HOW TO PLAN A DIVE ?

Do you know how to plan a dive ? Check out our tips on being perfectly prepared for your next immersion !  

Scuba diving requires some serious preparation before you head underwater. While incredibly exciting, this activity is not without its risks, so it’s best not to improvise when it comes to safety. Planning your dive is an important step so that you’ll be comfortable, and so that you and your buddy will be able to make the most of your dive. Subea provides some advice on planning your dive !

 

planning dive tips subea

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO PLAN YOUR DIVE ?

A brief review...

Your dive plan covers the elements that help ensure your dive goes as smoothly as possible, from the depth of your dive site through to the maximum time under water and your air consumption. Planning your dive helps you to assess and respond to any potential problems during your dive, which in turn helps to minimise feelings of stress and panic. Your dive plan should be prepared with your buddy shortly before your dive. Let’s take a detailed look at what you need to consider.

 

THE BRIEFING

An essential part of your dive planning

First and foremost, it’s important to follow all instructions given by the dive master, who has the final word when it comes to the duration of the dive. The dive guide will give you a pre-dive briefing that will include all of the information that you’ll need when deciding on your own limits. He will go over the weather conditions, the direction of the wind and currents, the height of the waves, and the tide and its coefficient at the time of the dive. Next, they’ll finalise the safety parameters for your dive, such as maximum dive time, maximum depth, water entry and exit conditions depending on the site (e.g. beach entry vs. boat entry). While you can use this information to define your own parameters on the basis of your personal limits, it’s essential that you always remain within the limits set by the dive guide. Finally, he will go over the available safety equipment, e.g. hanging safety stop tank, trail line and float for entering the water, etc.

PLANNING YOUR DIVE

And with your buddy !

After the briefing, it’s up to you to plan your dive according to the information provided by the dive guide. Diving with a buddy is a must, so you should do your planning together in order to be in perfect sync once you’re in the water. Choose the itinerary that you want to follow (there and back, loop, one-way with boat pickup, etc.), then decide on the maximum depth and dive time according to your respective dive experience, prior dives, and physical condition. These parameters must never go over the conditions set by the dive master. Next, determine your assembly point before descending, as well as at what point you’ll turn the dive and start heading back up (tank pressure, dive time, distance travelled…). Once you and your buddy have agreed on the dive parameters, it’s important to go over the signs that you’ll use to communicate once in the water. For example, you may need to review the rules in case of getting lost, the specifics of your equipment such as the position of your inflator, your weight system, the position and attachment of the octopus, and/or the state of any special equipment that you’re planning to bring with you, such as a camera, a dive light, etc.

planning dive buddy tips subea

ONE LAST TIP BEFORE YOUR DIVE

Talk things over with your dive group 

In addition to your buddy, you should also get to know the other divers in your group. Find out as much as you can about their experience, their diving level, their level of familiarity with safety equipment and their knowledge of popular dive sites. It’s also important that you all agree on what hand signs will be used when on a group excursion. This will help to increase the safety of your dive, so that you can deal with anything unexpected.

Enjoy your dive !

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                ARTICLE CO-WRITTEN WITH

                signature julian retail assistant decathlon saint brieuc
                Julian, retail assistant at Decathlon in Saint-Brieuc

                I'm an adviser in the nautical department of the Decathlon in Saint-Brieuc. I've been diving for about 5 years. Passion and training helped me to overcome my fear of the water and to become a lifeguard, amateur freediver and PADI Divemaster in scuba diving.

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