People embarrassed to do pre dive buddy check?

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Alurpal

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Just need to rant/ talk about some failures of mine.

I believe every rec training agency teaches some sort of pre dive buddy check. Valves open, pressure gauge reading full, regs breathe, inflator inflates, holds hair, deflates, etc.

It seems that almost every dive location I go to, whether it’s a chartered boat, dive at quarry with locals, etc, people don’t do this buddy check.

I dove with new buddies yesterday and explained to them my long hose config and how I would donate in an ooa emergency. The response I got was, “If I run out of air, I did something wrong” I’m thinking yeah, that’s the point of reviewing this stuff. Prepare and have a plan for an emergency, but it’s like they think it’s never going to happen to them so they brush it off.

During that same dive, I’m on air, others are on 32%. I get to 5m NDL and swim over to communicate this. I tried to talk about a dive plan before the dive, should we communicate half tank, what will we consider low on air for this dive, etc but was met with a laxidasical response that ended up discussing how good at conserving air they are… We did not discuss NDL. So I tap on my watch and signal the number 5 and pointed to the watch for more clarity. They think I’m saying I have 500 psi and try to turn the dive for air. I catch back up and show them by pressure gauge with ok symbol and repoint to my watch with number 5. Finally it clicks, and we agree to go to 40ft. Rest of the dive was uneventful. Post dive debrief I ask how I can better communicate ndl. No one knows. One person said make a D with your hands then the minutes. Okay, great, I’ll do that next time with this group but why isn’t this a standard hand signal?

On another dive with a new buddy, I take responsibility to do a pre dive check and everything’s good. This is where I make a mistake, second dive, I don’t check his gear and he giant strides with tank valve closed… his bc had air, so I simply opened his valve when he said his reg didn’t breathe but that could’ve easily ended in drowning if he didn’t fill his bc. I take full responsibility for this. I should’ve checked his gear.

Long story short, I don’t like the mentality in the various communities I’ve dove with. From now on, even when diving with master divers, I’m going to take a leadership role in the pre dive planning and safety of others. It’s not worth the risk.
 

Marie13

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You can’t force people to do a pre-dive check if they don’t want to. They’re responsible for themselves. You’re not responsible for them. If they have issues, it’s on them. You may end up having to deal with their issues when they happen, though.

Master Diver doesn’t indicate a thing about a diver’s competence or experience.
 

Degenerate

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On another dive with a new buddy, I take responsibility to do a pre dive check and everything’s good. This is where I make a mistake, second dive, I don’t check his gear and he giant strides with tank valve closed… his bc had air, so I simply opened his valve when he said his reg didn’t breathe but that could’ve easily ended in drowning if he didn’t fill his bc. I take full responsibility for this. I should’ve checked his gear.

Hard disagree on that being your responsibility, we are responsible for our own gear before splashing.
A buddy check can be a good way of catching mistakes (let's be real, we've all forgot something before splashing), but at the end of the dive you are responsible for your own stuff.
I haven't done a buddy check since my AOW and I have not been asked to do one either, but if paired with someone who wants to do one then I'll happily oblige.
The above is my personal opinion on the matter, and I don't think there's any wrong or right answer as to wether a buddy check should be done or not.
 

Jafo19D

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I don't dive with friends so I never do buddy checks, not saying that's a valid excuse but that's how it goes for me. I'm always joining a group where I don't know anyone. I'm getting better and better at not forgetting to turn on my oxygen (I always check before getting off the boat) . FYI, yeah I know its air but I just wanted to trigger someone.
 

Divin'Papaw

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I typically dive solo, even if I'm diving with someone else. I am always prepared for self rescue and dive with that in mind. I have a solo-focused pre-dive check I do before every dive. I don't need anyone else to help me with that. There are few buddies I dive with as a buddy pair but all of those are of a similar mindset. No pre-dive safety check required. I know their configuration and that they are doing a pre-dive check themselves. If I'm forced to dive with an instabuddy, I look over their gear just so that I'm familiar with their kit just in case. Not because I may need their help but because they may need mine. If they want to do a pre-dive check, I'm happy to do that. But I don't force one.

