How to be a great Dive Buddy...
When scuba diving, it is likely that you will be diving without the direct supervision of either Divemaster or Instructor. Whether you buddy up with a stranger or bring your own dive buddy, try these simple guidelines for a trouble free partnership:
Define a Comfort Zone:
Max depth, time, activity level and water conditions should be within the comfort zone of the lesser of the divers, even though a more experienced or fit buddy may be restricted by them.
Select Compatible Activities:
Planned buddy activities do not need to be identical, but they should be complimentary. Sightseeing or photography go well together, close up photography and spearfishing do not.
Avoid the leader-follower syndrome. Share responsibilities and duties so that each diver can take on aspects of both leader and follower.
Every dive plan should include the dive’s purpose and activities, direction and route, cutoffs for depth, time, air consumption, and how to change the plan.
Limit the group:
Buddy groups can include up to four divers, no more. Threesomes, foursomes are safe and effective if each buddy fulfills his/her responsibilities to the others.
Check and Double Check:
In addition to pre-dive buddy checks, you should also share your experiences after diving and observe each other for difficulties. Learn to communicate:
Regardless of what form of underwater communication you use, hand signals, slates, underwater voice units, the key is to agree beforehand which you will use and how.
Stay Together: The keys to staying together are to dive side by side, stay on the same side as much as possible, head in an agreed upon direction and stay aware of each other.
Monitor Air Consumption:
No two divers use air at exactly the same rate. End the dive based on the air supply of the person with the least air.