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How to Build your Save-A-Dive Kit



By Kate Heller

“My fin strap broke.” “My tank o-ring is missing.” My student’s BCD isn’t holding air.”  Whether you’re a new, experienced, or professional diver, at one point or another you’ll encounter a reason to need a save-a-dive kit. It can seem difficult and overwhelming at first to decide what to add to your save-a-dive kit at any level, but it is actually fairly simple.  You’ll want to consider a few things.  First, think about Murphy’s Law, “What can go wrong will go wrong.”  Second, analyze every aspect of the dives you’ve done thus far in your career.  Third, think about the gear you have and what part(s) of it you might need to save during a day of diving.  Keeping those in mind, we’ll look at a save-a-dive kit from the beginning diver’s kit to that of the instructor.

As a new open water diver who’s eager to continue their SDI diving career, you start to add to your personal gear.  To start your own save-a-dive kit, you’ll want to look into getting a small dry box to fit everything you might need for your basic equipment.  This would include your own mask, boots, fins, snorkel, etc.  Aside from gear, also think about yourself as a diver. Keeping the three aspects to consider from above in mind, let’s look at each piece of gear.

Mask, Boots, Snorkel, Fins

What can go wrong?

  • Mask strap breaks
  • Mask keeps fogging up
  • Zipper on the boots breaks
  • Snorkel keeper breaks
  • Fin strap breaks
  • Fin buckle breaks
  • Hair tie breaks

Analyze the dives you’ve done

  • What’s been suggested to compensate for the mask problems?
  • Could the boots be too tight so the zipper is distressed?
  • Has the snorkel keeper come off during a dive already?
  • Have you had to adjust the strap during your dive?
  • Has the buckle come loose or unbuckled itself during a dive?
  • Have you lost or broken a hair tie?

The parts you might need

  • Spare mask strap
  • Defog
  • Tape to hold the boot in place for the time being until you can acquire a new set
  • Zip-tie to replace the broken zipper
  • Spare snorkel keeper either plastic, silicone, or neoprene
  • Extra fin straps
  • Extra fin buckles
  • A pack of hair ties

Miscellaneous items to consider

  • C-cards
  • Extra snorkel/regulator mouthpiece

Even though your instructor, a boat crew member, or someone on site might have a back up of any of the aforementioned parts, it is best to build your own save-a-dive kit. It will help you as a newer diver to be prepared for the unexpected as well as help you to understand how to fix some of your own gear issues and become more independent as a diver.

Once you continue in your diving career and gain more experience, you’ll witness problems that other divers have had.  You’ll see or talk about what they did to compensate for their issues and from that knowledge, be able to add to your save-a-dive kit.  Whether you add a BC, regulator, computer, or wetsuit to your gear collection or expand on where you dive, you’ll have more to consider come building your kit.

BC, Wetsuit, Computer, Regulator

What can go wrong?

  • Dump valve gets cracked
  • String to the dump valve breaks
  • Inflator button sticks
  • Wetsuit zipper breaks
  • Wetsuit zipper leash breaks
  • Wetsuit rips or tears
  • Tank that was rented is missing or blew an o-ring
  • Computer is dead
  • A hose leaks

Analyze the dives you’ve done and will do

  • Is this leak one that can be fixed on site?
  • Can the zipper be fixed or have a temporary rig set up?
  • How many dives until the rip or tear gets worse?
  • Is the wetsuit difficult to zip up?
  • What does the boat crew do if an o-ring blows?
  • Have you been taught to change a battery?

The parts you might need

  • Spare dump valve
  • Paracord or braided nylon line
  • Wetsuit cement or patch
  • Zipper wax/lube
  • O-ring pick
  • Tank size o-rings
  • Computer batteries
  • Extra regulator hose

Miscellaneous items to consider

  • Extra pressure gauge
  • Extra bolt snaps and clips

If recreational diving is as far as you wish to go and you want to explore more areas of recreational diving such as wreck, deep, sidemount, etc. you’ll want to continue referring back to the 3 aspects of diving to consider.  From there, you’ll be able to build even further on your kit.  You’ll also be a source of knowledge for the new divers that you meet and connect with.

If diving has become a passion that you want to share and educate others about on a professional level, there are other aspects of a save-a-dive kit as well as training to consider on top of your already assembled personal Kit.

Students’ Gear (Personal and Rented), Miscellaneous Gear and Equipment

What can go wrong?

  • Student’s regulator is free-flowing
  • Student’s ears wont clear
  • Hose is leaking bubbles at the 1ststage
  • Student forgets computer
  • Computer dies

Analyze the divers you’ve taught as well as past personal dive experience

  • What are the common problems you’ve seen while helping with a class?
  • What were the quick solutions for those problems?
  • What did you need to alleviate the problem?

The parts and tools you might need

  • Allen keys
  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Extra LP/HP hoses
  • Port plugs
  • Variety of sized o-rings
  • Scissors
  • Dump valves, inflator hose

Miscellaneous items to consider

  • EarShield
  • Extra sunscreen
  • Motion sickness pills

As an instructor, this save-a-dive Kit will not only be an asset to you but also a learning tool for your students.  It will help educate them early about thinking of all the components that need to be considered when diving.  It’s great to have everything for them, but creating a diver that can be a self-reliant problem solver without you there is a huge skill advantage.

