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Pre-dive buddy check; How many of you actually do it?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by parrothead600, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. billt4sf

    billt4sf Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Fayetteville GA, Wash DC, NY, Toronto, SF
    I wish I were enough of a PITA to do this. For me it's still sporadic. On a recent dive trip with a DM on every dive, my wife and I were the only divers on our boat that did them at all.

    I have never had a DM on a vacation dive that encouraged any buddy process whatsoever. Maybe I am overstating the case, but not by much.

    - Bill
  2. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    Yeah, another good point. I too have never heard a boat DM or crew member mention anything about buddy checks-- ever. In the other thread I forgot to mention that there was a thread on buddy checks years ago. But this is it! (hey my post from when I was a DMT is here). It has been mentioned here that solo divers do their own buddy check. This is not a buddy check. You are supposed to check yourself FIRST whether you're solo or buddy diving. THEN the buddy BWRAF if with a buddy.
  3. PlayaCountryBoy

    PlayaCountryBoy Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Playa del Carmen, Mexico-Meso American Reef
    I run a small dive shop in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Have 6 pack boats but never take out more than 4 divers at a time. Since I see so many divers coming here who have completely forgotten how to do the buddy check, I, along with our other 2 guides, do the buddy check for all 4 divers in the boat after they have clipped and velcro-ed everything. The clients feel much more secure and see that our attention is to their safety.
    billt4sf likes this.
  4. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

    I'll admit it, I'm a hypocrite.

    In practice myself and my regular buddy stand next to each other and put our gear together the same way. We use twin sets that stand side by side in the back of the car. The wing and harness is always attached. I watch him put the regs on, open them check them, blow up the wing etc. as he does me.

    When we put the gear on the other helps and usually as a matter of course all the tangled stuff and whatever gets sorted out.

    Then a quick visual check before getting in the water. Once in the water we usually enter in the shallows and put on the rest of the gear (mask, fins, stages etc) in the shallows before descending. Under water there's a last check for bubbles, looking that all stages work etc. Give your gear another once over and a final ok. The odd time we discover a problem at this point. Often times it will be a hose crossed or something that will show up with an S-drill that we actually do either just before descending or at the bubble stop (DIR people are rolling in their graves at this point). The odd time it's something else. last dive I discovered that my computer wouldn't switch gasses after I had the battery changed and I had to surface to try fixing it (which I wasn't able to do in the water. Fortunately it's a dive we do a lot and I didn't end up bending the computer either way). On another recent dive a video camera that was attached to my mask slipped off as I was adjusting my mask, so I took off the mask and camera, handed it to my buddy and waited a minute while he fixed it for me. These are kind of little things that wouldn't get caught in a BWRAF anyway and we never have trouble solving it in a couple of metres of water.

    In my mind that's pretty sloppy although we're strict about doing this last check. We remind each other on a regular basis to tight up checks ... but after a couple of months we're back to being dumb about it again.

    Partly based on my own experience I teach the pre-dive check in OW *first* as a self check and then only once the self-check is done.... *secondly* as a cross check. I figure if people eventually stop doing cross checks then the main thing I want them to keep doing no matter how sloppy they get is the self check. It's not they way the perfect world should be but I'm a pragmatist at heart.

  5. FinnMom

    FinnMom Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Finland
    I check the tank valve positions, tank pressure and isolation valve position when I put on the regs, well before actually getting in the water. You want to make sure the regs seem to be sealing (no missing o-rings) and the tank has an appropriate amt. of gas in it. The earlier you notice these problems the better, preferably before dragging a low/empty tank anywhere!

    I do my own check and I lead less experienced buddies (usually young adults) through the same check:
    Reg 1 works? (See above about how that is done: 3 breaths while looking at air gauge etc.)
    Reg 2 works?
    Air goes into BCD/Wing?
    Air comes out of BCD/Wing?
    Air goes into suit?
    Air comes out of suit?
    Light(s) works?
    Lets go!

    I don't wear weights. If the kids get fins on and get started down before noting they forgot their weights I suspect the inconvience will help them remember a whole lot better next time.

    I've never had anyone forget an an obvious item like mask, computer, left fin, etc. Actually a computer could be easy to forget but I always store and pack my computer & compass around my mask's strap. They have to be removed to put on the mask, and when I remove them from the mask strap I put them on my wrist. Yep => taught the kids to do the same thing.
    My memory isn't so great but rituals are my salvation!


    BTW about forgetting to turn on you air: you can probably do it yourself just by reaching back. It never occured to me to even try this with a single tank until someone told me it was possible. My first try showed that it was actually pretty easy. Practice this now and again and you are much more likely to remember this option even under stress.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2014

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