The buddy system is one of scuba diving's safety rules that pairs two or more divers together. Buddy teams should also include pre-dive safety checks, such as air supply, depth and time limits, before entering the water. Diving with a buddy nearby at all times increases safety, practicality and fun. The distance between buddies while diving is usually determined by the conditions and the level of visibility.
In challenging dives or poor visibility, buddies often use a Jon Line (sometimes called a buddy line). Buddy lines normally have a clip or carabina that attaches to the BCD and a length of rope or webbing up to 3 meters which keeps the buddies from straying apart. Your buddy can help you with scuba equipment assembly, dive logistics and share the experiences and fun adventures underwater.
Procedures of the Buddy System and considerations for buddy teams when planning a dive.
A good diving buddy will identify mistakes, help to avoid problems, anticipate errors of judgment and in the event of a diver emergency, your buddy can provide assistance. You also provide extra eyes and hands to increase dive safety and the enjoyment of diving. The buddy system should be taken seriously and the responsibility towards safe diving practices and staying close together underwater is the foundation of general buddy procedures.
What should you do if you lose contact with your buddy underwater? Staying together as buddy pairs is easier if you agree on a general course to follow and who will lead the dive. If you separate during the dive, the recommended guideline is to search for each other for up to one minute. If you don't find you buddy within a minute, you should both slowly ascend and reunite at the surface.
You may also have an agreed contingency plan for buddy separation that may differ from these general guidelines. The benefits of buddy systems work best when divers stay together and share the responsibility of safe diving procedures.
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