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Orange Beach Reefs: Alabama’s “Vitamin Sea”

Orange Beach Reefs: Alabama’s “Vitamin Sea”

Resting on the edge of Alabama’s southeast shores,...

The Natural Wonders of Howe Sound

The Natural Wonders of Howe Sound

Northwest of Vancouver, British Columbia, and rest...

Diving in Missouri: Exploring the Ozarks

Diving in Missouri: Exploring the Ozarks

Somewhat removed from the main arteries of vacatio...

LIDA Sponsors Harbor School Students on a Special Long Island Scuba Dive

LIDA Sponsors Harbor School Students on a Special Long Island Scuba Dive

What a difference a year makes!

With Sunday, Septem...

All Aboard the Truth!

All Aboard the Truth!

The Truth is the original Truth Aquatics boat, and...

A Curious Story about Shipwrecks, Secrets, and Alluring Scent

A Curious Story about Shipwrecks, Secrets, and Alluring Scent

The sunset bright and red in the horizon; crisp au...

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Citrus County: A Story of Manatees and S…

01-09-2015

Imagine, for a moment, the ultimate state of zen: a place and a time where the motley of everyday life dissipates. At this point, you are enjoying a unique, almost...

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Bonne Terre Mine: The Billion Gallon Lak…

01-02-2015

You are on an open water dive, but this is not the ocean. You gaze about, marveling at the sheer rock walls and shadowy crevices that surround you on all...

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The Dive History Experience

01-01-2015

The Northeast Diving Equipment Group (NEDEG) is an organization that allows the average sport diver to try hardhat diving. They have been around since 1993, but really started in 1987...

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Washington’s Hood Canal: A Bastion for O…

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As the plane descends and softly lands on the water - life slows down. Seattle to the Northeast and the snowcapped Olympic Mountains majestically rising to the West. Traffic is...

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Orange Beach Reefs: Alabama’s “Vitamin S…

12-09-2014

Resting on the edge of Alabama’s southeast shores, and west of Pensacola, Florida, Orange Beach, Alabama is a city strongly driven by two key focal points: a strong, bonded community...

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The Natural Wonders of Howe Sound

12-09-2014

Northwest of Vancouver, British Columbia, and resting at the Strait of Georgia, Howe Sound is a diving paradise offering relaxing opportunities for divers interested in scanning the surface and delving...

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Diving in Missouri: Exploring the Ozarks

12-09-2014

Somewhat removed from the main arteries of vacation travel, the varying lakes and waters of the Midwest beckon the observant explorer. Locals understand that these lakes offer the perfect opportunity...

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LIDA Sponsors Harbor School Students on …

12-08-2014

What a difference a year makes!With Sunday, September 28 boasting a bright, sunny sky, warm summer-like weather and perfect diving conditions at Shinnecock Inlet’s Ponquogue Bridge on Long Island, 25...

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All Aboard the Truth!

12-08-2014

The Truth is the original Truth Aquatics boat, and thanks to regular updates and maintenance it remains a world-class liveaboard diving and excursion vessel. It is an ideal entry level...

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The Benefits of Mastering Buoyancy Control

  • Written by Diver's Alert Network
  • Hits: 1892

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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