Most dive accidents happen at the surface. The following are possible problems and ways to prevent them.
- Overexertion: Keep fit, and work out a cardiovascular program.
- Muscle cramps: Make sure you stay well hydrated. Check with your physician if you think you may be lacking minerals or vitamins. Check that your fins are fitting you correctly.
- Choking on inhaled water: Keep the mouthpiece in your mouth while on the surface or change over to a snorkel.
- Not establishing buoyancy: Remember, the first thing you do on the surface is establish positive buoyancy. Stop, think, and act.
- Coughing: Keep the mouthpiece in your mouth when coughing on the surface or underwater.
- Seasickness: Keep the mouthpiece in your mouth if you are seasick underwater or on the surface.
To prevent underwater problems, make sure you do the following.
- Dive well within your limitations.
- Maintain your self-rescue skills.
- Watch your console, gas supply, and dive times.
- Keep close to your buddy.
The most underestimated underwater skill is buoyancy control. This skill can prevent many surface and underwater problems from occurring. The Open Water 20 training program will train you to a superior level of buoyancy control, and you will be trained to an even higher level.