Boating and diving are exciting and enjoyable activities. However, accidents can happen, and it’s critical to know what to do if the worst-case scenario occurs. One of the most terrifying things that could happen while out on a dive is a dive boat leaving someone behind in the water.
If you find yourself in such a situation, the first thing to do is to remain calm. Panicking makes the situation worse and could hinder your decision-making ability. If you are one of the divers left behind, you must maintain visibility by waving your arms or blowing a whistle, depending on the situation. If you are not a strong swimmer or the current is too strong, you should signal for help and try to conserve energy by treading water.
To make a signal for help, use a whistle or a signaling mirror. Alternatively, wave your arms in the air or hold up an inflated diver’s buoy to attract attention to your location. If the dive boat fails to return shortly or you believe they will not return, activate an emergency beacon to alert other boats’ nearby if you have one.
If you are still waiting for rescue, try to ensure that you are hydrated by drinking water, and conserve as much energy as possible. This can be done by staying still and conserving any oxygen you have left by limiting any unnecessary movement such as swimming.
Once you are rescued and back on the boat, check-in with the dive supervisor or captain, and let them know how you are feeling, physically and mentally. They should also check your diving equipment, make sure they are functioning correctly, and perform any necessary repairs that were damaged during the rescue.
In summary, if a dive boat leaves someone behind in the water, remaining calm, maintaining visibility, signaling for help, and waiting for rescue are essential to staying safe. It’s also important to be prepared for emergencies and always carry appropriate safety equipment. By being vigilant and informed, you can enjoy boating and diving and return from each trip safely.