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10 Basic Safety Rules for Freedivers

10 Basic Safety Rules for Freedivers

If you are new to freediving or considering taking up the sport, it's crucial to prioritize safety while diving into the depths of the ocean. Proper instruction and training in safety procedures are essential for minimizing the risks associated with freediving. Here are ten basic safety rules that every aspiring freediver should follow to reduce the chances of accidents caused by improper techniques.

Note: The information provided below serves as a reference only and is not a substitute for formal training. We strongly recommend completing a freediving course before engaging in freediving activities.

1. Never freedive alone.

  1. Select a well-trained partner who is familiar with safety and rescue procedures and can act as your safety diver.
  2. Always dive under the direct observation of your dive buddy.
  3. Remember the rule of "One up, One down" – never dive simultaneously with your partner.

2. Create a thorough dive plan and evaluate sea conditions.

  1. Ensure that all divers involved in the dive have a clear understanding of each other's activities throughout the outing, including warm-ups, deep dives, etc.
  2. Evaluate the dive site, taking into account factors such as weather conditions, currents, visibility, water temperature, swell, and surface traffic.

3. Avoid hyperventilation.

  1. Hyperventilation can extend the "easy phase" of breath-holding, but it can also lead to blackouts without warning.
  2. Practice a proper breathe-up, which includes slow, deep ventilation, relaxation, and concentration without overdoing it.

4. Equalize properly.

  1. Begin equalizing early, before experiencing any pain in your ears or sinuses, and continue equalizing frequently during the dive.
  2. Never force an equalization, and if you fail to equalize, abort the dive and ascend.

5. Avoid diving after a samba or blackout.

  1. Any form of "Loss of Motor Control" at the end of a dive should signify the end of diving activities for that person on that particular day.

6. Maintain proper intervals between dives.

  1. Provide close, direct supervision of your buddy for at least 30 seconds after resurfacing, even if they give the okay signal.
  2. Rest for a duration that is twice the length of your previous dive.
  3. Allow at least 5 minutes between deep dives to allow gas balances to return to normal.

7. Refrain from diving when tired or cold.

  1. Avoid diving when you are cold, tired, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as these impair judgment and breath-hold ability and increase the risk of a blackout.
  2. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before your freediving session, as dehydration significantly increases the risk of a blackout and exacerbates equalization problems.
  3. Avoid diving on an empty or full stomach, and never dive immediately after a meal, as it diverts blood from carrying oxygen to the brain to the digestive system.
  4. Do not dive if congested, as it may lead to equalization difficulties and increase the risk of a reverse block.

8. Ensure adequate rigging and flags.

  1. Use a bright buoy (in orange, red, or yellow) to suspend the line, making it easily visible to surface traffic.
  2. The cover boat should fly the "diver down" flag, which should also be attached to the buoy you plan to take into the water.
  3. Ensure that the buoy is large enough to support the dive line and provide a restful spot for the diver on the surface, without being pulled underwater, even with two ascending divers. Always stick to the dive line and never swim past the bottom weight.

9. Separate freediving and scuba diving.

  1. Do not rely on air from scuba divers while freediving.
  2. Avoid freediving immediately after scuba diving. It is recommended to engage in scuba diving and freediving on separate days.

10. Know yourself.

  1. Learn to be both relaxed and in control during your dives.
  2. Trust your body and listen to its signals, ending the dive and ascending when necessary.

Remember, these rules are fundamental to promoting safe freediving practices. Always prioritize your well-being and seek proper training and guidance to ensure a safe and enjoyable freediving experience.

About the author

Hey, I'm Simon, your go-to guy for awesome freediving experiences. I'm all about exploring the underwater world and sharing my love for it with fellow enthusiasts like you.


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Written by:Portrait of Simon, Dive Champ AuthorSimonReviewed by:Portrait of Mind, Author at Dive ChampMindDate updated: