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No matter if you’re a beginner diver with years of experience or a newcomer learning the ropes, there are some things that every diver should remember before heading underwater. Not only is it important for the safety of the divers themselves, but it’s also important for the conservation of the aquatic environment. If you want to go diving under the sea, here are five things you need to know before taking the plunge.

 

  1. Keep your hands to yourself.
    We don’t often realize the damage we can cause to our environment until it’s too late, something that is evident on land and extends to the world down below. Simply touching marine life can disturb the animals or even end in their deaths; touching coral can cause permanent damage and, ultimately, kill it. For the safety (and survival) of aquatic life, keep your hands to yourself.

  2. Watch your fins.
    Fins are an extension on our feet to help us swim better, and while they’re useful, it can be easy to forget that your feet are much longer than they are on land. Kicking around could hurt a fellow diver with a fin to the face, and it could also unwittingly break something in the underwater ecosystem. If you feel your fins hit something, make sure you stop to see what it was you hit and take a few strokes with your hands to get out of the way of whatever it was. Being aware of your surroundings can lessen how much you may accidentally disturb the marine life around you.

  3. Keep blowing bubbles.
    Bubbles mean you’re breathing, which is kind of important to your survival. Remember to inhale and exhale throughout your dive, and don’t hold your breath. Keep an eye on your air gage as well to make sure you don’t run out during your dive.

  4. Stay within your limits.
    This is crucial for both your safety and the safety of your diving party. Never exceed your personal limits when you go diving. This includes your training, experience, skills, and comfort level.

  5. Listen to the briefing.
    The briefing is there for a reason. It’ll tell you what to expect while on your dive and what to do, and above all, keep you safe. If you don’t listen to the briefing, at best, you’ll just spoil the dive for yourself and everyone you’re with, while at worst, you could end up getting lost entirely.