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How to Deal with Currents and Tides

Submitted by admin on 2010-12-13

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When you are scuba diving even the slightest of conditions need to be observed and taken into account to maintain your safety at all time.

Learning how to deal with currents and tides is one of the main things that you need to be aware of and able to do before you go out on your first diving excursion. Knowing the possible problems that tides and currents can present and how to deal with various conditions can help you remain safe and have an enjoyable dive.

Dealing with the currents is something you will typically learn while undergoing your scuba diving certification. But for many scuba divers and freedivers there hasn't been any formal dive training. For these people it is important to understand the risks of dealing with dangerous currents.

Safety Tips When Dealing with Currents

The first step to learning how to deal with currents and tides is to be aware of the safety measures to keep in mind when currents are present. The first rule you should remember is to never dive with currents present unless you have an open water certification or are with a certified instruction that has the PADI certification. Unless you or the one that is watching over you has this instruction and training, you may not know how to properly deal with the problems that a current can cause.

Another key point to remember is to not swim against a current that is strong. Use your tide table to ensure that you are going diving at a safe time and keep an eye on it to be aware of when the currents or tides are due to come in.

Rip tides and currents are one of the strongest that you will experience. The first thing you learn when understanding how to deal with currents and tides is that if you get caught in one of these currents, to stay calm and swim parallel to the land until you are able to get out of it.

Understanding the Tides

Understand how to deal with currents and tides starts with knowing how to read a tide chart and what it means for your diving experience. At low or high tide when there is slack water, it is a great time for divers to manipulate the tide to get clear water and helpful navigation through the shallows.

The seasons, weather and winds are all situations that can drastically affect the difference of the tides and the strength of the accompanying currents. If you do not understand how to read these situations and deal with them, you could find yourself in trouble on the water.

Tides can easily be used to predict the best time for diving if you have the right tools. A tide gauge and chart are very basic necessities if you plan to utilize the change in tides and currents to make your dive safer or more enjoyable.

Learning how to deal with currents and tides is not always simple when scuba diving, but it is a skill that can be learned over time with practice. The information and tips above are designed to help you better understand the role that tides and currents play in the sport of diving and how you can best use them to your advantage in a safe and effective way.


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The title of the article is misleading.
Open water teaches you about not swimming against the current.
Where's the "How to deal" part of this article?

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