Can you guess the most dangerous thing in the ocean? Sharks? Jellyfish? One thing surpasses them all.….BOATS! You might not often hear about them, but most injuries and most deaths that occur in the ocean are from boats. It’s also one of the most important reasons we would tow a float behind us, to prevent the risk of boats running us over. Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran diver, check out our safety tips when diving around boats to keep yourself out of harm’s way.
Observe Buddy System
Boats vary from small inflatables, liveaboard vessels, to jet skis—and you need to watch out for jet skis because they can go very fast and you might not easily hear them. The captain of the boat should be in charge of preventing boat related injuries when you're in the water. His job is to keep the boats from running you over and he does this by positioning the boat between you and the oncoming boats.
Bring The Right Safety Equipment
Dive flags are legally required in Australia. You need to have a dive flag in your boat. Make sure you tow a float and flag whenever you swim away from your boat. Use a large brightly coloured float for maximum visibility.
Do A Roll Call
It’s the person in charge of the boat’s responsibility to know where the divers are. He counts the divers and sees if they’re all there. He's not going to bring his boat anywhere near the divers if even one person is missing from the surface. It doesn’t matter whether they have already caught a fish and need help. As long as any of the divers are not on the surface yet, the person in charge of the boat doesn't go near them because of the danger of running them over. This is very important.
Understand Your Vehicle
When you go from one boat to another, it's important to get to know the controls. Part of controlling a boat is that you need to know what the controls are doing. It's no good jumping in a boat and not knowing how to maneuver it. For example, if you're used to mechanical controls and then jump into electric. It is possible for you to pull those controls a little bit further than your neutral and not realize that you've put it in the reverse instead. You could back over a diver that way. It is essential to understand the various controls of the boat.
Be Careful In Crossing Bars
Most accidents that occur in boats are crossing bars. Bars generally form at the entrance to rivers and inshore waterways because of sand drifting along the coasts. Bar conditions can change quickly and without warning, regardless of the weather. You may go out on a high tide, and then when you come back in, you've got half the amount of water. Following the same line may not work so it’s important to get to know bars if you have to cross them. You can look for someone who has done it successfully for years and go out with them. Get some insights on how to go about it and then learn bar sense yourself. Where the deep water is, where the shallow water is, what you can do to handle it.
To keep yourself safe when swimming around boats, you have to be prepared. Make sure you're protected on your next dive trip and always observe these safety tips. If you need additional tips and guidance on how to properly get started with spearfishing, visit the Adreno Spearfishing Blog now! You can also check out our massive range of spearfishing gear!