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Is it possible for me to dive even though I don't know how to swim?

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by jazzyw11, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. PhilEllis

    PhilEllis Dive Shop

    I think the PADI standards say "without any swim aids". I would personally consider goggles to be a swim aid.

    Phil Ellis
  2. Thalassamania

    Thalassamania Diving Polymath ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: On a large pile of smokin' A'a, the most isolated
    I would not consider them a "swim aid." A lot of folks' eyes are rather sensitive to chlorine. I'd need to know that the candidate is, however, comfortable opening his or her eyes underwater, but using goggles for the swim is fine with me.
    Last edited: May 14, 2008
  3. John_B

    John_B Grasshopper

    I'm with Thal on this one, swim goggles are a necessity in chlorinated pools...
  4. Bottomfeeder Brodie

    Bottomfeeder Brodie Barracuda

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Planet, Earth 00003
    JUmp in the shallow section of the community pool and teach yourself. Its natural and easy.
  5. taina

    taina Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Austin, TX
    When I learned how to scuba dive over 20 years ago, my swimming was atrocious. I had taken swimming lessons on multiple ocassions, but was very uncomfortable if I was "swimming" more than an arm's length away from the edge of the pool (this is still true today). I had an excellent instructor who totally got why swimming was a challenge for me but scuba diving wasn't (it's about back-ups) that gave me the instruction and confidence I needed to make me a safe diver. It was with his encouragement that I pursued my advanced open water certification. Because he knew that I was not likely to jump into the water for anyone, he made sure that I also learned resuce diving techniques that are normally taught in the rescue diving course. Over the course of our first year scuba diving, I was the one resucing my buddy/husband from some rookie mistake on at least a quarter of our dives, even though he is the one that swims like a fish. This was not a surprise to our instructor. After 350+ open water dives no one has ever jumped in the water for me, no one has ever had to help me get back to the boat or shore, and on more than one ocassion I have had to self-rescue, take over a group dive going awry, or help other divers.

    To paraphrase my instructor, it's the great swimmers that drown because of overconfidence. The lousy swimmers follow all of the scuba diving safety instructions and then come up with more. The safe divers avoid situations with which they are not comfortable.
  6. giffenk

    giffenk Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: toronto
    Lots o' good feedback on this thread. As a "non-swimming diver" I will add my 2 cents.

    Before I was certified I was a non swimmer. My parents spent untold fortunes on swimming lessons during my childhood. Like my music lessons, this money was wasted. I hate the water (but love the fish!) Realizing this, I spent many terrified hours splashing about in the local community pool prior to my certification. (This whole diving thing was forced on me by my new girl friend.) This effort allowed me to become accustomed to my fear of drowning. It did NOT magically transform me into a swimmer.

    During certification I was able to splash about in the pool long enough to satisfy the instructor.

    I (claim i) understand completely how the scuba apparatus functions and have total confidence in my ability to utlilize my equipment to prevent myself from drowning. It is a life support system. I understand, utilize and trust it.

    I am an extremely calm (almost comatose?) diver. Once I took that first breath underwater (which was oh so wrong!) I followed my instructor's teachings and learned to relax and become one with the water. He continually stressed the importance of understanding what/why you were doing and the need to relax and not stress out.

    20 years later I still can not swim. And I DO NOT snorkel! The only time I go in the water (pool, lake, river, ocean) I have my scuba gear strapped on. I am happy. I am confident. I am relaxed.

    So swimming ability is not a major factor. Calmness & (appropriate) confidence in your skills is more important.
  7. Thalassamania

    Thalassamania Diving Polymath ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: On a large pile of smokin' A'a, the most isolated
    The problem is that your jumping without a reserve chute. You're fine, until you're not, and then your in it ... deep.
    Bombay High likes this.
  8. Bombay High

    Bombay High Barracuda

    # of Dives:
    Location: India
    No offense, but this is the worst advice possible.
    Please do not imagine that you are ok entering the water without having swimming skills.
    This is pure stupidity.
    If you can acquire the skills to dive in a zen like trance bordering on comatose, you can learn to swim.
    All the calmness in the world and confidence in your scuba skills will mean zero if you have a BCD failure, and this is not unheard of.
    I would love to see how relaxed you would be in this situation.
    One thing is correct ... you will become one with the water
  9. knowone

    knowone Regular of the Pub

    :blessing: Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oo oo oo oh oh oh


    :blessing: "In nomine Patris et filii et Spiritus Sanctiiiiiii"
  10. vladimir

    vladimir ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Thanks for resurrecting this three-year-old thread, Taina. I'd almost forgotten what a font of wisdom Papa Bear was! It's amazing how he had data like these at his fingertips:

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