Every year scuba divers across the globe get lost at sea and a few end up dying or never found. The majority of these divers sign up for a diving trip on a tour boat and because of inexperience, lack of common sense, negligence and just plain bad luck are exposed to the worse experience in their lives.
The thing is that in a third world country the tour boat operator might be less concerned with the divers security than keeping on schedule. And if you have a problem there aren’t any attorneys that will sue somebody.
Basically you’re on your own or if you are diving with someone then it is imperative that you look out for each other during the dive. I did a dive in the Bahamas a few years ago and while clearing my ears upon the adequate that the dive master and three divers disappeared by the time I got to the bottom. In reality I never saw the dive master until he surfaced twenty minutes after. Luckily I had my buddy watching out for me and waiting for me until I descended!
If you Google lost scuba divers you will be amazed at the number of lost divers and a few of the tragic stories that ended in death.
Common sense is your first and foremost rule of thumb! Don’t wander off, be conscious of where the dive master is at all times, keep your eye on your other fellow sailors, be aware of the strong currents that can move you at over 5 miles an hour, when you surface deploy your BC and look for the dive boat along with other divers, have a signaling light or security light with you.
Obviously there will be situations where you will end up in trouble but the essential point is not to panic! Especially if you get to the surface and you are unable to see the dive boat or other fellow sailors. This may also occur if the swells and waves are over four feet high and because you are floating low in the water that the boat actually might be a hundred yards away and not be able to see you.
If you panic you won’t be able to think clearly and you’ll waste precious energy. Time is against you because if there are strong currents they’ll be moving you farther and farther away from your starting point and you will start losing warmth despite wearing a wet suit. Another thing to consider is if you are floating in the ocean you will need drinking water long before you need food and sunlight will burn you.
Some basic precautions may enhance your chances for survival. They have an inflatable signal devise that might 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 a number of lights on the marketplace that will provide some help based on the color of the light, length of the light, flashing or solid color, depth capacity of the light, size of the security light and durability.
According to basic physics the most visible light either submerged or on top is a white flashing led light. Lots of the lights that are supposed to be visible are strong and in different colors.
My taste is a water activated light that is bright white and flashing. There’s a new firm called diver savers that sells two types of lights that can literally last more than a 150 hours of constant usage. Better than most of the others that rely on batteries which at most will burn for only thirty hours that’s just over a day and probably not long enough in most cases.
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 dimensions, the brightness, does it flash and how long does the battery last while at the sea? Personally I prefer the water activated safety dive lights as they can last for more than a hundred dives and not just make you visible on top of the water they will make you visible to the dive master and fellow divers underwater.
Dive safely and revel in the ocean!