Solo divining, once seriously frowned upon, is rising in popularity and becoming more accepted with the proper training.
When you are solo diving you must be prepared to be your own buddy because, in the event of trouble, there is no one there to lend assistance. The extra safety precautions for solo diving includes the need to carry redundant gear as well as take specialized training offered by PADI called the Self Reliant Diver.
So why would anyone want to solo dive? Well, apparently many divers are finding that solo diving is more relaxing because they are no longer required to check in on other divers and they can just enjoy their own dive. Another popular reason is the simple fact that good dive buddies can be hard to come-by or coordinate dive trips with.
Eric Michael in a post for scubadiving.com says:
Having the right equipment is a crucial part of solo diver training. Without a buddy to rely on in case of gear failure or loss, creating redundancy is a matter of life or death. “A safe solo dive, like a technical dive, requires a lot of the same redundant equipment,” Rivera advises. “You need at least two independent breathing supplies, two masks, an SMB or lift bag, a reel or spool for an emergency ascent, at least two cutting devices, and spares for all other essential gear, including redundant timing devices or computers.”
For most courses, instructors will focus a large portion of the training on equipment, including proper planning, pre-dive assessment and underwater skills.
“Equipment plays a huge role in determining what is a safe solo dive and an unnecessary risk underwater,” Rivera says. “I teach all my solo students to keep it simple, reachable and redundant.”