Diving Rough Seas: How to Handle Heavy Current Underwater

Diving Rough Seas
6 May 2019

Diving Rough Seas: How to Handle Heavy Current Underwater

Scuba diving has a fairly brief, interesting, and rather bumpy history. This is primarily due to the fact that early diving gear was…Shall we say, less than effective? Luckily, the days of wooden barrels and 200-pound suits are far behind us. But that doesn’t mean scuba diving doesn’t still come with the occasional hazard. No matter how advanced technology becomes, one thing that can never be controlled is the unpredictable nature of the sea. An especially heavy current can be particularly troublesome to the unprepared diver. The solution? Go in prepared. Here are a few tips on how to handle rough seas while on a dive.

Familiarize Yourself

As in many subjects pertaining to our general well being, prevention is the best course of action. A great way to avoid getting yourself into a sticky situation is through a detail-oriented approach to diving prep.If you’re preparing to dive in a new spot, don’t go in blind. Talk to other divers who have experience there and ask them about the water conditions. You can also ask locals who are well-versed in the area’s little details. With the internet at your disposal, you’re out of excuses when it comes to not knowing your facts. Unless you’re on some next level exploratory journey, chances are that plenty of other people have dived there. And chances are that those people have written about it online.

Get Under Quick

When the time comes to enter the water, the best thing you can do is get in and get under as quickly as is reasonable. Waves affect a depth equal to approximately twice their height. This means that a choppy surface doesn’t always translate to a rough dive. If you’re diving from a boat, the best time to do so is when a wave hits. This reduces the distance you need to jump or roll. Upon hitting the water, deflate your buoyancy control device (BCD) and descend as quickly as you can. If you’re diving with a buddy (you should be) regroup after you’re about 15 feet down. That should put you well below the effects of most waves.

Know When to Get Out

If the conditions at a dive location are worse than you expected, the right move is usually to abort the dive. As you become more familiar with the process, you’ll get a better idea of how bad is too bad. If you go through with your dive, your process for exiting the water will be the reverse of getting in it. Try to surface when waves crest at your boat in order to assist in getting in. The less amount of time you spend on the surface, the better.

Don’t Get Carried Away–Be Prepared for Rough Seas

For the unversed, rough seas can be a scary prospect, but if you follow the advice here, you’ll get through it. That said, an article will never replace experience. One way to get that is by training with professionals. If you want to make sure you’re always in control during your dives, click here to check out some excellent diving courses.