Safety is ultimately, the most important factor in diving. Without emphasis on safety and following safety rules it is very unlikely that any diver will get the most out of their diving experience. It is about ‘ The Ultimate Dive Experience’, which includes safety, standards, experience, knowledge and the essence of diving, FUN! There is no difference in being an Open Water Diver or a Dive Professional, you’re part of an extreme sport called diving and need to be conscious of safety and risks.
Teaching new divers the importance of safety and being comfortable under water is the first step in making someone a good diver. As an instructor you are capable of ‘creating’ a diver from scratch and therefore it is your role, at all times, to give students the best you have to offer. It starts with reassuring the diver that you understand the importance of safety and you will make sure they are comfortable with this. It’s important that you don’t ignore the fact that accidents can happen whilst diving. But if the instructor and students have the knowledge about what behavior cause dive accidents and in what situations accidents are more likely to occur, it is very unlikely that something will happen. More over, should an accident happen, the diver is better placed to know what to do.
In the Open Water Course you learn how to dive safely and how to handle emergency situations. An example of a skill you need to be able to master as an Open Water Diver is called an Air Sharing Ascent. In the unlikely event that you or your buddy runs out of air you need to know how to handle the situation, help each other, stay calm, share air and make a safe ascent to the surface. The key to feeling safe and comfortable with a certain skill is ‘Comfort Through Repetition’. The more times you perform and practice a skill, the more it becomes a habit.
Besides knowledge and skills, you need to have the proper equipment in order to dive safely. Examples are a Surface Marker Buoy, Emergency Whistle and a Dive Computer. For an Open Water Diver you might not purchase these items right away, as an Instructor it is mandatory to have the proper equipment. Through detailed knowledge of the equipment, such items can greatly reduce the risk of accidents.
After completing the Open Water Course a great way to gain more experience and to become a good diver is to continue dive education. The Advanced Adventurer and especially the Stress & Rescue Course build on from the Open Water course and begin to advance a divers knowledge, build experience and ultimately lead to safer, more confident divers.
Diving as a sport certainly has inherent risks, however, through sound knowledge and well-maintained equipment, divers should never find themselves in a dangerous position.