Follow safe diving practices, keep physically fit, and maintain your dive skills. These controls will help you minimize hazards and risks. However, if a problem does occur, you will need to know how to help yourself and/or another diver. Poorly learned and practiced skills are the first to be forgotten in a panicky situation. You will learn how to respond to problems underwater calmly: recognizing when a diver needs assistance and basic emergencies with an unconscious diver.
If you have not dived within six months, you should review all the self-rescue skills in a pool with an instructor or divemaster and log the review. The skills can be easily forgotten, so practice them. This will help prevent possible serious difficulties in open water. If you are diving in remote places, you should have first-aid and CPR training. It is also worth considering additional rescue-diving training in which you will learn how to handle specific diving problems.
To be prepared for any problems that may come up, you should do the following.
- Know where all the divers’ cell phones, medic cards, and contact numbers are kept in their dive bags.
- Have the local emergency contact information at hand.
- Ask your dive guide about the area you will be diving before going there.
- Review self-rescue skills in a pool if you have not dived within six months.