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How often do you check up on your buddy during a dive?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Degenerate, Sep 28, 2019.

  1. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    9,063
    5,565
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    What's left is whatever your instructor taught you to do when your buddy needs assistance. As the major example I can think of, I was taught how to donate a reg if there is an out-of-air emergency. I wasn't taught how the buddy system can help with a heart attack, so I wouldn't consider that as a factor in using the buddy system. The bottom line is that if you're diving under the buddy system, you stay however close you believe you need to be, and keep however close an eye on your buddy you believe is needed, to do the things you were trained to do for your buddy "in time," and your buddy does the same.
     
  2. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    9,063
    5,565
    113
    @drrich2 , if each of you are prepared to be there to help when asked, that sounds like the essence of the buddy system as I think most of us were taught. Sure, your mode No. 2 could be a subset of mode No. 1.
     
    drrich2 likes this.
  3. dirtfarmer

    dirtfarmer Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Northern California
    1,094
    750
    113
    I'm a photographer and we are the worst buddies. Most of my buddies are photographer's too, so it pretty much comes to when you want to check out what macro subject they are shooting.
    If I'm on a dive with an inexperienced diver buddy, yes I will check on them every once in a while as I don't want my trip ruined by an accident.
     
  4. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    16,879
    8,583
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    If diving with a good buddy you shouldn't need to make an effort to check on them.
    Because they are right beside you, at the same depth, speed, and distance.
    Leading a dive is no excuse for a buddy to be anywhere else.
    If they are behind you, SLOW DOWN! If ahead, they need to slow down!
    If above or below? Work more on your buoyancy as a team.
    Don't dive in herds or groups. If forced to, pick a buddy and dive with them as a separate part of the group.
    Dive leaders should have their own buddy. Not the group.
    Try to avoid following leaders or don't use them at all.
    I don't dive with operations that require a leader.
     
  5. RyanT

    RyanT Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
    1,769
    1,408
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    This. I probably check on my buddy every few breaths, but it really is effortless. She's either right beside me or right behind me and she's just an integral part of my dive. Half the time, our "checks" are to point out something cool we're looking at and then of course we simultaneously know where each of us is and that we are OK. It's really seamless.
     
    Graeme Fraser likes this.
  6. Seaweed Doc

    Seaweed Doc Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle, Washington State, USA
    683
    427
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    It depends on the nature of the dive and my buddy. If I have students with me, I'm checking in frequently and expect them to tell me air supply remaining at specific (relatively frequent) intervals. My head is generally on a swivel, rapidly alternating between where I'm going and where each student is in my group.

    On the other extreme, I was buddied with another photographer who, like me, was doing her IDC (instructor course). We were doing "fun dives" on our day off and just after the course ended. You might say we were same ocean buddies. We knew where the other was in general terms. After finishing up shooting some critter, I'd verify they were where I expected them and move on. At times we were within a few feet, at other times perhaps 20 yards/metres apart. Similarly, with another instructor as buddy and me taking photos, we pretty much left each other and only checked in on occasion. Still with a general sense of where the other was. That said, with that same instructor buddy on a deep (115') wreck penetration, we were much closer together and checking in more frequently.

    All other "regular" buddies fall somewhere between these extremes. How new are they? How skilled are they? Do they have their own pony bottle and do I have mine? Is one of us taking pictures? Both of us?
     
  7. Seaweed Doc

    Seaweed Doc Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle, Washington State, USA
    683
    427
    63
    If veins in heart or brain pop or get clogged suddenly, my buddy might not be able to help me (or might, if the heart attack, stroke, or aneurysm is relatively minor), but they can surely save recovery divers a lot of work by inflating my BCD and getting my carcass to the surface. That. in turn, could save a search/recovery diver who avoided having an unforeseen event underwater....
     
  8. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    12,121
    2,613
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    As usual I agree with all you say. All should note that he's talking about a GOOD buddy, something I mentioned a while back. Much of the time I would guess this is someone you know from past experience(s), and the occasional good buddy you meet the first time. I had such a buddy once years ago who contacted me on SB as he was to be in my area. Couldn't ask for a better buddy. Had to be--he was a PADI Master Scuba Diver!
    Then there is the situation of the instabuddy on a charter. Then you just do your best with him/her.
     
  9. Divectionist

    Divectionist Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Gold Coast, Australia
    336
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    As always, it depends.

    I always carry full solo diving redundancy and treat every dive much like it as far as I am concerned, so if I am paired with one buddy, I am happy to be behind a bit to spot issues happening in front of me. If I lead the way because a buddy has less local knowledge, I do check a couple times a minute, mostly to signal direction or point at things anyway. I do check on their air at least once to avoid surprises, if I think there could be a risk associated.

    With our usually decent vis, there is no 'at arms length' happening anywhere. If I go boat diving where the group moves within eyeshot in multiple buddy pairs, I tend to care for my buddy by about as much as I think he or she cares about me.

    If an insta-buddy behaves like an idiot, that is his/her risk and I am not keen on it becoming mine. If my buddy ascends rapidly and disappears over a ledge frantically chasing a shark, I will follow slowly or stay put for a bit. I imagine an elastic thread between myself and my buddy, it is stretched as much or as little as their actions relate to my comfort zone.

    I try to lead by example and make sure we understand each other's octo procedure, releases, etc. before jumping in, but it is actually rarely even cared for on most dive boats here.
     
  10. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    9,063
    5,565
    113
    If someone is inadvertently not being a "good buddy" because they need to improve, that's one thing. But intentionally not trying to adhere to what @Jim Lapenta described is not adhering to the buddy system. An insta-buddy who doesn't plan to stay with you isn't a buddy at all--he's a solo diver masquerading as a buddy so that the boat allows him to dive.
     

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