Lately I’ve been obsessing over decompression theory, safety and diving accident data. When everything goes right, diving is a pretty easy activity to take part in. Exertion is minimal which puts diving within reach of most people. And, equipment is virtually fail-safe.
However, equipment can fail, and conditions can deteriorate. It is our reaction to these stresses that can mean the difference between annoyance and tragedy.
Personally, I don’t think the average diver trains enough. Training doesn’t necessarily mean taking formal classes, but rather simply taking time to practice what we learned in our Open Water classes. Think about it. When was the last time you actually practiced alternate air source breathing with your buddy? During your Open Water SCUBA class?
How about clearing a fully flooded mask? Your reaction to these otherwise mundane situations is critical. Recently I commented on two tragedies that I believe didn’t need to happen had the divers been better conditioned to deal with their individual circumstances.
The bottom line is that practicing vital skills takes only a few minutes and can mean the difference between a good and bad outcome underwater.