Blog about Underwater Life and Scuba Diving

Five Mistakes to Avoid When Scuba Diving

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With it now being so easy to organist a cheap holiday abroad, a whole host of fantastic diving locations all over the world are now within reach. Plunging into the sea and exploring the wonders that lie within can and should be an utterly unforgettable experience leaving you with nothing but positive memories. While experienced divers are quick to tell you everything you should do, there are also a number of common mistakes that are best avoided if you want to maximize the enjoyment of your trip underwater.



Poor diet

General rules for a healthy, balanced diet also apply when planning a dive. Processed or high energy foods like meat, chocolate or caffeine can increase blood flow, which with the added compression and pressure underwater can cause headaches, tainting your dive or even drawing it to an early finish. Foods that release their energy slowly and which have high water content – like fruits and vegetables – are much better to consume before a dive.

The wrong body temperature

A good night’s sleep before a dive will help your body fight off the effects of the cold water. It is important to stay warm by wrapping in layers when travelling to and from the dive and by wearing suitable gear when in the water. Warm fruit drinks are good but coffee should be avoided, as it reduces the flow of blood to the limbs. While it is crucial not to become too cold, it is also important not to overheat as this will force your body to sweat, which in turn cools you down, overthrowing your efforts to stay warm.

Drinking the night before

Drinking alcohol the night before a dive will leave you with a hangover. This is bad for various reasons as not only will you feel unwell and not be able to make the most of your dive but you risk having impaired vision or a lack of concentration which can be fatal when entering potentially dangerous waters. Moreover, the effects felt during a hangover are caused by the body being dehydrated, meaning you need to replenish yourself with lots of fresh water, impossible to do while diving, therefore leading to a painful post-dive headache.

Incorrect use of equipment

For lengthy dives you will likely have an oxygen supply so you can venture deeper into the water. Over using this oxygen will merely result in the need for an early return to the shore. Keeping your body and mind relaxed while under is the best way to avoid heavy breathing, allowing you to make your supply last longer. Over exerting yourself will also drain your oxygen; sometimes gentle movements or even allowing yourself to be carried by the waters natural flow will not only help you retain your oxygen but will also be less likely to startle any sea life you hope to observe.

When near the surface of the water, using a snorkel will once again keep your oxygen levels up and when your head is above water, goggles/face masks should be hung around your neck as opposed to being placed on your head; otherwise a wave or splash of water threatens to wash them away.

Diving alone

The number one rule is never to dive alone. You could encounter any number of problems during your dive which could end up fatal without a friend close by. Particularly during dives with low visibility, attaching yourself to your boat or diving partner via a safety line is a good way of reducing the risk of becoming lost or stranded.



  • Barry Brisco said:

    The author wrote “For lengthy dives you will likely have an oxygen supply so you can venture deeper into the water. ”

    That is wrong on multiple levels. Recreational divers use compressed air, not pure oxygen. And gas mixtures with increased O2 levels actually REDUCE the depth you can safely dive to, they do not allow you to “venture deeper” or stay down longer.

    It’s hard to believe a scuba diver wrote this article.

    Also, “when your head is above water, goggles/face masks should be hung around your neck as opposed to being placed on your head”. In fact you should keep your mask in place until you completely exit the water.

  • dive computer said:

    But most especially when diving the most essential thing to be remembered is to “have fun while diving”. Because when your tense you tend to make more dangerous mistakes, and also the main reason also why your diving is to have fun!


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