Scuba diving is an exciting way to unlock the hidden marvels of the ocean, but safety should always be at the forefront of your mind. As a boater or diver, it is essential to have a well-rounded and prepared kit of scuba diving items on board.
From vital emergency devices to buoyant accessories, we will take you through 6 incredible must-have types of safety items that can not only ensure a safe adventure, but make each dive more captivating and enjoyable than ever before.
1. Life-Saving Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)
Every boat on the water should be outfitted with life-saving personal flotation devices (PFDs). These comfortable vests provide buoyancy in case of an emergency or if a diver is in distress, keeping them afloat for longer and giving them enough time to receive help. When choosing PFDs for your boat, make sure to pick the right size, fit them properly to your passengers, and check for their buoyancy and comfort. Don’t forget to inspect them regularly, so they stay up-to-date with local boating regulations and work perfectly in those moments that matter the most.
2. Dive Flags and Surface Marker Buoys (SMBs)
Dive flags and surface marker buoys (SMBs) are essential for alerting any unsuspecting boaters of the divers in the vicinity. A bright red flag with a white diagonal stripe is used to indicate that one should take caution while passing by the flagged area at a safe speed. SMBs, also known as safety sausages, are inflatable tubes that divers can deploy from beneath the surface to announce their presence to boat operators or other divers. These markers are paramount for ensuring the wellbeing of everyone on board.
3. First Aid Kit
The deep depths of the ocean demand an expertly-stocked first aid kit to quickly respond to any medical conditions that arise on a scuba diving excursion. Divers should arm themselves with adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, tweezers, scissors and pain relievers for basic needs. For further protection against the unknown perils of the sea, vinegar (for jellyfish stings), motion sickness medication and thermal blankets may be necessary additions to the kit. A comprehensive guidebook on how to administer proper first aid in such unpredictable scenarios is also highly recommended.
4. Emergency Oxygen Kit
In the event of a diving emergency, having this life-saving accessory on board can mean the difference between life and death. Equipped with a portable oxygen cylinder, regulator, mask and tubing, supplemental oxygen helps reduce symptoms of decompression sickness and promote recovery of an injured diver. Don’t forget to check the essential items of the Emergency Oxygen Kit regularly, so that you can be assured that they are working correctly and sufficiently filled.
5. Signaling Devices
In times of distress, communication is essential. Carrying multiple signaling devices on board should be a priority for any diver. Some common signaling devices include whistles, horns, air horns, signaling mirrors, flares, and radios. Whistles, horns, or air horns can be used to signal for help or communicate with other boats from a distance. Signaling mirrors are useful for catching the attention of nearby watercraft by reflecting sunlight. Flares offer bright, long-lasting light, making it easier for rescue teams to locate a troubled boat or diver. Radios such as marine VHF radios or satellite phones enable direct communication with emergency services or other boats.
6. Life-saving Dive Computer or Depth Gauge
The dive computer and depth gauge are essential pieces of gear to keep you safe underwater. They provide a wealth of real-time data, including the current depth, dive time, ascent rate, and no-decompression limit. All divers should invest in these marvelous tools that allow them to track their progress and manage their safety throughout each dive.
Now that your boat is packed with these 6 types of essential safety items, the blue ocean depths are yours to explore. Feel confident and secure in your newfound aquatic freedom as you sail through waterscapes strange and new. These life-saving supplies safeguard your divers and grant you a safe haven beneath the sea!