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12 Common Diving Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

We have created a list of 12 common diving mistakes that sometimes divers do and can put themselves or others at risk.

Mistakes Before The Dive

Diving Briefing.
1-Not checking your equipment

Inspect your mask if you haven't used it for a while. Check if tank is open. Check the amount of air you have (approximately 3,000 PSI or more / 200 bar). Breathe from the regulator. Inspect your jacket or vest by adding air on it.

2-Forgetting the buddy check

Check your dive buddies’ equipment or at least make sure your partner checks his/hers equipment in front of you.

3-Missing or not paying attention to the dive plan or briefing

A common mistake of divers is missing or not paying attention to the briefing of the dive plan. Always participate in the dive plan session, even if you already know the area. During the briefing you can talk about:

  • Time and depth of the dive.
  • If safety stops are required.
  • Diving risks that may occur during diving.
  • Who will be your partner.
  • What you will be seeing underwater (corals, fish, etc).
  • Exchange of some diving signals.

Often divers have to create a new set of signals depending on the different circumstances of the dive. It is expected that diving signals are already known by divers, but some signals vary from region to region. If you feel that the diving leader (Divemaster or instructor) is missing some detail during the briefing, this is the right time to bring it to the attention of all divers.

4-Shy at the time of asking questions

Always ask questions before diving. The leader or guide will help you more if you need extra help. Failure to state your problems prior to the dive is a diving mistake that could put the entire group at risk.

5-Incorrect amount of weight required for diving

Proper weight is very important. If you carry too much weight, it is a mistake that will make you not enjoy the beautiful underwater world. If you are not sure always ask the leader, Divemaster or instructor.

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Mistakes During The Dive

Diving Mistakes
6-Not respecting the diving plan

For safe diving, during the dive always respect the dive plan provided during the briefing.

7-Forget to equalize the ears to the proper depth

Slowly descend and equalize the ears as many times as necessary. The lack of this exercise is a common mistake that can cancel the dive and cause permanent damage to the ear.

8-Forgetting your training

While underwater remember the first rule of diving: always breathe and never hold your breath. At the end of the dive you should ascend slowly, taking as a reference the computer or the smallest bubbles when exhaling and never ascend faster than them. Remember and obey the safety stops or decompression stops.

9-Not checking the air consumption underwater

To avoid surprises always check your underwater air consumption.

10-Failure to communicate your air levels to your partner or diving guide

This is another error that is very easy to avoid. Always keep communication about your air supply, especially when you have consumed more than half of the air supply.

11-Ignoring your position toward other divers

Always keep your position under water. And always have an idea of the position of the other divers, especially your partner.

Mistakes After The Dive

12-Time between dives

Because on many dive trips the goal is always to do more than one dive, the time between dives is very important to avoid nitrogen saturation. Always respect the dive plan that was provided by the Divemaster or Instructor because they follow the rules of safe diving. If you are planning the dives remember to use the appropriate recreational dive table.


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