How to Lead a SCUBA Dive

How to Lead a SCUBA Dive
Leading a SCUBA dive involves preparing for emergencies, communicating instructions to divers and establishing rapport among the group to ensure an enjoyable experience. Only professional, accredited SCUBA instructors should lead dives as they have the proper training and enough comfort underwater to improvise if the dive doesn't go as planned. Sharing your love of SCUBA with other divers can be rewarding.


Difficulty: Challenging


Things You’ll Need:
  • Cell phone Dive float with line Liability release forms Map of dive site SCUBA gear Dive light
  • Cell phone
  • Dive float with line
  • Liability release forms
  • Map of dive site
  • SCUBA gear
  • Dive light
Step 1
Make note of emergency services such as the hospital, fire department and police department near the dive location. Use the boat's radio in case of an emergency, but bring a cell phone as an added precaution to further ensure that help will be available when you return to shore.
Step 2
Familiarize yourself with the dive site and its surroundings. Explain your dive plan to your boat's captain and crew.
Step 3
Set a dive float with a line at the point of descent. Be familiar with the depth of the water and the area's location relative to the shore.

Explain Your Dive Plan

Step 1
Check each diver's certification card and ask them to sign the liability release forms.
Step 2
Display a map of the dive site to each diver and discuss your dive plan. Explain the safety equipment, the length of the dive, how far you plan to descend, time between checkpoints, and procedures for descent and ascent.
Step 3
Ask each diver about their experience to build comfort among the group and to establish rapport. Assign each diver a buddy.
Step 4
Familiarize the divers with your underwater hand signals to ensure clear communication. Common signals include "OK," "air check," "turn around," "stop," and "problem." Explain hand signals for points of interest such as underwater features and marine life.
Step 5
Take a roll call. Check that all divers carry the proper weights. Check that all air tanks are on. Review the dive plan again before descent.

The Dive

Step 1
Maintain visual contact to ensure that the group remains together and follows you during the descent.
Step 2
At each checkpoint during the dive, check that everyone is "OK" before continuing. Check each diver's air gauge. "Turn around" if a diver reaches the midpoint of their air gauge.
Step 3
Maintain visual contact and point your dive light at each diver to get their attention or to indicate a point of interest.
Step 4
Gather all divers and ascend together according to your dive plan. Take a roll call when all divers are in the boat.

Article Written By Chris Passas

Chris Passas is a freelance writer from Nags Head, N.C. He graduated from East Carolina University in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He has written online instructional articles since September 2009.

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