Dive Safety Equipment
There are many items which can make your dive safer. While many of these safety equipment items are things you never want to need, if you do find yourself in trouble, these items can help you stay safe and can help you salvage a dive gone wrong:
1) Dive flags. Dive flags tell your boat crew, other boaters, and other people at the surface where you are. Dive flags can attach to your snorkel or can attach to a buoy or other flotation device for deeper dives. Dive flags ensure that you won’t surface in the path of a boat.
2) Water dyes. Water dyes are an emergency signaling device. If you are in trouble and need someone to find you quickly, you simply deploy the dye and the dye creates a slick of bright liquid at your position, making it easy for boats, helicopters, and divers to find you. In an emergency situation, every second counts in a rescue, and water dyes can save quite a lot of time by making it easier for rescuers to find you. On cold water dives, especially, water dyes can help prevent hypothermia and other life-threatening conditions.
3) Auditory signaling devices. If you are in trouble, you need a noise-making device to help alert others. Above the water, a whistle that is securely attached to your BCD is easy to find, easy to use, and can reach farther than your voice alone. Underwater, an underwater signaling device or underwater horn can help you get your dive buddy’s attention. Underwater signaling horns are activated by a button and are attached between your air hose and first stage. When a diver presses the button, the horn makes a sound that can be heard up to a mile away underwater. This is often the only way divers can communicate underwater, as divers cannot speak with each other underwater unless they are wearing specialized equipment. Underwater signaling horns can also be used above water. Underwater signaling horns can be quite loud, so it is important to point them away from yourself when using them. In addition to auditory signaling devices, there are also visual signaling devices. These include strobe lights, signal mirrors, flashlights, and waterproof flares. These items can help you signal over larger distances above water.
4) Tank bangers. Tank bangers are an underwater auditory signaling devices for non-emergency situations. They help you get a dive buddy’s attention. Tank bangers include a piece of tubing that is placed at the base of your diving tank, and a bead that is placed so that you can easily reach it. This low-tech system works when you grab the bead and release it. This produces a reverberation and a sound that can be heard underwater by divers who are close to your position. If your diving buddy moves out of range, you will need to use an underwater horn to reach him or her.
5) A first-aid kit. You will want to bring a first aid kit or ensure that your dive crew have one on the boat. In addition to the usual first aid kit items (such as band aids, disinfectant, and dressings) you will want to ensure that your diving first aid kit includes seasickness medication, a rescue breathing mask, and spare filled diving tanks.