Scuba diving is a highly popular adventure activity. It gives you a thrilling experience as well as a deep insight into the magnificent undersea world.
Every season thousands of people go to seaside locations to enjoy a good dive with their friends and families. However, a few people love the idea of diving solo.
Scuba diving by yourself is a highly debatable topic in the diving community. Knowing the risks and the vastness of the sea, there can be innumerable dangers waiting underwater.
That is irrespective of the fact if you are an expert diver or not.
Diving is the ultimate thrill, but there are a few things that you need to be conscious about.
Is Solo Diving Dangerous?
Scuba diving on your own does come with many risks. The possibility of something unfortunate occurring might be rare and sometimes even non-existent but understanding it is necessary. In fact, these risks get explained at great length during scuba training.
The usual risk of diving increases significantly when you go solo. Here are a few risks that divers need to be aware of.
1. Equipment Failure
Equipment failure can occur during the dive. It might get unnoticed for a very long time, putting you at risk later.
Though diving equipment used today is quite advanced because of technical improvements, that does not eliminate the associated risks.
Free flow of the regulator is the most common equipment failure seen by the divers. In such a situation, the regulator keeps pushing air even when it isn’t required. The tank gets used up very quickly, and you might be at the risk of running out of air.
When you are diving with a buddy, you can communicate your problem with hand signals or gestures and ascend safely by helping each other. That cannot happen when you are solo. You will have to swim up rapidly, risking the chance of getting the bends or even endangering your life.
Entanglement is an issue that goes unconsidered by a lot of divers. The reason being, not many go for shipwreck and cave explorations.
In such scenarios, the danger of getting stuck in something lingering is serious. There is a possibility that your limbs or some part of your equipment get entangled. If you are alone, you might feel helpless and struggle to move out.
The stress can make you anxious, and you might end up using more air than usual.
These risks get reduced if you are diving with a buddy. They can come to your aid and help you escape the situation.
Getting disoriented on a straight road is pretty common. So, expecting a similar outcome during a dive is not unusual.
Divers often get disoriented during the dive, especially when they are swimming through new and unexplored territories. Shipwrecks and caves can be confusing if you are visiting them for the first time.
Apart from that, a deeper dive can also cause nitrogen narcosis that is aking to being drunk. It can add to your disorientation.
4. Running Out of Air
Running out of air during a dive is pretty common. The common solution is to begin an ascent as soon as possible.
But a miscalculated ascent can result in decompression sickness, causing nitrogen build up in your body and painful joints among other problems.
But if you are with a buddy, you can use their additional regulator and the excess gas in their tank to ascent together. That will help you avoid sickness as well as panic. You can make it to the surface safely.
Is it Illegal to Dive Alone?
No, it is not illegal to dive alone. There are no rules or laws that restrict you from diving alone. But that does not mean it is a free pass to deep dive in the sea whenever you like.
Doing an adventure activity solo is pretty thrilling, but it has its risks. Looking at the vastness of the sea, you can get lost and be out of reach for days before your team finds you.
There is a credible risk of endangering your life because of drowning.
All these risks are reduced to a bare minimum when you are diving with a buddy. You can keep an eye on each other and communicate throughout the dive.
Defining it as legal or illegal is unnecessary until you know what the sensible thing to do is.
How to Scuba Dive Solo
Despite knowing the risks and dangers of solo diving, do you still wish to scuba dive alone? Then, it would be best if you were fully prepared.
A solo dive requires you to be much more attentive and involved in comparison to a recreational dive. You will have to undergo a massive pre-dive planning exercise to ensure you are equipped with everything you might need during a dive.
You cannot take the risk of going to unexplored territories, especially caves and shipwrecks that will be dangerous.
You cannot extend your diving route as you have no one to fall back on in case of equipment failure or insufficiency of air.
Apart from that, you will have to sharpen your navigation skills to ensure you are on the right track. Getting lost in the seas, especially when you are alone, is not something you can ignore.
So, before you decide to dive solo, you will have to educate yourself extensively to make sure you are ready to handle any risks that come along.
Why Scuba Diving With a Buddy is Necessary?
There are far too many reasons why scuba diving with a buddy is necessary, having someone alongside can be of great help.
There are numerous risks involved if you don’t have a dive buddy, and your usual ways of communication don’t work normally. All you have is the gear and your skills to rely on.
Apart from the very important pre-dive safety procedure that is the buddy check, having someone by your side can be reassuring. It will spare you from the worries of getting entangled or losing air.
For most risks, you can rely on your diving partner and vice versa and keep the dive safe and entertaining.
Apart from that, what fun is it if you cannot share your amazing diving experience with someone else? Often such extraordinary adventures are fun to share with people who have experienced it themselves.
If you choose to dive solo to explore and take photographs, you should let someone know beforehand to coordinate the entire situation.
Scuba diving can be an amazing as well as dangerous experience. If you don’t want to fear the sea because of everything that can go wrong in your dive, explore the sea with a buddy.
You will have a fun time, and you can reduce the risks significantly.
If you still feel the urge to dive solo, start with shallow dives that are more in your control. Stay near your base and safe spots so that you can reach your crew easily.
The best way to enjoy any adventure sport is to take care of your safety first.
My unbounded love for the oceans and everything it has to offer motivated me to pursue my passion and become a professional scuba diving instructor.
I keep reading, exploring, and learning more about scuba diving and the underwater world all the time, so I’m excited to share my knowledge with fellow scuba enthusiasts and hopefully contribute a little to your development as a diver. I want people to fall in love with the oceans with as much passion as I have. Read more about me here.