In the last blog I discussed the up-skill of your scuba diving skills. Why would we up-skill? To increase our awareness and perhaps discover more of our limitations.
What do I mean by limitations? In scuba diving being aware of what is a safe condition for your experience or training level. This can be reflected in many ways. For example, in how you handle current when it strikes or staying at one maximum depth, while others in the party bounce up and down or continually descend…
While I was in Switzerland I worked with a Swiss man who in his young years had dived with his friends in the local lake. Great I thought I would be keen for a dive, he then started to tell me how he and his friends would take multiple tanks and try to go as deep as they can. I almost fell off my chair. They used one old computer and that was fun for them. He explained they had no real idea and it was a bit of a laugh. Nothing happened but wow it could have gotten ugly very quickly.
There are many other scenarios of divers going beyond what they should. The newly certified Open Water Diver who goes on a day boat and decides to follow an Advanced Dive to 30 meters, experiences narcosis and has a slight panic attack. A Diver who believes he is the best diver in the world and won’t listen to his buddy. Enters a wreck, swims around and kicks the silt all up, then can’t find the exit. Both could be life threatening but thankfully the buddy keep a level head and came to help.
These types of scenarios have a common theme. In each the Scuba Diver believes what they do is the best and doesn’t think about the consequences for their actions which ultimately could end in tragedy, either for themselves or their buddy or both.
I am only a qualified Open Water Instructor with PADI and have been for the last 13 years. I accept that I don’t have the knowledge to go deeper than 40 meters safely and in control. So my diving is based around this limitation of depth. Hopefully next year I will do a technical dive course which allows me to go beyond.
So to cap knowing your limits means you dive safely, not taking risks which could endanger yourself and others on the dive. You will find that if you dive recklessly you won’t find a dive buddy ever again.