Communication is key. It’s a phrase that you will hear used over again in all walks of life. Yet, when it comes to scuba diving, there it is more certainly true. When you are under the water, knowing and understanding the many different scuba diving hand signals can be the difference between life, death, and all experiences in between. Do you need to know every signal? Probably not, especially when you are first starting out. However, there are core signs you need to know how to read and give to be safe in the water.
Let’s take a look at the ten most vital scuba hand signals you need to know.
1 – It’s OK to Communicate With Diver Hand Signals
When you are underwater and want to tell everybody you are doing alright and having a good time, then all you need to do is make a circle with your thumb and index finger. Easily the most important and basic of all scuba diving hand signals.
2 – Giving a Thumbs Up When The Surface Beckons
Some diving hand signals mean something very different below water. Another reason why learning how to say OK is important is that underwater, giving a thumbs up sign means you want to head back to the surface. That’s a very different message to give, but an equally important one the know.
3 – Stop Right There Please
Swimming with friends is great fun, but you need to know when to hold up and wait. A raised hand may is not a request for an underwater hi-five but rather a sign that you need to stop what you are doing.
4 – Keeping things on the Level
When you are diving, it is imperative that you have a plan. There’s a lot to explore down there, and doing so without any idea of where you are going is dangerous. So if you see your buddy or another of your group going too far off the underwater piste then hold your hand flat out and moving it side to side in front of you. This tells them to level off; they’ve gone deep enough.
5 – Stay Alert for any Danger That May Swim Along
Beneath the ocean surface is a beautiful and quiet place. However, it can be fraught with danger too. If you see something dangerous, then you need to alert the rest of your group. Cross your arms over your chest and then point with a closed fist if necessary to show them where the danger is.
6 – Scuba Hand Signals Help You Get Someone’s Attention
When you want someone to look at you underwater, maybe because you have a message to give them, then all you need to do is point to your chest and then up to your eyes. One of the more self-explanatory scuba diving hand signals, but one that holds great importance.
7 – Sometimes You Just Have to Turn the Party Around
All good things must come to an end, and that includes your scuba dive. When the time comes to put your diver hand signals into use to draw things to a close and turn the dive around, all you need to do is raise your index finger and twirl it around for all to see.
8 – Some Diver Hand Signals You Hope to Never Use
When learning to dive, there are certain diver hand signals you will learn but hope you never have to use. Our of air is one such example. However, should you find yourself in that situation, signal your diving companions by waving your flat hand in front of your throat, with your fingers pointed towards you.
9 – Sharing Air When Things Get Difficult
Should you give the out of air signal, you can then ask to share the air of your dive partner as you rise to the surface. To share all you need to do is open your hand and bring your fingers to your mouthpiece and back away again, almost as if you are blowing an underwater kiss.
10 – Shark Spotting While Diving Is Not Need to Panic
There are diving hand signals for everything, but one other important one to learn is how to signal a shark. This is not always a reason to panic, but it’s good to let your whole group know what is around. Point in the direction you see the shark and then bring your hand to your forehead creating a fin.
Scuba Diving Hand Signals – The Takeaway
At the end of the day, there is a language behind scuba diving hand signals. Much like sign language for the hard of hearing. You can learn as many or as few as you need to know, depending on your experience level and where you are diving. Just make sure you know enough to cover the possible situations that may arise in local or foreign waters. We provide all different types of venues for you to learn these skills.
For more information on scuba diving check out our other helpful articles.