Dive Buddy - Can You Dive Alone

by Anonymous


I would like to know if you can dive alone? In other words, do you need a dive buddy to go scuba diving?

Thanks for the question. Technically, or by the letter of the law - or however you want to phrase it, it is possible to dive alone. There are no scuba police to stop you and some people do dive alone.

However, in scuba certification classes, one of the main scuba safety rules is to never dive alone.

Always dive with a buddy.

I live by this dive safety rule and never dive alone. I think the risk is just too big. For more details on this and other dive rules, you can check out our page on scuba diving safety.

Thanks for your question. Have a safe dive.

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Live long and prosper.
by: Anonymous

I would never dive alone single tank. However I have a few solo dives w/ full redundancy in sidemount. Two tanks, two sets of regs. Back up bladder in my wing. Back up mask. Two cutting devices, two smbs two computers. Two transmitters. Two spgs. Two fins. Only one wetsuit. As a certified tech diver we are taught to always dive w/ a team of at least one other diver. Even w/ hundreds of dives and full redundancy there is always a chance of something unforseeable happening. I am fully aware it may be the last thing I ever do, just as fre solo rock climbers. With a rope or partner do you only run the risk of injury? No, some still die due to lack of awareness by either them or thier partner or gear failure. Just as many people die diving w/ a buddy because of the same reasons. To each his own. If you want to stay alive lock yourself in a padded room. Or stay well within recreational limits where you can always swim your rig to the surface if properly weighted w/o risking dcs. Never exceed your training. Dive safe.

Getting more dives?
by: Anonymous

I enjoy reading the comments. As a newly certified open water diver I really have no means to gain further dives unless I dive alone. I live in Manitoba Canada, none of my friends are into diving, the store I did my training through worked it as more of an independent course, so made no friends there but the people I did talk to really only had interests in diving in tropical destinations down south, even the instructors I talked to, no one seems interested in diving in cold lakes around central Canada.I really enjoy diving and want to get into it alot more, I would prefer to go with a buddy, but if you don't have a dive buddy how do you get more bottom time?

Do I need to be with a dive master?
by: AnonymousKevin

If I am open water certified do I need to dive with a dive master or can I simply buddy up?

I see people diving alone all the time, but I don't recommend it.
by: Andrea

I first learned to dive in 1974, back when the Earth was still young, dinosaurs roamed about, and we used J-valves and horse collar vests. I have gotten into trouble, to greater or lesser degree, on numerous occasions, and I have always had to take care of it myself. My buddies were either too far away, or not paying attention, or far less experienced than I. That doesn’t mean I preferred it that way. Even though I always dive with a buddy, the first person I rely on for help is myself. However, I’m far from perfect.

The fatal accidents are rarely caused by just one thing. It’s usually an accumulation of several small factors. You run out of air AND your buddy is too far away, AND you’re exhausted, AND you panic, drop your weight belt and go skyrocketing to the surface when a free ascent would work just fine. That’s just one example. The trick is to nip it in the bud before you accumulate contributing factors.

Regardless, I wish you a healthy, safe, and enjoyable dive future!

why you need a buddy
by: Anonymous

to the person who wanted to know why you need to have a buddy. what would you do if you ran out of air? It does happen especially if your regulator starts free flowing. If your tank slips out of its BCD, your fin strap breaks, or ur fin comes off, what about if your mask comes off? These are just some of the reasons why you need a buddy. You might think "how can something so small or seem insignificant affect you" heres an example.

While diving in Egypt I had server cramp in my leg which affected my to stay streamlined. I couldn't move and I couldn't reach my fin the bend my leg, so i signalled to my buddy who did it for me. might not seem that significant but due the time of having severe cramp I was at 30 meters in Red Sea on a Pinnacle dive. Even though I was buoyant there was a slight current that knocked me into loads of coral, but due to the cramp I physically couldn't move. If it wasn't for my buddy sorting it out who knows what could have happened. It is so risky to dive solo. I haven't dived solo but don't think I want to either.

Do the TDI solo course then!
by: Anonymous

You can learn to dive alone. You'll need a minima of a hundred dives and then do the TDI solo diver course. It is designed to teach self sufficiency and totally duplicate setups of your gear.
It's a great course and you'll learn a lot about risk managing your diving.

Don't do it
by: Anonymous

The first commenter says he's dived solo 200 times and he's a divemaster (gee whizz) etc., but that no one should go solo. Is this one rule for him and not for others?

