IN DEEP: Safety first around currents

A school of bait fish.
A school of bait fish. SEANNA CRONIN

THE majority of recreational diving in Australia takes place in the oceans where currents and windy conditions are quite common.

Before entering the water, divers should always check for the presence of any currents.

On commercial vessels, the skipper or dive supervisor normally undertakes this task.

If a current is present, the dive supervisor notifies the divers on board the approximate strength of the current and its direction.

As a general rule, divers always begin their dive against the current so they can return safely to their vessel, drifting with the current. On rare occasions when divers break this rule and begin their dive with the current, they often swim too far and then struggle to return to the boat.

In this instance, they have no option but to return to the surface.

At the surface, they should immediately use their brightly coloured surface marker to attract the attention of the lookout on their boat.

Other skippers in the area may also sight the divers.

The divers should take it in turn to blow their whistle until help arrives.

Diving Regulations in Queensland require divers to carry both a surface marker and whistle before entering the water.

Topics:  diving outdoor-living scuba

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