Introduction To Scuba Diving - First Time Bad Experience!

by Jm
(Cabot, AR. , USA)

I went to my local dive shop yesterday for my introduction to scuba diving course. I was so excited to finally take this step. My wife and I are finally able to have the time and freedom to travel more and enjoy our vacation experiences. Scuba diving is something I always wanted to do.


After arriving at the dive shop we got suited up and entered the shallow end of the pool. With mask on and regulator in mouth, I slowly submerged underwater. I could only take three or four breaths before I felt like I couldn't take another. It felt like I was struggling to breathe. I never have had anxiety issues or breathing problems.

Was I trying to breathe to hard which caused this? Should I feel this pressure while trying to breathe? Should I be able to breathe easily through the regulator?

Should I just walk away from this? I am very disapointed in myself because I wanted this so badly! Help!!!!!

Hi Jm,

I am sorry you had this experience. I will tell you though that it is not unheard of. Breathing underwater is not a natural action and it can feel uncomfortable and cause people to panic when they first try it.

In answer to your question - no, it should not be hard to breathe through your regulator. It may have been a function of the regulator or it may have felt like that due to your reaction.

I would like some more information on your situation. Did you call it off there? Did the instructor try and work with you?

In my opinion he should have worked with you to relax and stay calm. Once you were OK on top, slowly bring you underwater so you can see that you are, in fact, able to breathe underwater. It may take time, but you should definitely be able to do it.

In my certification class, a couple people had the same issue but they were eventually able to work through it.

I am interested to hear the rest of the story. Let us know. And if anyone else has had a similar experience, please share it and tell us what you did to overcome this obstacle - or if you weren't able to continue.

Dianne




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Same experience
by: Anonymous

This is the experience I had taking my first breaths underwater. Infact I experienced it again on my first open-water dive and again 2 years later doing a scuba refresher and it takes a lot of will-power to keep my head underwater and regulator in my mouth.

I know the panicky feeling well and I wish I knew how to make it go away for good. Strangely enough I find it usually disappears once I am active underwater and not just stationary, maybe because my mind is concentrating on other things and not just my breathing. If you give it another go you could try swimming a little around the shallow end of the pool to see if that helps, it seems to work for me.

I hope you can give it another try as I have been able to overcome it, it still makes me nervous when I dive. Just take your time, my instructor also said to maybe look downwards at the beginning as this may make the breathing feel slightly easier. Good luck!

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