Today we have a lesson on the different underwater communication techniques for you.
Good underwater communication with your buddy and with your group increases your safety. It also gives you the tranquility necessary to enjoy your dive.
In the recreational dive world, there are several ways for divers to communicate underwater: hand signals, noise, writing, light and body language.
Let’s revise together the communication procedures and maybe you will learn something new!
- Listen carefully to the dive briefing – your dive guide will revise the most important hand signals. Make sure that you are familiar with them. OK – OK at the surface – PROBLEM – PROBLEM at the surface – DOWN – UP – CHECK YOUR AIR – HALF TANK – RESERVE– SLOW DOWN – OUT OF AIR. Then there are other important hand signals to keep in mind: LOOK AT ME/THERE – STAY AT MY DEPTH LEVEL – TOGETHER – STOP – SAFETY STOP – END THE DIVE – DANGER – CURRENT.
- During your dive be aware of the noise you may hear. If you hear a metallic sound like a tank bang or a shaker, look around you, your guide or your buddy wants your attentions. If you hear an engine running 3 times or a repetitive banging, those are emergency recalls. In that case there is a problem at the surface and you need to end your dive. Remember to revise these signals before entering in the water.
- Always be in contact with your buddy and your group. Make sure that your buddy is within an arms distance from you, in case of need. Always keep your dive leader in sight – you have to be able to see each others signals
- To make the communication easier, it is useful to carry a slate and a pencil to write, when hand signals are not enough.
- During night dives, using a light to make signals is the main way for communication. Also in this case make sure you are familiar with the signals and that everybody uses them the same way. A big round big circle with the light means OK. Large repetitive up and down movements of the light = problem. Turning the light on and off or quick and small movements = look at, give me your attention. Turning the light on and off and big repetitive movements of the light at the surface are used to attract the attention of the person or boat crew who should be watching out for you. It may signal that a problem has occurred.
- With experience and practice, you will become familiar with the involuntary body language. You will notice a divers’ state of mind by observing a diver’s behavior, eyes, breathing rhythm and facial expression.
Before we end this lesson on underwater communication, we want you to refresh your hands signals for fish. These signals can be different from diver to diver. And if you have any questions about any hand signals let us know. Here we go – do you know the hand signals for:
shark – manta – eagle ray – turtle – clownfish – nudibranch – scorpion fish – stone fish – puffer fish – crab – leaf fish – moray eel – lion fish – octopus – lobster.