For safety, it is strongly recommended that whenever you are swimming underwater that one member of your buddy team you’ve hopefully comprised remains on the surface watching while the other person dives. In this way, you can easily alternate dives while one member of the team is catching his or her breath after a dive. If one person has a problem or passes out underwater, the other person is in a good position to help.
While you are underwater, it is particularly important to regularly check your weight belt and make sure that it has not slipped around your waist and that the buckle is in the correct position. The deeper you dive, the more your wetsuit will compress, and the more likely it is that your belt will slide.
If for any reason you find yourself in an uncomfortable position underwater, where you have made a deep dive and are unsure whether you can reach the surface, take your belt off and hold it in your hand. By removing your belt, you virtually guarantee that you will rise to the surface if you pass out underwater, since your hand will relax and you’ll drop the belt.
Any time you surface from a dive it is vital that you look up to ensure that there is nothing over you that you might hit with your head. If you fail to look up you could run into the bottom of the boat and knock yourself unconscious.
You should get yourself the best of the equipment. Full face snorkel masks are really handy in these situations. You can use them to make your diving experience more safe and memorable.
When the water is murky and underwater visibility is poor, it’s necessary to keep your arm extended over your head to make sure you don’t hit anything as you surface. It’s better to hit the bottom of the boat with your hand than with your head of course.
Provided you are not diving in kelp, it’s also essential to turn through a 360 degree circle as you surface to help avoid hitting any overhead objects. Don’t do this in thick kelp, however, or you’ll end up wrapping yourself up like a maypole.
Whenever you dive underwater, your snorkel will fill up completely with water. Fortunately, there is a very easy way to clear the snorkel before you even get back to the surface.
When you are about six feet from breaking the surface, with your head tilted back, exhale a small puff of air into your snorkel. You should exhale just enough air for only a small amount of air to escape the snorkel. Until you get a feel for this, hold your hand gently at the back of your snorkel and feel the air coming out. The air you have exhaled into the snorkel will “displace” the water.
When you head breaks the surface, snap it sharply forward and the snorkel will be clear of water. It’s that easy. Just be sure to promptly snap your head forward or the snorkel will fill with water again.
Of course, you can always clear your snorkel by exhaling sharply through it, but the displacement method is much easier and requires far less effort.