6 Essential Tips for Wreck Diving By Jennifer Palmer
For most scuba divers, wreck diving is always an incredible experience, providing a huge adrenaline rush. It is even more of an amazing opportunity to experience a piece of history as well as enjoying the marine life that has made that particular wreck their home.
However, wreck diving should not be taken lightly and requires an additional skill set to that of regular open water scuba diving. Here are the top 6 essential techniques that are required for a successful wreck dive. These tips only apply to diving the outside of the wreck not the internal part of a wreck.
Here Are Our 6 Essential Tips for Wreck Diving
- Always Be Prepared
A wreck dive is usually an advanced dive, so your dive instructor will discuss whether or not you are comfortable with deep dives and difficult conditions, prior to the dive. If you have experienced similar dives, an advanced certification or you have even completed a wreck diver certification, then you should be given the go-ahead by your instructor. Once you are on the dive, make sure that you listen to your dive instructor. There could be hidden channels and other unexpected things that you might need to look out for.
- Once You’re in the Water, Safely Descend to the Wreck
There are many ways to descend down to the wreck. When the wreck is deep, your dive instructor may use a combination of lines to get you safely from the surface down to the deck of the wreck. A trail line might be used by the instructor, which has one end attached to the dive boat, with a float attached to the other side. In rough water, this can be used for the divers to grab hold of once they jump into the water. There are two other type of lines, the most common runs along the surface of the water and the other is used in really rough conditions. The second is a weighted descent line which is attached to the stern of the dive boat and extends down to the mooring under the water. If the dive instructor is using a mooring line, you always use it. With your dive buddy, using one hand over the other technique, descent the line, until you reach the wreck.
- Enjoy Exploring the Wreck
Don’t just follow the divers blindly. Take note of your starting point as this is where you will most likely end your dive. Take note of direction and current, you can use the current to your advantage, by starting the dive up current to where you would like to end the dive. Always stay close to the wreck, not only will there be some amazing sites but do it as a safety precaution.
- Take Pictures
Always capture incredible experiences so that you can look back on them and discuss your adventures with your family, friends and other like-minded individuals. Remember to use the correct equipment when photographing a wreck. It usually needs a wide-angle lens to capture the whole wreck. In addition, some wrecks might be shallow enough to take good pictures in the available light, however for the deeper wrecks, an attachable flash may be more useful.
- Ascend from the Wreck
Always use the technique of thirds. Depending on your bottom time, or how much air you have left always make sure that you leave a third to move away from your descending point, a third to return to your descending point and a third left for any emergencies or unexpected occurrences. Once you reach your end point, where you are going to ascend, you can take your time exploring around the mooring line, until you are ready to ascend.
- Getting back to the Boat
Once you have ascended (after completing your safety stop), surface and use the line provided to help you move closer to the boat. If there is a current, then let the current take you to the line available. Once you have safely reached the dive boat, inflate your BCD and wait until it is your turn to climb aboard the boat.