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Basic Skills Used in Scuba Diving

the divers sharing their octos making an ascent to the surface

Previously we talked about the basic equipment used in scuba diving and shared the story of Summer, who went from being afraid of scuba diving to a fully-fledged dive instructor. In this article we will share some of the basic skills used in scuba diving!

Mask clearing

Mask clearing is one of the skills you will find using the most whilst scuba diving. It is inevitable that you will water in your mask whilst diving and that can affect your vision. When you find that your mask fills with water, press the mask against your forehead, look up and breathe out through your nose to purge the water from your mask!

Regulator recovery

Ideally your regulator should stay in your mouth for the entire duration of the dive. However, if it falls out (for whatever reason) you want to know exactly how to recover it so that you can keep breathing underwater. Place your right hand on your right thigh and sweep your arm backwards in a circular motion and bring it pointing straight in front of you. You should find your regulator resting on your arm.

Regulator Purging

Regulator purging is a skill that goes hand-in-hand with regulator recovery. Once you lose your regulator the mouthpiece becomes flooded with water and divers have to purge the water from the regulator so they don’t breathe it in. The easiest way to do this is to put the regulator back into your mouth and blow out hard through the mouthpiece. Otherwise you can press on the diaphragm to purge the regulator.

Controlled ascent

When you encounter an emergency situation underwater and need to get to the surface, the safest and only way to do it is to do a Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent. Look up, lift your low pressure inflator hose with your left hand to deflate your BCD as needed, raise your right arm above your head, start kicking towards the surface whilst continuously breathing out (at a rate of 18 metres per minute). Once you breach the surface inflate your BCD so you stay buoyant.

Certified divers should be familiar with the skills mentioned above. If you wish to become a certified scuba diver, check out our PADI Open Water Course where you will go through these basic skills and more with our professional and experienced instructors. If you are a certified diver and you want to refresh your skills, we offer refresher courses as well so you can go diving again with confidence!