Dedicated divers of all levels will have to deal with underwater currents at some point in their diving career.
Underwater currents occur naturally and can vary throughout the day based upon the tidal conditions. Weather and time of year also impact underwater currents. It is recommended, especially if you are diving without a dive guide, that you talk to local dive shops and other experts in the area to get an idea of/about the dive site’s currents.
It seem s like a no-brainer, but So the first thing you should do is learn about the dive site. It is also recommended that you use a line or a chain for your initial descent. The line prevents you form being swept away form you group while descending and it also provides a good visual reference point.
Underwater currents are typically weaker near the bottom. So going as deep as you safely can could allow you to avoid the more dangerous and strongest currents.
Of all the suggestions given in the article referenced below the suggestions to relax and breath(don’t panic, even anchor yourself and catch your breath) and know your limits. Pick dive sites suitable for your diving ability, do not succumb to pressure to dive above your abilities.
Read on below for further details about diving and underwater currents:
Stick to the Walls
Following the walls will help you avoid the full power of the current, and will also help give you a landmark in case you start to drift away. It’s fine to grab a rock to keep your bearings, but be careful — you don’t want to grab for a rock and get a handful of stonefish instead — or damage coral.
Keep the Kicks Small
When you’re in a current, small and fast fin kicks may be more effective than slower and big kicks. It’s known as a “flutter kick” and it may give you more power under the surface. Having the right scuba fins makes a big difference too. Consider paddle fins instead of split if you know you need maximum thrust. Learn more about choosing the right fins in a previous post.
Relax and Breath
Panicking is easily the worst reaction for any potentially bad situation. If you start feeling out of breath and tired, alert your dive buddy. If possible, anchor yourself in place against a rock or structure until you catch your breath. Try to relax and regroup. Getting your bearings and determining what to do next will go a long way in ensuring you complete your dive trip safely.
Know Your Limits
Though currents are a natural challenge (and sometimes a thrill) when diving, be aware of what you’re getting yourself into. There are beautiful dive sites that are suitable for all experience levels, from beginner to advanced divers. Don’t let yourself be pressured into diving in conditions beyond your fitness and experience level.
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