A save–a-dive kit is such an important tool for all levels of diving.  It provides a sense of reassurance knowing that you have the tools to fix what needs to be fixed.  As you further your diving career, you’ll want to consistently think about the three aspects of that style of diving.  What can go wrong, analyze other similar dives that you’ve done, and what tools or gear can you put in your kit to alleviate or prevent those problems from occurring.  Though the above lists of items are helpful starting points, there are an infinite number of pieces that a diver, novice or experienced, and an instructor can add to their kits.

When creating your save-a-dive kit, cater it to your personal needs and diving environment.  Talk to others and observe what they have in their kits to help get a better idea of some additions to yours.  Keep in mind that, much like diving, you should not try to solve an issue that you haven’t encountered before or don’t have the training to adequately handle. You’ll always want to take the courses necessary to know how to fix the problem as well as ask for help.  What are some of the components in your save-a-dive kit?

To find out more about International Training, visit

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

Deptherapy returns to its Roots – Part 1



Over the next seven days, join Richard Cullen from Deptherapy as we publish a Blog about the charity’s recent expedition to Roots Red Sea, El Quseir, Egypt.

Deptherapy made the very brave decision to book an expedition to our home in Egypt as soon as Roots Red Sea received their certificate from the Egyptian Authorities that the camp and dive centre was COVID secure. Roots is one of very few resorts to receive a certificate from the Egyptian Government.

We arrived in Roots the day after they re-opened.

Getting together an expedition was a major task. Very few Approved Medical Examiners’ of Divers or Dive Referees are conducting consultations at the moment. Availability of beneficiaries and the requirement to quarantine on return from Egypt affected the number of beneficiaries available.

There was also a requirement to pass a COVID PCR virus test within 72 hours of travelling.

We had decided on a small expedition and on the day of travel we had six flying to Egypt.  Unfortunately, Chris Middleton had to drop out the day before we travelled after emergency wisdom tooth surgery.

Our group comprised of Richard Cullen, Michael Hawley, Tom Oates, Tom Swarbrick, Keiron Bradbury and Corey Goodson.  Keiron was undertaking his RAID Master Rescue Course and, as it turned out, Corey was undertaking the RAID Open Water 20 course.

A deserted Gatwick Airport at 0900 on 10 October

Our outbound flight was before midday on Saturday 10 October and I must admit we were all shocked at how deserted was.  Checking in with easyJet took minutes and when we boarded the plane, we found it less than half full.

Corey is a paraplegic since a car accident two years ago while he was training prior to joining the Royal Anglian Regiment.  Corey has no sensation below the waist and is unable to use his legs.  The cabin crew on our flight were quite amazed to see the two Toms and Michael lift him from his wheelchair and place him in his seat for the flight.

Mask protocols were strictly observed by the team, the flight was uneventful, and the easyJet Cabin Crew superb. We also took a digital thermometer to check temperatures prior to flying.

Corey having a pre-flight temperature check

Hurghada Airport was very quiet and we moved through Immigration and collected our baggage in very quick time.

Two things to note:  If you are travelling to Hurghada you need to complete a COVID declaration for the Egyptian Authorities. If not, you have to fill out the rather lengthy form when you arrive.  You can undertake a COVID test on arrival at Hurghada Airport but the queues are long.  It costs much less than the tests we had done in the UK – BUT – you are required to be quarantined at your hotel until the test result comes through.  This means two days with no access to resort facilities.  If the test comes back as positive you have at least two weeks being confined to your room.

COVID guidelines

Transport to Roots was, as ever, on hand and we were soon at the camp and being briefed about the COVID arrangements.  A lot of work has been put in place to make Roots COVID compliant – and all at considerable expense.

None of the usual hugs with the Roots team and you have your temperature checked every morning and every time you return from the dive centre.  Your dive kit is sterilised every night ready for the next day’s diving.

Sterilised Dive Kit

We all felt very COVID secure.

Check back for tomorrow’s Blog and our first day diving…

Find out more about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education at

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Dive Training Blogs

Dive Instructor! Is Your Paycheck rubbish? Here’s 4 passive income ideas for Scuba Pros (Watch Video)



How much money does a Dive Instructor make? The easy answer is not much. Here’s 4 ways a Scuba Diving Professional can diversify their income streams.

You hear it all the time: Being a Scuba Diving Instructor is a labor of love. Why is it that Scuba Instructors, when compared to almost any other professional in a sports training or educational role, make less money? Well, we’re not going to dive into that topic, because nobody here has the time for that!

What we are going to do is give you 4 ideas for generating passive income using your expertise as a Dive Instructor. Each of the ideas requires a little effort and investment on your part, but with a long term strategy, you can absolutely add money to your monthly income.

If you’ve just finished your Instructor Development Course, I strongly encourage you to diversify your income streams by trying your hand at some or all of the ideas we explain in this video.

We want to thank all of our subscribers for supporting this channel and being such an active and engaged audience! We appreciate you all! And thanks for making our most recent video our most watched video yet!

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