Every year scuba divers across the planet get lost at sea and some end up dying or never found. Most these divers register for a diving trip on a tour ship and because of inexperience, lack of common sense, negligence and just plain bad luck are exposed to the worse encounter in their lives.
Many of these divers are swept away by currents, get separated from the other divers or encounter adverse underwater conditions which affects their sense of direction and time. The problem is that in a third world country the tour boat operator might be less concerned with the divers safety than keeping on schedule. And in case you’ve got a problem there aren’t any lawyers that will sue someone.
Basically you are on your own or if you are diving with someone then it is very important that you look out for each other during the dive. I did a dive in the Bahamas a few years back and while clearing my ears upon the adequate the dive master and three divers disappeared by the time I got to the bottom. In fact I never saw the dive master until he surfaced forty minutes later.
If you Google lost scuba divers you will be amazed at the number of lost divers and a few of the tragic tales that ended in death. So what is a diver supposed to do to stop you or your dive buddy getting lost in the middle of the ocean?
Common sense is your first and foremost rule of thumb! Do not wander off, be conscious of where the dive master is at all times, keep your eye on your other fellow divers, know about the strong currents that can move you at more than 5 mph, when you surface deploy your BC and look for the dive boat along with other divers, have a signaling light or safety light with you.
Obviously there’ll be situations where you will end up in trouble but the key point isn’t to panic! Especially if you get to the surface and you are not able to find the dive boat or other fellow divers. This can also occur if the swells and waves are over four feet high and because you’re floating low in the water the ship actually might be a hundred yards away and not have the ability to see you.
If you panic you won’t be able to think clearly and you will waste precious energy. Time is against you because if there are strong currents they will be moving you further and farther away from the starting point and you will begin losing warmth despite wearing a wet suit. Another aspect to consider is if you are floating in the ocean you will require drinking water long before you want food and the sun will burn you.
Some basic precautions may improve your odds for survival. They’ve an inflatable signal devise that may be useful but where do you maintain it’s the question. Another solution which is more helpful at dusk and at night is a signal light that obviously needs to be waterproof and durable.
Presently there are some lights on the marketplace that will provide some help depending on the color of the light, duration of the light, flashing or solid color, depth ability of the light, size of the safety light and durability.
According to basic physics that the most visible light either underwater or on top is a white flashing led light. Many of the lights that are supposed to be visible are solid and in various colors.
My preference is a water activated light that’s bright white and flashing. There’s a new company called diver savers that sells two types of lights that can literally last more than a 150 hours of constant usage. Better than many of the others that rely on batteries which at most will burn for only thirty hours which is just over a day and probably not long enough usually.
A Few of the lights on the market are the Trident Led Light Stick, the Trident Mini Flashing Light, the \watertight Scuba Diving Strobe, the I Torch Firefly, the Princeton Tec Aqua Strobe, the Tek Tite Led Strobe, the Dive Buddy locator and the Diver Snorkel Beacon Light. These lights vary from ten bucks up to sixty five bucks and some are plain crap and others are very well made.
The key points to look for is the construction, the size, the brightness, does it flash and how long does the battery last while in the ocean? Personally I prefer the water triggered safety dive lights because they can last for more than a hundred dives and not just make you visible on top of the water they’ll make you visible to the dive master and fellow divers underwater.
Dive safely and enjoy the ocean!