Every year scuba divers throughout the globe get lost at sea and a few end up dying or never found. The majority of these divers register for a diving trip on a tour boat and because of inexperience, lack of common sense, negligence and just plain bad luck are exposed to the worse experience in their lives.
A number of these divers are swept away by currents, get separated from the other divers or encounter adverse underwater conditions which affects their sense of direction and time. The problem is that in a third world country the tour boat operator might be less concerned with the divers security than keeping on schedule. And if you’ve got a problem there aren’t any lawyers that will sue somebody.
Basically you are on your own or if you’re diving with someone then it’s imperative that you look out for each other throughout the dive. I did a dive in the Bahamas a couple of years back and while clearing my ears upon the decent that the dive master and three sailors vanished by the time I got to the floor. In fact I never saw the dive master until he surfaced twenty minutes after.
If you Google lost scuba divers you will be amazed at the amount of lost divers and a few of the tragic tales that ended in death.
Common sense is your first and foremost rule of thumb! Don’t wander off, be conscious of where the dive master is at all times, keep an eye on your other fellow sailors, know about the strong currents which can move you at over 5 miles an hour, when you surface deploy your BC and look for the dive boat and other divers, have a signaling light or safety light with you.
Obviously there will be situations where you may end up in trouble but the essential point is not to panic! Especially if you get to the surface and you’re unable to see the dive boat or other fellow sailors. This may also occur if the swells and waves are over four feet high and because you are floating low in the water that the boat actually might be a hundred yards away and not be able to see you.
If you panic you won’t be able to think clearly and you’ll waste precious energy. Time is against you because if there are powerful currents they will be moving you farther and farther away from your starting point and you’ll start losing warmth despite wearing a wet suit. Another aspect to consider is if you’re floating in the ocean you will need drinking water long before you want food and sunlight will burn you.
Some basic precautions may improve your odds for survival. They’ve an inflatable sign devise that might be helpful but where do you maintain it is the question. Another solution that is more helpful at dusk and at night is a signal light that obviously has to be waterproof and long lasting.
Presently there are some lights on the market that will provide some help depending on the colour of the light, duration of the light, flashing or solid color, depth ability of the light, size of the security light and durability.
Based on fundamental physics the most visible light either underwater or on top is a white flashing led light. Many of the lights which are supposed to be visible are solid and in various colors. Not the best choice if you want to be seen.
My preference is a water activated light that is bright white and flashing. There’s a new company called diver Realtors that sells two different types of lights that can literally last over a 150 hours of constant usage. Better than most of the others that rely on alkaline batteries which at most will burn for only thirty hours that’s just over a day and probably not long enough usually.
These lights range from ten bucks up to sixty five bucks and some are plain junk and others are extremely well made.
Personally I prefer the water activated safety dive lights because they can last for over a hundred dives and not just make you visible on top of the water they’ll make you visible to the dive master and fellow divers underwater.
Dive safely and revel in the ocean!
Diver Saver products can save your life if you are lost in the sea