Being under water is a great experience. Trained Scuba divers have the ability to explore the beautiful flora and fauna and enjoy the interacting with aquatic life. All trainings-associations worldwide teach in their courses how to explore that world in a safe way. Nevertheless, problems can occur and with the wrong reaction the diver can get into a life-threatening situation. The following skills increase your self-rescue abilities and help you in the unlikely event of troubles under water.
1.) Good Buoyancy control is the most important skill for scuba diving. It avoids struggling to maintain the divers position on the surface and underwater. It helps you to stay clear of the bottom, reducing the risk of aquatic injuries and protects the underwater life as well from being damaged as your equipment.
2.) Proper Airway control allows you to breathe easy if you have small amounts of water in your snorkel or regulator thus avoids choking. Simply use your tongue as a splash-guard.
3.) Avoid dehydration. Dehydration can cause cramps even in relaxed dives with good visibility and no current. If a cramp occurs be aware of the cramp removal procedures. Get your Buddies attention, stop, rest (hold on to something if necessary), continue n a slower pace or abort dive and surface with your dive buddy.
4.) Handle problems with your air supply correct. There are several options to handle this kind of problems and dive students learn them upon entry level. Keep practicing them with your buddy from time to time at the end of a dive during the safety stop. If you are into solo-diving (not recommended by most dive association) carry a pony-bottle or a self-contained ascent bottle.
5.) Vertigo (losing sense of orientation and balance) can occur on deep dives or in mid-water when you don’t have any reference and is an unpleasant experience, therefore you need to respond correctly before it becomes a serious problem. Vertigo can cause stress and nausea. When feeling disoriented you need to get your dive-buddies attention immediately. Try to make contact with a fixed object or your buddy. Hugging yourself may work also. Watch your bubbles for your up-and-down orientation.
Following these guidelines will help you in a self-rescue situation. Practice and fine-tune your dive-skills frequently or enroll in a refresher program if you have not dived for a while.