Pre Dive Safety Check : BWRAF
Scuba diving is a highly enjoyable and fun activity, but despite this obvious fact, scuba diving can sometimes be a dangerous sport if the basic safety rules are not followed correctly. This is why there are safety precautions to be adhered to before, during and after a scuba dive. The pre-dive safety check and the buddy system are a big part of scuba diving.
The pre-dive safety checks are a short list of steps which take only a couple of minutes but allows you to be confident that everything is safe and dive ready. This routine ensures your equipment is working properly and also familiarizes you with your buddy’s equipment in case you need to assist or receive assistance from him. This routine is highly popular among divers, and it is an easy to remember acronym- BWRAF “Begin With Review And Friend”. BWRAF stands for:
- BCD & BUOYANCY
Inspect your buddy’s buoyancy compensator, ensure the low-pressure inflator hose is connected properly and do a quick puff to be sure the inflator button doesn’t stick. You would also need to deflate the BCD to be sure it deflates correctly and if you are carrying out this check underwater, check your buoyancy to ensure you are appropriately buoyant.
- WEIGHTS/ WEIGHT BELT
Ensure that your buddy’s weight belt is fixed correctly with the loose end tied properly in a manner which allows for quick release. Also, ensure you are aware of the kind of weight belt or integrated weights in use by your dive buddy, and you should know how to release them if need be.
Check all releases to be sure they are secure, and you know how they operate in case of an emergency. These can include shoulder straps, sternum straps, and belly bands, including tank release. Also, you should check your buddy’s air cylinder to ensure they are tight enough not to slip off as you enter the water.
Have your buddy draw several breaths from their regulator while you check the SPG to ensure the tank is full, and the valve fully turned on. The needle of the SPG should not move, and if you are working with an integrated computer, air pressure should decrease by only a few pounds per breath. During this part of the check, it is critical that you combine looking at the gauge with breathing from the regulator as doing them individually might create the impression that your air is on when it isn’t. Practice this routine with your buddy’s alternate, so you know how to use it if the situation warrants it.
- FINAL CHECK
Ensure wetsuits are zipped, and hoses are free. Also, secure all loose hoses, lights, consoles, cameras, etc. Check that your buddy has his mask, snorkel, and fins before you go underwater.
By adhering to the simple BWRAF guidelines, you can be sure you and your buddy can enjoy a safe, enjoyable dive.