Are you itching to go scuba diving soon, but aren’t quite sure about diving given the COVID-19 situation?
The coronavirus has altered our lives in so many ways, and just as it’s important to take the appropriate safety precautions before you go to the store, so too is it important to take the right safety precautions before you go on an underwater adventure.
Check out these gear cleaning solutions and other safety tips for diving during COVID-19.
Avoid Diving if You’re Sick
First things first, you should 100 percent avoid diving if you feel sick. Even if your symptoms aren’t COVID-related, you should still hold off on your dive.
As we’re all well aware by now, COVID-19 is easily transmittable through the air. If you have the virus, then you could easily spread it to the others on the dive boat with you, and then they may spread it to others in their circle, and on and on.
However, it’s also important to avoid diving when you’re sick for your own safety. If you’re sick, it’ll make it incredibly difficult to clear your ears and sinuses when descending. Even worse, it’ll elevate your risk of a reverse squeeze when you’re ascending.
Be Extra Mindful of Your Equipment
Due to convenience and cost, many scuba divers choose to rent their equipment through the companies they dive with.
However, since the virus can linger on equipment, if you have the budget, we suggest investing in your own equipment. At the very least, we recommend investing in your own mask, as the virus is a lot more likely to linger in this area.
If you do have your own equipment, it’s very important that you take the right steps to clean it appropriately. We suggest using a solution of water and sodium hypochlorite, which is standard household bleach. However, make sure you only use 1 percent of bleach, otherwise, it’ll stain your equipment.
Many dive centers and equipment stores also sell gear cleaning solutions. Before cleaning your gear though, make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific brand.
Once the disinfectant is ready to go, immerse your equipment and let it soak for at least 15 minutes. Take extra care when cleaning your mask, and make sure to wipe between the layers and creases in the skirt, as this is an area where dirt and debris tend to accumulate.
You can also check out this guide to learn how to clean a wetsuit.
Be Smart on the Boat
A lot about diving safely during COVID-19 has to do with what you do when you’re on the boat between dives. Here are some tips you should follow:
- Wear a medical mask when you’re out of the water
- If you don’t have a mask, keep your mask on and your regulator in your mouth
- Don’t touch anyone else’s equipment
- Don’t bring friends with you on the boat
- Do not share your defog
- Avoid touching your regulator inlet or tank valve opening prior to attaching your regulator, as this will prevent cross-contamination
- Don’t touch your buddy’s equipment during buddy checks
As you can see, there’s a lot that you can do on the boat to keep yourself and others safe.
Gear Cleaning Solutions: Time for Safe Diving
Now that you’ve read these gear cleaning solutions and safety tips, it’s time to put them into practice so you and those around you can dive safely. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying the open water with your dive buddies.
Even though there are strict travel restrictions right now, you can still daydream about and plan your next dive trip. To help you get started, check out this guide to learn about some lesser-known diving destinations.
If you are interested, we are always putting together some form of instruction and ability to learn new things concerning the amazing sport of scuba diving. If you are looking to refresh your skills, learn something new or do some local diving, just contact us. We are always around.