How to safely make your dive exit

Safe and proper scuba diving entries and exits are crucial to successful diving. On our last blog, we discussed four scuba diving entry methods to master. In this blog, we’re going to focus on the proper ways of making your dive exit. 

Shore Diving Exit Methods

Beach Exit Method

  • Use the natural slope of the bottom as your reference mark. 
  • Swim your way to shallow water and stand up when you reach around waist-level water.
  • Next, deflate your BC so that your feet can be firmly on the ground. 
  • Remove your fins and make your way back to shore. 

Surf Exit Method

Surf is the result when incoming waves break. The place where waves break is called the surf break. You need to be on the surface to observe the wave size and the timing of the wave sets. This way you can figure out the safest and easiest time to pass through the surf break. 

  • Pay attention to the wave sets. Time your exit so that it coincides with smaller waves. 
  • Once you determine the right time to exit, place the regulator in your mouth and swim your way to the shore. 
  • Begin crawling on your hands and knees as soon as possible. Move quickly and do not stop until you reach dry sand. Keep in mind that your goal is to pass through the surf break before another wave comes. Make sure that your regulator is in your mouth during this exit process to avoid sand from getting in the regulator.
  • In case a wave arrives, stop and put your head down as the wave make its way overhead. Continue crawling once the wave passes.
  • You can turn sideways to monitor the incoming waves while you and your buddy help each other remove fins.

Boat Diving Exit Methods

Boat Exit with Ladder

dive exit with ladder (screenshot from Youtube)

Small and medium-sized dive boats with high sides or raised platforms are often equipped with ladders to help divers climb out of the water and get back inside the boat. 

Some small boats have ladders where you need to climb up high out of the water. This kind of set-up can make it difficult for a diver to climb the ladder wearing heavy equipment. If you have to remove your equipment before exiting, start by removing your weight belt. Then do the same thing with your BCD. Make sure you have a firm hold on the ladder and ready to exit before you take off your fins. 

Most medium-sized boats have ladders that dangle from a platform just above the water. This makes it easier to exit while you are still wearing your dive gear except for your fins. 

Here are some safety tips when climbing the boat ladder:

  • Don’t go on the ladder if another diver is still on it to avoid getting hurt if the diver falls back.
  • Keep your mask on if there are swells. 
  • Pay attention to where you place your fingers to avoid getting them caught in the ladder. 
  • Hold firmly on the ladder and climb up a couple of rungs before taking your weights off. 
  • After successfully removing your weights, you can proceed to take off your fins before getting in the boat. 
Proper Boat Diving Exit

Most modern large boats are equipped with hydraulic swim platforms that can be submerged in the water. This makes it easier for you to swim into the platform and wait for the dive instructor to remove your fins. Then all you have to do is get in the boat. 

RIB Exit without a Ladder

  • Take off your belt and BC kit while you’re still in the water and hand them over to someone on the boat.
  • Do not remove your fins at this point.
  • Use both your palms to grip on the side ridge of the boat. Kick up your fins as you pull yourself up. 
  • Twist and allow your buttocks to land on the ridge facing the water as you would when getting out of a pool. 

Night Diving Exit

You can apply any of the exits above at night but it is important to place a light at your exit point. A surface beacon can be used to indicate your position to the surface team. Get more night diving guidelines by reading the blog “10 Night diving tips to remember”. 

Back on board

When you’re safely back on board, return to your seat on the dive deck. Pay attention to your steps to avoid stumbling over another diver’s gear. Secure your tank before making your way to the exit area to get your fins. 

If it’s a single dive or the final dive of the trip, it is recommended to take an inventory of your gear before putting them in your gear bag or designated area. Remove your regulator and BC and properly pack them away.

Join Nemo Diving Center on our next diving trip and we’ll guide you about the proper dive entry and exit methods. Check out our scuba diving Dubai packages and book a trip now to explore the amazing dive sites in Dubai. 

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