Many beginner and intermediate divers alike often wonder about the correct way to enter the water, from a dive boat or a platform. In reality, there is not one but several ways a diver can enter the water correctly and each individual may feel more comfortable with some than others. The methods are usually determined by a number of factors, such as the type of platform you are diving in from and the safest way determined by the conditions.
There are four basic types of water entry procedure for Scuba Divers that we are covering today.
Wading Entry Method
Wading entry is performed from a beach or shoreline, and it is the only method of entry for a shore dive. Don all your scuba gear except your fins and wade out to deeper water by walking backwards. It may seem like an easy task but care still needs to be taken while wearing heavy scuba diving equipment. Inflate your BCD partially, continue walking until water gets around waist high that you are able to swim, then fully inflate your BCD and put on your fins. Avoid entering from the shore when conditions are rough, surface is muddy, or you could end up losing a fin.
A giant stride is one of the more common methods and arguably easier as well, used when diving from a boat, pier, or jetty. This method can be used while diving into deep water or where the platform is steady. You will have to get all your scuba gear, partially inflate your BCD, before standing on the dive platform with the ball of your fins on the edge. Hold your mask and regulator in place with your palm, lift a leg in front of you, and dive in.
Once you surface, give a signal to your fellow divers or boat captain, fully inflate your BCD, and wait for other divers to enter the water before you descend.
Some small boats will not have a platform for you to enter the water from, therefore the back roll is the most ideal way. Put your equipment on and perform all your safety checks, sit on the edge of the boat with your body facing inward.
Put your regulator in your mouth, hold them in place with one hand with the other holding the back of your head to prevent a skull cracking into the first stage regulator when in contact with water. Next, point your chin towards your chest and gently lean backwards. Inflate your BCD and remember to give the ok signal once you are comfortably in the water.
This entry method is ideal for when the water is too shallow for a giant stride, your boat or platform is almost touching the water, or the platform is unsteady. Gear up, put your regulator in your mouth, sit on the edge of the platform, and push yourself up and out into the water using both hands. Be sure to use a bit of force so your tanks don’t hit the platform. This is not commonly used by scuba divers, but can come in handy.
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