Freediving Safety Basics rules are outlined in this video. Freediving is a great sport and it is possible for it to be a safe sport, but you must pay attention to very important and basic safety rules.
The first basic safety rule is that you always have to dive with a buddy. Preferably your buddy knows all of these safety rules too.
The second rule is that you must always follow direct supervision. What that means is that one diver at any given moment is at the surface. Never have both buddies underwater at the same time. Both people are holding their breath; both are experiencing a level of hypoxia, low oxygen, at the same time. This means both could potentially run into trouble.
The person on top is breathing and getting ready to either dive down or take action on a potential problem that may occur. So, you must watch your buddy descend and pay attention to their dive. Don’t look around at fish or plan your own dive because your partner is counting on you.
Once your buddy hits the surface, your job is not done. 90% of freediving blackouts occur at the surface, after the person has taken a few breaths.
Many talk about shallow water blackouts. These are more common than blackouts at depth, but nowhere as common as at the surface after taking a few breaths.
After a person surfaces, you have to watch your buddy for a minimum of 30 seconds. The person initially will give an OK signal but after you watch them for 30 seconds they should give another OK signal to tell you that they are fine. Divers have been known to give an initial OK signal and then go into a blackout.
When you take a freediving course, you will learn how to deal with a blackout properly if one does occur and how to prevent many diving problems that occur.
If you follow these basic safety rules it will make you a much safer diver and potentially save somebody’s life.
The last and most important rule is that if you are somebody’s safety and there is a problem with your buddy, your most important function is to protect that other person’s airway. If the person has a problem at the surface, if you just grab their head or hold their hair so that their head is above water, you are going to save their life.
There are other ways you will learn how to properly protect their airway during your freediving course, but as a basic safety rule make sure you always protect their airway.
A review of the basic safety rules: always have a buddy, always make sure someone is at the surface, always watch for 30 seconds after surfacing and always protect someone’s airway. Those simple, basic safety rules could save someone’s life.