Scuba diving is a true underwater odyssey. It’s a gorgeous escape. Now, more than ever, human beings need to partake in activities and sports they love.
If you’re scuba certified, you’re well aware of the risks. And you know they’re worth it.
But COVID-19 presents more scuba diving risks on top of the ones that happen underwater. Though COVID-19 may not give you nitrogen narcosis or the bends, it’s important to know how to keep yourself safe and uncontaminated.
1. Keep Equipment Clean
Divers clean and service their scuba diving gear frequently for safety and performance. As COVID-19 spreads through droplets from the mouth and nose, every piece of equipment that comes into contact with the diver’s face must be cleaned.
- regulator mouthpiece
- BCD (buoyancy control device)
- oral power inflators
Look out for any cracks or defects on the surface of your gear. This increases the chance of COVID-19 transmission.
The Journal of Sustainable Tourism recommends cleaning scuba diving equipment with bleach, soapy water, quaternary ammonium, and sodium hypochlorite. If you aren’t sure, look at your equipment manufacturer.
2. Clean Rented Equipment
If you don’t have your own equipment and need to borrow some on the go, clean it thoroughly. It’s great to find a dive shop that is aware of COVID-19 and has an excellent cleaning protocol. Unfortunately, nobody’s standards are as good as your own.
Account for the extra time needed for cleaning before you embark on an adventure. Divers recommend bringing your own disinfectant aboard in case it’s needed in a pinch!
3. Travel Safe to Mitigate Scuba Diving Risks
Scuba diving is great locally, but many of the best dive spots are a plane ride away. With COVID-19, travel has become a dangerous roadblock for diving.
If you decide it’s safe to fly and/or travel, read up on your airline’s COVID-19 policies. This ensures you have a plan to get your money back. Some companies will not give a refund if you go against their travel warnings.
Making a scuba emergency plan in case of infection will keep you ready for unexpected scenarios. Additionally, find out what state government precautions the dive company adheres to.
4. Maintain Social Distance From Your Buddy
Until everyone has their regulator in, it’s recommended to keep six feet of distance like you would anywhere else.
Don’t rely on your buddy for gear adjustment. Make sure you can don your scuba diving equipment solo before asking for help. The perfect buddy is a family member, or someone living in close quarters with you.
I Know the Risks, and I’m Ready to Dive
If you’re an experienced diver and this article interested you, why not pass down your safety knowledge to newcomers? Teach scuba diving precautions with our SDI or PADI Divemaster Course and share your love of the water with a new diver. Also, we are always teaching students how to dive the local water.