Buddy check: Pre-dive safety check

What is a buddy check/safety check?

A buddy check is a simple check you and your dive buddy complete on each other to assure all equipment functions and in place and to get familiar with your buddy’s equipment in case of emergencies.

When to complete a buddy check/safety check:

Although we may dive with the same buddy, using the same equipment on different dives during the day, it’s recommended to complete a buddy check at the beginning of every dive.

How to complete a buddy check/safety check?

Use the acronym B.W.R.A.F to follow all necessary steps. Here are some sentences that may help you remember those steps:

  1. Begin With Review And Friends.
  2. Bruce Willis Ruins All Films
  3. Blond Women Really Are Fine
  4. Bangkok Women Really Are Fellows
  5. Beans With Rice And Fries.
  6. Bring Weed Rizlas And Fire.

Yes, some might be a bit offensive and I apologize. These examples are commonly used in the dive industry wherever I’ve been and should not be taken seriously.

What are the necessary steps for buddy check/safety check?

  1. BCD – check your buddy’s BCD:

–        Inflate it using both the Low Pressure Inflator Hose and orally inflate it.

–        Deflate your buddies BCD using and getting familiar with all the release valves.

  1. Weights- check your Buddy’s weight system.

-It might be a weight belt or an integrated weight system.

– Make sure you know how to quickly and easily release the weights in case of an emergency.

– If your buddy uses a weight belt, make sure it’s a right hand release method, meaning you can reach for it and release it using your right hand.

-Make sure all weights are evenly distributed around the body.

3.   Releases: Check and get familiar with your buddies Releases;

-Check both shoulder straps to make sure they are even.

-Check all clips and buckles – you’ll commonly find one on each shoulder, one on the chest, one on the belly and the Velcro.

-Check the Scuba Tanks’ strap. Make sure the tank is secured and located at the right height (the strap should be placed around a fist bellow the tanks markings.

4.   Air:

– Check that your buddy’s scuba tank is turned on (If you’re standing behind him turn it all the way towards you and half a turn back).

– Make sure your buddy has enough air on the scuba tank. You should start the dive with around 200Bar/ 300PSI.

-Smell and taste the air you breathe. It should taste a bit like rubber. Anything else might be suspicious. Do not use a tank if you think the air is contaminated.

– As you breathe from the Regulator, monitor the Pressure Gauge for any needle fluctuation. If the needle moves as you breathe something is wrong. Most likely your buddy’s tank is turned only slightly on. That means enough air gets in the system, to show a full tank, and to breathe from it, but under pressure, that might not be enough to support the divers demand for air.

-If there’s still needle movement after turning the air on, there might be a problem with the regulator. Replace the regulator and check it again.

– You are breathing from and checking the Alternate Air Source as your buddy checks the Primary air source.

-You may also check that the mouth pieces aren’t chewed up and well secured.

-at the end of the test, secure the alternate air source at the right location- the triangle formed by the chin and the rib cage, and make sure you use a quick release mechanism.

5. Final OK:

– Check that your buddy’s streamlined, and everything is attached and secured.

-Check that your buddy has his Fins, Scuba Mask and Dive Watch or Dive Computer.

-Check that you brought all accessories; Cameras, Slates, Marker Buoy.

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