Every year scuba divers across the globe get lost at sea and a few end up dying or never found. Most these divers sign up for a diving trip on a tour ship and due to inexperience, lack of common sense, negligence and just plain bad luck are exposed to the worse experience in their lives.
The problem is that in a third world country the tour boat operator might be less worried about the divers security than keeping on schedule. And if you have a problem there aren’t any lawyers that will sue someone.
Basically you’re on your own or if you are 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 few years ago and while clearing my ears upon the decent the dive master and three divers disappeared by the time I got to the bottom. In fact I never saw the dive master again until he surfaced twenty minutes after.
If you Google lost scuba divers you will be amazed at the number of lost divers and some of the tragic tales that ended in death. So what is a diver supposed to do to prevent you or your dive buddy getting lost in the middle of the sea?
Common sense is your first and foremost rule of thumb! Do not wander off, be conscious of where the dive master is at all times, keep an eye on your other fellow divers, know about the strong currents that can move you at more than 5 mph, when you surface deploy your BC and search for the dive boat and other divers, have a signaling light or security light with you.
Obviously there will be situations where you may find yourself in trouble but the essential point isn’t to panic! Especially if you get to the surface and you are not able to find the dive boat or other fellow sailors. This may also occur if the swells and waves are over four feet high and since you’re 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 strong currents they’ll be moving you further and farther away from the starting point and you’ll begin losing heat despite wearing a wet suit. Another aspect to consider is if you are floating in the ocean you will require drinking water long before you want food and sunlight will burn you.
Some basic precautions may improve your chances for survival. They’ve an inflatable sign devise that might be useful but where do you maintain it’s the question. Another solution that is more helpful at dusk and at night is a signal light that obviously needs to be waterproof and long lasting.
Presently there are a number of lights on the marketplace that will offer some help depending on the colour of the light, duration of the light, flashing or solid colour, depth ability of the light, size of the safety light and endurance.
According to fundamental physics the most visible light either underwater or on top is a white flashing light. Many of the lights that are supposed to be visible are strong and in different colors.
My taste is a water activated light that is bright white and flashing. There is a new company called diver Realtors that sells two different types of lights that can literally last over a 150 hours of continuous usage. Better than many of the others that rely on alkaline batteries that at most will burn for only thirty hours which is just over a day and probably not long enough in most cases.
These lights range from ten bucks up to sixty five dollars and some are plain junk and others are extremely well made.
The important points to look for is the construction, the size, the brightness, does it flash and how long does the battery last while at the ocean? Personally I prefer the water activated safety dive lights as they can last for more than a hundred dives and not only make you visible on top of the water they will make you visible to the dive master and fellow divers underwater.
Dive safely and enjoy the ocean!
Diver Saver products can save your life if you are lost in the sea