Divemasters are told they are advocates for safe diving practices, and to say he embarks on dangerous practices while recommending the opposite goes completely against this. When you reveal yourself as a hypocrite, your credibility is shattered. Divemasters are taught that too.

Solo diving is extremely dangerous because there's no back-up when things go wrong. One or two small things can start a chain of undesirable events. Technical divers also work as teams -- they may be theoretically autonomous and have redundancy for all their equipment, but a large part of their training concerns working as a team.

I find it unlikely that truly experienced divers would go solo, because the more experienced you are, the more aware you are of all the potential pitfalls, and of the extremely poor risk to benefit ratio.

Even in crystal clear water you should stay close to your buddy so you can make contact in seconds if needed, and this requires constant observation.

Last week I hit sediment so bad that I couldn't even see my dive computer -- it really was 6 inches viz, 4 C temperature etc. I signalled my buddy to turn (right in front of his face as we were already side by side), swam around to him as we turned (he rotates on-spot, I go around), and we slowly proceeded out for some minutes with hands gripped on partner's elbow. We were both more stable and much safer for it. Like I said, you need to be close in clear water to render assistance too.

Anyway, consider the risks and the benefits, and solo just isn't worth it. If you tried, the nagging doubt would also stop it from being enjoyable.

Diving alone
by: Anthony

I would like to add a little bit more information for you about Diving on your own ( or as known by most sole diving ) ,
First a bit on my background so not to offend or upset people I'm a Dive Master of many years experience in most aspects of diving and for a number of years i was the Dive officer for River Rescue and in all my years diving i have done over 200 Solo dives ,while doing some of these dives i have dived down to 52 meters i have swam in zero visibility in rivers lakes in the sea and some times the temperature was as low as 9oc ,
With all i have learned after all my experience i know and teach it to every diver i know this vital fact and please i will say this one thing for you YOU NEVER NEVER EVER SOLO DIVE

can dive without buddy
by: xxxdivers

sir, thanks...for advice... just only... trying
if possible.

by: Anonymous

Dont ever dive on your own i am the wife now widow of the artical he was refering to ,he was in 4.metres of water i sat on the beach and waited for him to surface ,it was the one and only time he dived alone and now his last,his dive buddy pulled out at the last minute and he had dived royal beach many times in fact the day before,my husband is gone i have two girls that will never see him again , the pain hurt guilt is unbareable, if only i said no to observe , we cry every day,i tried to save him as he surfaced close and yes alive for a short time,no medical conditions,no heart attack just a waste of a life,ive lost my man ,girls lost there father ,if you have family and you dont want to put them through a living hell dont dive alone.

by: Paul

Gooday from Australia.

3rd Decembeer 2011. 'Scuba Diver dies on Mornington Peninsula' Subnote in artical says-" he was diving alone'

Whilst we will soon learn what probably happened-even if it was a heart problem, with a dive buddy they help the injured diver get to the surface, rescue swim them to a hard surface and generally give them a better than even chance for life--which CANNOT happen on your own.

Think about all the things which might happen where you need a buddy. I am sure others can add to the list, but what about the following.

Unaware of tank or other air leakage; caught by fishing line or weed; hung up in a wreck or other narrow space-like a cave like structure; asthma attack, heart attack (at any age!) epileptic fit; narcosis (Where you cannot stop what you are doing-like diving down rather than up)Your dive computer or guage stops working and you don't know till out of air, and 30 mts down inside a wreck!;

The list is endless.

If you read up on dive accidents and deaths, most of them are due to poor attitude of the diver-called arrogance, where they believe they don't need anyone, they can cope with any situation, (cause they have 99 times before).

Often we read about divers going outside their experience,breaking away from the dive plan, pushing the limits etc--it all comes down to the fact that if they have a confident dive buddy even such stupid divers may be able to be helped by their buddy.

Of course you can-but why would you want to add that one element of risk to your life. Why break dive tradition designed by life long experienced divers for our safety and continued enjoyment.

Can't get a dive buddy--ask the shop where you get a refill/ Ask on line, advertise in your local paper, get on the local radio,put a sign on your shopping complex information board-ask local fishing boats if they know of any local divers-USE THIS FORUM TO SEE IF ANYONE WILL DIVE WITH YOU. --but for the sake of our industry >> PLEASE DO NOT DIVE ALONE.

We all like to have confident dive buddies--please be one for all our sakes.

Why Do We Have To Dive With A Buddy
by: Anonymous

Why do you have to dive with a buddy? What dangers could there be?

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