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Why Scuba Diving with a buddy is necessary for beginners

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By: Kate Heller

Buddy diving – is it really that important as a beginner? The short answer is yes, of course. As a diver, the buddy system is extremely important and useful. Whether a diver is diving with a newly certified diver or an experienced diver, the buddy system offers plenty of benefits to both parties. The system helps a diver to practice the traits of a good buddy such as buddy checks. This system allows the divers to learn from each other, practice the concept of two being better than one, give assistance, and to share the experience. The most imperative reason for the buddy system is that a diver should never dive outside of their training. That being said, a diver looking to dive alone would need to have training and be certified as a solo diver.

Tools

A valuable tool for a new diver’s progression in their dive skills is to learn from a buddy. This can either be with a new diver like themselves or with an experienced diver. Learning from a new diver helps the pair to learn how to be a better buddy. This can be through repetitive pre-dive buddy checks or being conscious of where they are underwater in relation to their buddy. On the opposite end of the spectrum, being paired with an experienced diver helps the novice to better their underwater skills through observation. It’s possible that during their course, the novice had trouble becoming neutrally buoyant. Observing an experienced diver being neutrally buoyant underwater can help in that skill progression. Aside from learning from a buddy, the concept of two heads being better than one is also learned through the buddy system.

Navigation

Regardless of skill level, all divers will continuously run into new challenges of diving such as navigation. If a new diver were to be diving alone in visibility conditions that were less than ideal or during a night dive, navigation could become quite difficult, even with the use of compass skills. A buddy team would be able to plan ahead for various types of conditions and work through any problems they may have during the dive. A solo diver can do the same; however, for new divers or divers who are still working on bettering their skills, a buddy team allows the team to work together on challenges the encounter. Other challenges could range from a new diver being a little nervous about diving in current or losing a light during a dive. In both cases, a buddy team could work together to get through the challenge as well as learn from it. Aside from the extra set of eyes a buddy team has, there is also a level of comfort that comes with the team. The team can rely on each other and make one another feel more comfortable in the underwater environment while a solo diver must rely on their own skills that they have learned and developed over the years.

Imagine being a new diver and getting to go on a dive in California to visit the kelp forests for the first time. Now, consider some of the problems a diver could run into having never been in that kind of environment before. Problems such as entanglement could be resolved quickly with the assistance of a buddy. Even in a learning environment, a novice diver can bring up instances where the help of a buddy would be necessary.   A diver could be overwhelmed and excited about earning their open water certification and neglect to pay attention to their air consumption. In an event like this, having a buddy there would help on multiple levels. Either member of the buddy team will have had the training to consistently ask one another what their pressure is so that the emergency situation of running out of air won’t happen in the midst of all of their excitement.

Know your limit

During an open water course, or any course really, a big point that instructors should make is that a diver should not go beyond their training limits. Although there aren’t scuba police watching your every move underwater, going beyond your scope of experience can be dangerous without the proper training. This is more relevant than ever when it comes to diving without a buddy. The crucial reason for the buddy system is that a diver should never dive outside of their training. They should gain more experience and develop their skills before considering diving alone.

Not only can a buddy help with the above reasons, but diving is all about the experience and adventure. Part of that adventure and experience is being able to share it and talk about it with their buddy as well as other people. As divers, we like to look back on what we have seen and done over the years. Personally, being able to reminisce with a buddy about what we saw and experienced is part of why I continue to dive. It’s fun to talk about and plan more dive trips with my dive buddy to share more experiences and adventures underwater.

Buddy diving is a necessary tool for a diver to progress in their skills not only as a dive buddy but also in their personal skills.   They can accomplish this through diving with a more experienced buddy as well as practicing buddy diving with another novice diver and learning from each other.   Buddy diving also allows for a buddy pair to always have someone there to provide assistance if needed. With anything new or challenging in any sport or activity, two heads are better than one. The buddy system helps to build the team mentality that novice diver as well as experienced divers need if they want to progress their diving career or if they are diving in a new place. With any dive, both experienced and novice divers need to remember to stay within the scope of their training so that they minimize their risk underwater.

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

Deptherapy returns to its Roots – Part 1

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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 www.deptherapy.co.uk

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Dive Training Blogs

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

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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!


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

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