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Exploring Virginia: Inland and Offshore

Exploring Virginia: Inland and Offshore

The waters of Virginia are ever-flowing: both figu...

Inland Seas -  Navigating Wisconsin's Waters and Wrecks

Inland Seas - Navigating Wisconsin's Waters and Wrecks

Wisconsin is located in the north-central United S...

 Confessions of a NorCal Kayak Diver

Confessions of a NorCal Kayak Diver

My name is Jim Russell and I am addicted to the oc...

The History of Diving Museum

The History of Diving Museum

The History of Diving Museum is located in a moder...

Reefs and Wrecks: Jax to the Max!

Reefs and Wrecks: Jax to the Max!

Nestled in Northeast Florida near the Georgia bord...

Rebreather Diving: Going Deep Down in Lake Huron

Rebreather Diving: Going Deep Down in Lake Huron

Henry Fleuss designed the first self-contained app...

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Thousand Islands; Infinite Adventure

07-07-2014

"The beauty of this noble stream at almost any point but especially in the commencement of this journey, where it winds its way among the thousand islands, can hardly be...

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Diving Around Texas: From Whale Sharks t…

07-02-2014

It’s said that Texas is renowned for being big in every sense of the word: steaks the size of smorgasbords, titanic trucks, and, of course, grandiose adventures. While an everyman...

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Paddling in Thunder Bay National Marine …

07-02-2014

The Great Lakes are the largest series of fresh water lakes on Earth, and in their icy waters one can find the best preserved shipwrecks in the world. Ships have...

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Fish and Dive: The Perfect Day

06-30-2014

The perfect day for Mike Campbell involves the three great loves of his life: fishing, diving, and his family. Follow a man who loves the ocean, good food, and great...

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Exploring Virginia: Inland and Offshore

06-04-2014

The waters of Virginia are ever-flowing: both figuratively and literally. From the annals of history to recreational enjoyment and important industry, water has proved a key element in the “Mother...

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Inland Seas - Navigating Wisconsin's Wa…

06-04-2014

Wisconsin is located in the north-central United States, in the Midwest and Great Lakes region. It is in fact bordered by two of the Great Lakes: Lake Michigan and Lake...

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Confessions of a NorCal Kayak Diver

06-04-2014

 Confessions of a NorCal Kayak Diver

My name is Jim Russell and I am addicted to the ocean.I grew up fishing the offshore oilrigs in the Gulf of Mexico with my dad, and started SCUBA diving...

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The History of Diving Museum

05-30-2014

The History of Diving Museum is located in a modern building at Mile Marker 83 on the Bayside of Highway US 1 in Islamorada, Florida. It is the creation and...

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Reefs and Wrecks: Jax to the Max!

05-05-2014

Nestled in Northeast Florida near the Georgia border, Jacksonville boasts a big city along the banks of the St. Johns River, which leads the way to some remarkable, unforgettable, and...

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The Benefits of Mastering Buoyancy Control

  • Written by Diver's Alert Network
  • Hits: 1683

Successful control of buoyancy affects all aspects of diving safety. Divers with poor buoyancy control are more likely to struggle throughout a dive. Inefficient buoyancy control can affect air consumption, exertion and risk of injury. Experts in dive medicine, training and research provide valid reasons for developing and maintaining good buoyancy skills.

 

Buoyancy cannot be mastered once without practice and attention to detail. The physics of descending and ascending require conscious adjustment based on exposure protection, dive environment and choice of equipment.

Weight adjustments
Buoyancy control begins with proper weighting. The amount of weight you select should allow you to descend, not make you sink. Different exposure suits require different amounts of weight to attain proper buoyancy. In addition, whether your dive environment is freshwater or saltwater influences your waiting; freshwater is less buoyant than saltwater.

Understand your equipment
The buoyancy control device (BCD) is a complex piece of equipment. To master buoyancy, it is imperative to understand the workings of your personal BCD.

Know where the inflator and deflator mechanisms are on your BCD as well as on your dive buddy’s equipment.  Be aware of how your BCD responds to the addition or venting of small amounts of air.  Identify the location of your releases as well as on your buddy’s equipment and how to use them; you need to be able to access these in the event of an emergency.
Properly maintain and service your BCD.

Avoid injuries
It is not surprising that the most common injuries among divers are related to buoyancy issues; inefficient buoyancy control is also a noted contributor to diving fatalities. Improper buoyancy can cause a diver to descend deeper than planned, which changes the dive profile and can increase air consumption. Constant adjustments to buoyancy can also increase air consumption. The worst case scenario is an uncontrolled ascent, which is the number one harmful event associated with diving fatalities.

An uncontrolled ascent places the diver at risk for a lung overexpansion injury (pulmonary barotrauma) and substantially increases the risk for an arterial gas embolism.
Ear injuries are also commonly associated with ineffective buoyancy control. During descent, if a diver feels uncomfortable pressure in the middle ears or sinuses, he should stop his descent, ascend until the pressure resolves, attempt to equalize and, if successful, continue to descend.
If a diver experiences a reverse block on ascent, he should descend a bit and attempt to equalize. If successful, he can continue the ascent. These procedures are very difficult to execute without proper buoyancy control.

Most marine life injuries are the result of unintentional contact between a diver and the marine life. Proper buoyancy control is essential to protect ourselves and the environment. Anyone who has sustained a marine life injury or an ear injury will attest that both experiences are unpleasant and even painful. Regardless of your personal tolerance, pain is not conducive to logical thought processes and decision making. In a moment of stress or panic, poor choices can be made and accepted safe practices forgotten.

Mastering buoyancy requires ongoing practice and adjustments. The benefits of buoyancy control are definitely worth the investment of time, maintenance and practice to enhance your diving and
avoid injury.

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