People embarrassed to do pre dive buddy check?

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drrich2

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I take full responsibility for this. I should’ve checked his gear.
Not your responsibility. It's fine to do buddy checks, but you are not the guardian of a minor here.
I believe every rec training agency teaches some sort of pre dive buddy check.
Yes, and many people starting out do these. That doesn't mean everyone will do them into perpetuity.
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 sometimes solo dive, so I'm accustomed to being responsible for myself. Yes, I've giant strode in with my air turned off, or once without fins. But that wasn't anyone else's fault.

Where was this dive you did yesterday? Was it a boat dive with a guide?

I ask because people vary in their attitudes about buddy diving in such settings, which are very common. Some examples:

1.) Guide leads group. Is it okay to just be in sight of each other, or should be no further than 10 feet, etc...? (Assumes good viz.). Is it okay to occasionally glance at each other over the the course of the dive, or is frequent monitoring a mandate? Is the buddy someone I'd assist if asked during the dive, or my responsibility?

2.) Late in dive, you're milling around near the dive boat, low on air and signal you're going up. Can your buddy get an 'OK' from you and wave bye, or is he duty-bound to accompany you to the safety stop? Or then exit the boat and see you back to your station?

3.) Buddy checks - is this a comprehensive systematic checklist of all gear elements, or just a briefing on what's unusual about one's gear (e.g.: BP/W, Air2, long hose configuration, weight belt vs. integrated weights)?

Now if I were diving with someone as a buddy pair without a guide, or conditions were considerably more adverse, that changes things.
 

rx7diver

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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.
Whether or not you do an actual "buddy check", it's prudent to always function-check your own gear before splashing.

I went diving (walk-out dive) with my newly certified daughter (college junior) a couple of weeks ago. I had her watch me function-check my own gear. Then I carefully watched her function-check her own gear.

And then we did a "buddy-check"--you know, where we ensured each other's gas is turned on, and discussed things like how we would release each other's weights, how we would assist each other with respect to air sharing, how we would approach buddy separation, etc., and, oh yeah, the dive plan itself.

Actually, this was the second time we did all this: I took my daughter through a formal "gear check-out" drill just before she left for open water check-out earlier this summer.

rx7diver
 

NW Dive Dawg

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When I dive with any of my typical buddies, even though we take full responsibility for ourselves, we still usually do a "cursory" visual of each other..... Sometimes is something small like....."hey, part of your mask skirt is outside your hood..... or an agreement on what to do if separated. Our usual agreement in case of buddy separation is......"look around for about an hour, get your limit...and we'll seeya back at the boat".

On the subject of "instabuddy's" I would NEVER allow ANYONE to check that my gas is on. I don't even like it when a DM on a dive boat is standing on the stride deck and checking valves as folks step off... Its way too easy, especially when someone is facing you and reaching over your shoulder to turn that valve the wrong way. Also, another reason why I personally feel that the 1/4 turn back from ON is one of the most idiotic and stupid procedures I have ever heard of. I even omitted it from my class when I was teaching.....

I want my gas either all the way on or all the way off. That way, there's absolutely no confusion as to which is which...... and I've never had any problems with a tank valve from NOT doing the 1/4 turn thing.
 
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Alurpal

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I would NEVER allow ANYONE to check that my gas is on. I don't even like it when a DM on a dive boat is standing on the stride deck and checking valves as folks step off...

Yes, this is a concern of mine too. I make sure my valve is accessible once donned. The concept of checking someone else’s valve is sound. Just breaks down during execution. One solution could be verbal announcements of what’s happening. “Checking your valve.” “Valve is closed”. Then you have a chance to verify.
 

BlueTrin

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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!
IMHO just give the plan and say that you’d like to do a buddy check, for example: “the plan is we dive the NDL, I will tell you when I have 5 minutes to NDL, I will do <show the sign>. I plan to ascend at 2 minutes to NDL, I will give you this signal < show signal >, etc , is everyone ok with the plan or has any questions?”

Follow up with “I am on air, are you on air or Nitrox? Ok you are ok Nitrox so I will hit NDL before you, let’s ascend when anyone has only X minutes of NDL or Y psi/bar remaining … any objection?”

If you are a bit assertive, or state your preference, most people will do a buddy check or whatever you propose or at least object and then you can work out the issue.
 

Centrals

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I do my own pre-dive check FIRST.
I will then do the pre-dvie with any stranger if required.
 

ScubaBunga

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Yes, this is a concern of mine too. I make sure my valve is accessible once donned. The concept of checking someone else’s valve is sound. Just breaks down during execution. One solution could be verbal announcements of what’s happening. “Checking your valve.” “Valve is closed”. Then you have a chance to verify.
Let my instabuddy check my air one time after gearing up and heading to back of boat. They turned my air off! I hit the water, had a good breath with the pressure in the line but knew that was it, then reached over my shoulder and turned my air back on. I’ve done several dives now with insta buddies. I cover what I need with them and see what gear they have, but don’t press if they don’t care to ask anything more. In most cases, I’d rather dive solo if that option is available.
 

Lorenzoid

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I don't dive with so-called "insta-buddies" but if I did, I would have a very short list of things I would review with my prospective insta-buddy before the dive, and if they did not seem receptive, I would not dive with them. My list would be short enough that I could keep their attention--maybe take no more than 3 minutes. We would agree to do an equipment check before we dive, along the lines of what PADI and other major agencies teach--the basic stuff. We would go over some basic hand signals, especially for signaling gas pressure. We would agree on what conditions we will turn the dive--first diver to reach X pressure, Y minutes no-deco time, when we reach some goal, or whatever. Depth limit, time limit--a basic dive plan. We would agree on what we expect from a buddy--how close we will stay to each other, and how we would donate gas if needed. Again, if someone doesn't want to discuss this stuff, I won't be buddying with them.
 

TMHeimer

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When we finished our Rescue Course scenarios at the beach there were two other divers at the shore doing a very formal by the book buddy check. Our instructor told us these would be divers to keep an eye on because if you see someone doing that they are probably very new divers and may have problems.
I've also been told that many buddies who have dived together forever really do a good check, but they know each other (and each other's equipment) so well that it looks really slack and quick.
That's just the way it is. I too have rarely seen formal buddy checks on charters or elsewhere.
Since I always got an "instabuddy", I made sure of two things-- how we drop each other's weights and where each other's octos are. Then a brief talk on the dive plan.
I don't complicate things too much.
Actually two buddies could just stand their and re-check their own equipment instead of each other's I suppose. Would that count the same?
 
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