If I am willingly buddying up with a new diver, I will typically have a pre-dive procedure discussion with them once, but not before each dive.

This approach isn't what you will find in any open water course but it is reality and is far more the norm than a buddy-to-buddy pre-dive safety check before every dive.
 

MiloR

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Just need to rant/ talk about some failures of mine.

I believe every rec training agency teaches some sort of pre dive buddy check. Valves open, pressure gauge reading full, regs breathe, inflator inflates, holds hair, deflates, etc.

It seems that almost every dive location I go to, whether it’s a chartered boat, dive at quarry with locals, etc, people don’t do this buddy check.

I dove with new buddies yesterday and explained to them my long hose config and how I would donate in an ooa emergency. The response I got was, “If I run out of air, I did something wrong” I’m thinking yeah, that’s the point of reviewing this stuff. Prepare and have a plan for an emergency, but it’s like they think it’s never going to happen to them so they brush it off.

During that same dive, I’m on air, others are on 32%. I get to 5m NDL and swim over to communicate this. I tried to talk about a dive plan before the dive, should we communicate half tank, what will we consider low on air for this dive, etc but was met with a laxidasical response that ended up discussing how good at conserving air they are… We did not discuss NDL. So I tap on my watch and signal the number 5 and pointed to the watch for more clarity. They think I’m saying I have 500 psi and try to turn the dive for air. I catch back up and show them by pressure gauge with ok symbol and repoint to my watch with number 5. Finally it clicks, and we agree to go to 40ft. Rest of the dive was uneventful. Post dive debrief I ask how I can better communicate ndl. No one knows. One person said make a D with your hands then the minutes. Okay, great, I’ll do that next time with this group but why isn’t this a standard hand signal?

On another dive with a new buddy, I take responsibility to do a pre dive check and everything’s good. This is where I make a mistake, second dive, I don’t check his gear and he giant strides with tank valve closed… his bc had air, so I simply opened his valve when he said his reg didn’t breathe but that could’ve easily ended in drowning if he didn’t fill his bc. I take full responsibility for this. I should’ve checked his gear.

Long story short, I don’t like the mentality in the various communities I’ve dove with. From now on, even when diving with master divers, I’m going to take a leadership role in the pre dive planning and safety of others. It’s not worth the risk.

I always have a singe slate or wetnotes on me to make any communication clear if signals are not working. Simple, cheap, and effective.
 

inquisit

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You're complicating things by telling them "5 minutes to NDL" when it wasn't discussed pre-dive. If you need to shallow up, give them the "ascend" signal (palm up, moving up), possibly followed by a depth or "a little".

That said, I have seen MANY recreational divers use "tap the watch" for "remaining air". My suspicion is that it's related to another common convention where people signal thousands (of psi) on their arm and hundreds as normal.
 

NW Dive Dawg

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Master Diver doesn’t indicate a thing about a diver’s competence or experience.
It indicates that they have 50 dives and a valid credit card.
 

Doctorfish

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This is exactly the reason I avoid "instabuddies". I don't want to be responsible for someone whose
skills level I don't know and I certainly do not want to be potentially reliant on them.
 
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Alurpal

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You're complicating things by telling them "5 minutes to NDL" when it wasn't discussed pre-dive. If you need to shallow up, give them the "ascend" signal (palm up, moving up), possibly followed by a depth or "a little".

That said, I have seen MANY recreational divers use "tap the watch" for "remaining air". My suspicion is that it's related to another common convention where people signal thousands (of psi) on their arm and hundreds as normal.
You're complicating things by telling them "5 minutes to NDL" when it wasn't discussed pre-dive. If you need to shallow up, give them the "ascend" signal (palm up, moving up), possibly followed by a depth or "a little".

That said, I have seen MANY recreational divers use "tap the watch" for "remaining air". My suspicion is that it's related to another common convention where people signal thousands (of psi) on their arm and hundreds as normal.

This is a great point. I know that I want to ascend to a shallower depth. That’s the whole point of me communicating NDL anyway. By just giving my NDL, I’m not communicating my actual intentions.

Thanks for this!
 
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