Lack of Awareness
DIVING TOO DEEP
Air usage quickly increases with greater depth. You also are more likely to need to do a decompression stop during your ascent which requires more time and air as well. It is much easier to reach the surface in case of an emergency from a shallower depth than from a very deep depth.
STAYING TOO LONG
Eventually you will use up all of your air. It is important to determine in advance at what tank pressure you need to stop diving and begin your ascent. Be sure to monitor your gauges and turn around on time, every time.
WORKING TOO HARD
Fighting a current, lack of buoyancy control, and anything that causes addtional physical exertion can quickly deplete your air supply. Seek proper training and monitor your gauge frequently under these conditions.
NOT MONITORING YOUR PRESSURE GAUGE
Be air aware at all times! Monitor your air supply during a dive regularly and communicate your air pressure level with your dive buddy to ensure neither of you ends up with no air.
IGNORING ANXIETY AS A FACTOR
How you feel before and during a dive can effect your air supply. Feelings of anxiety can cause an elevated rate of breathing which will quickly drain your air supply, even faster than physical exertion. Try to remain calm and enjoy your dive, but if you do feel yourself becoming anxious, be sure to monitor your gauges even more closely than normal as you may deplete your air storage faster than usual.
STARTING WITH LESS THAN A FULL TANK
Regardless of how short of a dive you are planning to have, always start with a full tank of air. Also be sure to never descend to retrieve a lost item if the tank is close to empty, gauges are not always 100% accurate on the amount of air you have.
NOT OPENING THE TANK VALVE ALL THE WAY
Open the tank valve all the way and check the pressure gauge while breathing from the regulator to make sure the indicator does not swing with each breath.
FREQUENT DEPTH CHANGES AND BCD ADJUSTMENTS
Using your BCD to move you up and down in the water can quickly deplete your air supply. Doing this also can cause other diving related injuries and illnesses such as decompression sickness and pulmonary trauma.
NOT DOING A PREDIVE AND BUDDY CHECK
Use a printed predive checklist to prevent last minute forgetfulness. Better safe than sorry
CHECK AND MAINTAIN YOUR GEAR
A well maintained system will prevent many emergencies, including out of air emergencies. Rinse your gear after each use, test it prior to using it, and treat your gear kindly. Remember, your gear is your life support system while under the waves!
No one wants to wind up diving with no air! By following these simple tips, always diving with a buddy, and diving within your training and comfort zone, you can help prevent yourself from experiencing an OUT OF AIR EMERGENCY!
STC Dive Center
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