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Diver Management

Dropping off, picking up and assisting divers from the water

A concise guide to dropping off, retrieving and assisting divers in and out of the water.

Dropping off, picking up and assisting divers from the water

Pre-planning for for the deployment and retrieval of divers is an essential component to a safe, successful dive trip.

Dropping off divers

First, it is essential to check conditions at the entry point when dropping divers.

Have a good look. Are there waves, surges or currents? Are there any hazards such as rocks, weed or kelp which could damage your boat? How are the conditions going to affect the divers on the surface?

Sometimes it is advisable to drop off divers further away than planned and let them navigate to their destination.

Ideally, a dive vessel should anchor or moor with the engine off before deploying divers. If anchoring or mooring is not an option, a good entry point is a location where it is safe to switch off the motor up-wind/current of the site and allow the vessel to drift while divers enter the water. Any site demanding constant vessel manoeuvring is not safe for diver deployment.

Only the skipper should give the OK for divers to enter the water because it is essential he or she is aware of people in the water.

Only when divers are completely clear of the vessel should you restart the engine and move the boat.

Picking up divers

Always check the localised conditions before picking up your divers. Are there potentially hazardous waves or surges, visible rocks, weed or kelp? Does the local chart indicate any unseen navigation hazards? If it is unsafe to manoeuvre the vessel to the divers, they should swim to you in a safer location.

Always approach your divers from up-wind/current. When close enough, turn off the engine to allow the divers to come to the vessel for retrieval.

When all divers are safely back on board, you can restart your boat and move off.

Helping Divers In and Out the Water

Depending on conditions, either get scuba divers to gear up on the boat or in the water. Either way, always enter the water wearing fins.

Depending on the size of the boat, divers can either board wearing their gear or remove their equipment in the water prior.

In both cases, assistance should help the diver back onto the boat quickly and safely.

Note: Anchored or moored vessels can deploy a floating line and float aft to help tired divers stay close to the boarding point if waiting their turn to exit the water.

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