all levels need to check it all over again right before entering the water. This is an extremely important safety measure that should be taken at every dive site around the world.
Many things can happen to your gear from the time you set it up to the time you are ready to dive into the water with all of your gear on you. By checking all of your gear one last time, you ensure that everything is working properly.
Another important reason to perform a pre-dive safety check is to help other divers in your group make sure that they are set up properly for the dive, and you will be able to help them in the event of an emergency in the water by knowing their gear in addition to your own.
The 5 Steps in a Pre-Dive Safety Check
There are a total of five steps in the pre-dive safety check, but these are easy to remember as the acronym BWRAF. You can also try remembering it as the mnemonic device, Begin With Review And Friend.
The first step requires that you check your BCD and buoyancy. BCD stands for buoyancy compensator. You need to do this for yourself as well as for your diving buddy. Inflate and deflate the BCD to make sure it is working, make sure the dump/pull strings are not tangled in any way, and then inflate it before entering the water.
The second step in the pre-dive safety check requires you to check your weights and weight belt. First, make certain that they are on properly. Also, make sure that the quick-release system is visible and free from getting tangled or stuck on other equipment.
A weight belt, in particular, should befitted so that the diver can pull it open using only the right hand, and it also needs to be able to fall off the diver easily in the event it needs to be released.
On the other hand, with an integrated weight system, weight pockets need to be securely inserted into the BCD. Divers need to know how to use each other’s equipment, so take the time now to review.
The third step in the process is to make sure that the BCD’s releases are snug. Make sure it is strapped on properly and belts are tight. Make sure all clips are closed as well. And check that the tank band is snug to ensure safety once you dive into the water. Do the same checks on your buddy.
The fourth step is to check your air by confirming the regulator is working and that the tanks are full and the valves on the tanks are open. Check the pressure gauge while taking a few breaths from the regulator. Then go over your alternate air source with your buddy, testing it as well.
The last step is one final check to make sure all the proper equipment is in place and the divers are ready to go.