We take safety very seriously, divers should NEVER dive alone and EVERYONE should have the capacity and knowledge of what to do if your buddy gets in trouble. If you’re not sure what we mean watch this video and read the article below by Wayne Judge.

Don’t Put Your Life on the Line from Recreational Fishing Alliance on Vimeo.

Deep Spearfishing Safety
It is stressed here that covering the subject of deep spearfishing safety is not to encourage this practice as a normal part of the sport. It is also not to be construed that anyone can do this. It takes time and knowledge to develop the changes necessary in the human body to handle deep spearfishing. It is stressful on the body and most spearfishers are more than happy diving the top 20 meters, there certainly is not a lack of fish. However, a study on diving safety would be remiss without this subject covered as there are divers who practice it and in the last year I have heard of many cases of sambas coming from this level of diving.

Use your O2 Economically
Anchoring the boat in the right spot is paramount when the depths increase especially if there is a current. You must be thinking about eradicating anything that uses a lot of oxygen. For example, kicking into a current to maintain a dive spot is going to use valuable oxygen and decrease your dive time considerably. With the boat correctly anchored a mermaid line is tethered to the boat and with a float attached allowed to stretch out in the current. The line should extend over the area being dived. It is used so the diver can rest while he prepares for his dives. It is wise to select dive times at or near the change of tides where the current reduces

Two Safety Divers are Better than One
When diving in deep water it is much safer to have two safety divers as opposed to just a single dive buddy. This works well with one safety diver monitoring the diver himself and the other ensuring the float line is not tangled or caught on the descent. When the visibility is great, it is easy to watch the diver, but often this is not the case. One must follow the float line. At depth the diver will not usually swim far. The diver below should know to ascend following his rig-line to the surface. This will bring him to the surface close to his safety diver. The diver monitoring him must watch the last 10 meters of ascent closely and it is best to descend and swim up with the diver looking at his eyes. If he blacks out it is not hard to see and immediate steps can be taken. When the diver makes the surface he should signal that he is ok and then is watched for at least 10 seconds. The second safety diver stays on the surface and if the diver blacks out he can assist by supporting the victim, taking the mask off or getting help etc.

Decompression Sickness
We don’t hear much about this in the spearfishing world but when one increases depth this condition becomes a real risk. The hard thing about this is that no one has done any real concrete research and given proven guidelines. A fit diver can do multiple dives to and past 30m and this is where the danger lies. When diving on deep reefs or wrecks make sure you take much more surface time than you need to recover your breath. 8 to 10 minutes between dives would not be excessive and will drop the risk. I advise approaching deep diving on a slow gradient with experienced people.

For the deep spearfisher here is another level of adventure but to approach his area unexperienced, unprepared and unfit could have tragic results. This is an extreme level of the sport and safety levels have to be ramped up.

NSUC/Sydney Freedivers

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