by Jon Kieren:
#AreYouSureThatisaGoodIdea | #SupportYourLocalDiveCenter
As divers, it’s hard to imagine a better summer day than hanging out on your buddy’s boat, doing a little diving, maybe a little fishing, and just relaxing enjoying the sunshine. When all goes well, it’s the perfect way to spend a day out of the office, but what about when it hits the fan? Do you and your buddies have the equipment and skills required to handle the worst case scenarios? While a day out on your buddy’s boat can be a lot of fun, if you are not properly trained and equipped it is probably a better idea to spend a few bucks and head out with your local dive charter instead. Professional dive charters offer more than just a boat ride; they have trained staff and the necessary equipment to handle emergency situations, and could very well save your life. A few points to consider when deciding whether to head out on your buddy’s boat or dive with a professional dive charter are:
- Equipment-If you’ve ever been on a dive boat, you’ve probably heard a safety briefing given by the captain or crew. This briefing typically outlines emergency procedures and describes/shows where to find emergency equipment onboard. This briefing is not just for show, this emergency equipment can save your life, and typically includes:
- PFDs (life jackets)
- VHF Radio-for hailing coast guard, EMS, other vessels, etc.
- Fire suppressant devices
- EPIRB- Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon
- First Aid kit
- Emergency Oxygen
- Crew- Are you and your buddies experienced and qualified mariners and rescue divers? In the event of an emergency in/on the water, you need to have well trained personnel on hand to lend assistance effectively. Are you and your buddies trained and prepared to handle the following situations?
- Distressed/Unconscious diver in the water
- Fire on-board the vessel?
- Weather suddenly turning while divers are in the water
- Lost/missing divers
- Decompression sickness and other diving injuries
Not only do dive charters stock this equipment onboard the vessel, the crew is trained in its use. Do you and your buddies have access to this equipment? Are you confident in your ability to use it in a high stress emergency?
Dive charters staff professionally trained and experienced crew members to assist and handle these types of scenarios. These crew members are often overlooked, because most of the time their skills are not required. But when there’s a problem, you will be glad they are there to help.
Unless you and your buddies are very experienced mariners and divers, we strongly recommend choosing to dive with a professional dive charter instead of heading out on the water alone. Dive emergencies happen quickly and unexpectedly, and having trained professionals and the proper equipment on site can turn a potential fatality into a minor hiccup in the day’s events. Next time you’re thinking about going diving, let the pros do all the work and head out with your local dive charter. To find an SDI facility in your area, click here.