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How to Build a Diving First Aid Kit

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by Dillon Waters

Whether you are new to the sport or you’ve been instructing divers for years, a first aid kit is something every diver should have on their packing list for each dive. A store with medical supplies is hardly ever within close proximity of a dive site, so packing a useful diving first aid kit is always a good idea. Even when diving with a resort or a liveaboard operation, it’s still wise to bring a first aid kit. It can be the difference between a minor annoyance and something that ends your trip, or worse, threatens your health.

What you should consider before making your first aid kit

The contents of your first aid kit can differ based on the type of diving you do, your training, and any personal medical needs you may have. A diver who prefers to do most of their diving with groups in a resort setting could pack much less than the buddy group going spearfishing from their personal boat. Many diving first aid items require special training to administer such as Oxygen and AEDs. You should seek the proper training before deciding to add these items to your kit. You should also take any personal medical needs into consideration when building a first aid kit. Add extra of any medications you are currently taking and any emergency supplies you may need for an allergic reaction.

What should you pack?

When creating your diving first aid kit, a commercial kit may be a good place to start. Many manufacturers of these kits have sought the expertise of active and experienced divers when building them. Purchasing one of these pre-made first aid kits, such as the Dive 1st Aid Scuba Diver Kit, and adding the items you want or need will increase your chances of having what you need when you need it.

If you’ve decided to build your own diving first aid kit, then it is important to know what you should pack so that you are prepared for the unexpected. Below is a basic list we have put together to assist you:

Storage Container: A waterproof box is recommended due to the increased chance of exposure to water, but not necessary. Choose a container that will best suit your needs. One that is separated into compartments will help you organize the items in your kit, making them easier to find in a first-aid situation. If you prefer to use a container without separate compartments, you can group items into bags to keep them organized.

Basic First Aid Items:

Non-Latex Gloves
5x9in Abdominal Pads
Triangular Bandage
3x3in Sterile Gauze Pads
4x4in Sterile Gauze Pads
Roller Bandage
Adhesive Waterproof Bandages (Assorted Sizes)
Adhesive Cloth Tape
Antibiotic Ointment
Alcohol Wipes
CPR Face Mask
Aspirin (81mg Each)
Ibuprofen Tablets
Acetaminophen Tablets
Space Blanket
Instant Cold Compress
Instant Heat Pack
Scissors or Shears
Tweezers

First Aid Instruction Booklet: In high stress or unfamiliar first aid situations, having a book to reference can help you give the correct care quickly.

Disposable Razor: Can be used to scrape off jellyfish tentacles, etc.

Vinegar: To neutralize the stings of some marine life.

Motion Sickness Medication: If you get motion sickness this is an obvious addition, but for those of you who don’t like seeing others feed the fish off the side of the boat you may want to pack some as well.

EarShield: An oil solution sprayed into the ear pre-dive to repel water while diving.

Ear Beer: A combination of alcohol and vinegar used to dry and clean the ear post-dive.

After you’ve assembled your first aid kit, you will continue to add to it over time as your diving experience increases and you start to learn what you need to include for every dive trip. You should know where each item in your kit is located and you should be able to easily access any part in an emergency. It is also extremely important to open up and check your kit before each trip to ensure everything is there and in working order.

Accidents can happen, so be prepared and dive safe!


To find out more about International Training, visit www.tdisdi.com.

From its humble beginning in 1994 to today, the group of training agencies Scuba Diving International (SDI), Technical Diving International (TDI), and Emergency Response Diving International (ERDI) form one of the largest diving certification agencies in the World – International Training. With 24 Regional Offices servicing more than 100 countries, the company today far exceeds the original vision the founders had when they conceived the idea on a napkin, sitting at a kitchen table in the early 1990’s.

Dive Training Blogs

Reef Rescue Network launches new interactive map

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The Reef Rescue Network (RRN) was established in 2017 by the Perry Institute for Marine Science (PIMS) as a network of non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses committed to improving the condition of coral reefs by restoring populations of corals and other species that will build coral reef resilience. Since then the RRN has grown to include nearly 30 coral restoration sites in partnership with 25 local partners from 9 islands within The Bahamas as well as Aruba and St. Lucia. Through this partnership between coral reef scientist’s local conservation and education organizations and private businesses in the dive industry, the RRN is making significant advances in restoring coral and building reef resilience.

Visitors and locals can now immerse themselves in coral restoration activities at a partner location within the Reef Rescue Network. The network has coral nurseries that offer coral restoration experiences throughout The Bahamas, Aruba & St. Lucia. PIMS has developed a PADI Reef Rescue Diver Specialty Course that dive shops throughout the Reef Rescue Network are teaching. To participate, you must be a certified open water diver and at least 12 years old. The course takes one day and consists of knowledge development and two open water dives at a coral nursery.

You can learn how to assist with maintaining the nursery and get a hands-on experience or you can just scuba or snorkel the coral nursery as a fun dive to just observe and enjoy the nursery and marine life that it attracts. Another option is to scuba or snorkel one of the many restoration sites to view the corals that have been outplanted and witness for yourselves this habitat restoration and the marine life it has welcomed.

To find out more about the Reef Rescue Network, watch this video:

To visit the new Reef Rescue Network Interactive Map click here.

To learn more about the Reef Rescue Network visit their website by clicking here.

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Dive Training Blogs

Saving Scuba: Are We Living The Dream Yet?! (Watch Video)

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Are We Living The Dream Yet?! How do we save scuba diving? A multi-million dollar industry primarily comprised of mom-and-pop shops. Non-essential. Tourism-based. And hit so hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In this video, I identify three key challenges to the scuba diving industry that have been amplified, but not created, by the coronavirus outbreak. Cute hashtags are not going to save scuba diving. We need a plan. We need action.

I have friends – professionals in the industry – who are suffering hardships because of this pandemic. And just because the quarantines may be lifted, it doesn’t mean everything will return to normal. People who have suffered economically because of business closures are not going to rush out and spend money on dive gear and travel.

As always, stay safe and thanks for watching. D.S.D.O, James


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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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