From the very beginning of a divers training, the importance of being and having a good buddy is emphasised, it is one of the key aspects of recreational scuba diving. As well as helping reduce risk, a buddy should enhance your dive from start to finish – a shared experience is always the best!
Benefits of buddy diving:
- They are an extra pair of hands when donning the scuba gear and taking it off again at the end of a dive – why struggle alone when a buddy can help?
- In the water, they can offer reminders about planned/actual depth and to check how much air is left – on a really exciting dive where sharks and rays are swimming all around, divers can be easily distracted and forget these basic checks – a good buddy means another chance to remember
- Should a diver need a little help such as with a cramp in their leg a buddy can help to alleviate the problem quickly and effectively – the divers can then get back to enjoying the dive
- In absolute emergency situations such as running out of air, a panic situation or entanglement, a buddy is an immediate source of life-saving help, without which the consequences could be life-threatening
- Navigational help – two brains are often better than one in navigational challenges!
- Someone to share amazing sightings with and most importantly, a witness to the countless sharks, super rare critters and giant manta rays seen – without a buddy the story just wouldn’t be believable!
- A second pair of eyes on the reef and in the blue – diving with a buddy presents double the chance of spotting something really amazing.
- Safety stops can be a time of quiet contemplation of the dive just completed and they can also be a time of funny faces and silly signals…and a lot of laughing bubbles drifting up to the surface – a buddy can be an excellent source of entertainment, diving is meant to be fun after all.
Divers usually find themselves travelling without a dive buddy in tow but this is not a problem at all – especially when diving with Prodivers Maldives. Buddy teams are agreed on the boats and the instructor guiding the dive is always very happy to accompany anyone who isn’t paired up. It’s beneficial for the buddy teams to stay with the guide anyway as they know the reefs like the back of their hand and can point out all the really cool stuff.
As divers get more experienced they may be tempted to go and dive on their own, they may think that they can handle anything and become quite blasé about the risks involved. The fact is that scuba diving is a high-risk adventure sport IF embarked upon alone, but when the correct procedures are followed and the buddy diving system is adhered to, the sport enjoys an excellent safety record. No matter how experienced a diver is a good buddy is as essential as the tank on their back!