5 Must-Have Safety Accessories

SCUBA diving is an inherently dangerous activity, but as the sport evolves, so do the measures we take to ensure its ongoing safety. Diving as much as possible and refining your skills are great ways to increase your level of safety when diving, but when you’re out in the wide open ocean, anything can happen, which is why safety accessories of all kinds exist. These devices are designed specifically for use in an emergency situation to help a diver get to safety. You should know how to use your safety devices and practice with them often so they will be of use to you when you really need them. While there are plenty to choose from, here are 5 safety accessories that should be on your BCD at all times.

 

Surface Marker Buoy (Safety Sausage)

The funny little nickname alludes to the appearance of the surface marker buoy when in use, as it indeed resembles a long sausage, decked out in highly visible neon yellow or orange, sometimes red. This safety device is crucial in relaying your position to the dive boat, or if in an emergency situation, anyone who may be scanning the open water for you. It rolls down into a bundle that can easily fit into a BCD pocket or clipped on a D-ring, but expands to 6 feet above the surface when deployed. The value of your safety sausage cannot be underestimated on any dive!

 

Audible Signal

Anyone who’s been SCUBA diving knows that trying to get someone’s attention underwater can be an exercise in futility if you’re not in close enough proximity to touch. An emergency situation may not have those precious seconds it takes to physically engage another diver, so an audible signal is going to be your best bet. There are plenty on the market that produce different sounds, and even ones that will work on the surface as well as below. When you need attention and you need it now, nothing will be quite as instantaneous as an audible signaling device. Many of them connect right into your inflator hose, so no extra pocket space is required.

 

Backup Light

Many divers carry both a primary and a secondary light on most of their dives, which makes good sense, considering how widely visibility can vary from site to site and day to day. Even if you are absolutely sure you’ll be diving in a well-lit area with great visibility, carry a backup light. A dive light doesn’t have to be big to be powerful underwater, and it can serve as another signaling device both underwater and on the surface. Clip one onto your BCD and never be in the dark when you least expect it.

 

Knife / Shears

There’s no underestimating the value of a dive knife or a pair of EMT shears in any situation that presents danger, whether it escalates into a full-blown emergency or not. Abandoned fishing nets and line pose a significant risk to divers, whose gear has all kinds of protruding objects to become entangled in. While the ability to slice through any obstacles is no substitute for a streamlined profile, there are situations where a knife or shears become life-saving tools, and are therefore must-have safety accessories.

 

Emergency Signal

We chose to separate these kinds of lights from other dive lights because of the passive, but vital role they play in search and rescue of a diver. Emergency lights are small and are meant to be attached to your body, tank, or BCD, and emit steady or flashing light pulses to notify searchers of your location. There was a recent incident of three divers being rescued solely because a passing boat captain noticed the flashing strobes on their BCDs, which emphasizes just how powerful these little safety devices can be. Don’t go diving without your arsenal of safety tools!


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Comments

  1. Lee Shanklin says:

    Gary, take a deep breath & clear the narcosis bud, several people said a “Qualified Dive buddy” were not talking just a random guy off the street corner. Yes, I carry all the above listed stuff in/on my BC and if my partner doesn’t have it, we go over where everything is on mine. Having a Qualified Dive Buddy is just as crucial as all the other stuff, either to watch your back spearfishing or helping you out of a snag/tangle & if all else fails, they can get you to the surface and they expect the same from you.

  2. A qualified dive buddy!!

  3. Wistle, Buoy with flag, knife, radio anda a first medical kit. I practice spearfishing. :0)

  4. Signal Mirror, SMB with reel, small Emergecy strobe, whistle or dive alert, cutting tool.

  5. Besides the obv BCD & tank(s) of appropriate gas(es), SPG, etc… A knife, a mirror (when ocean diving), any specialty gear (e.g. Reels & cookies/markers for caves), dive light, slate, a trusted & qualified dive buddy, 1st aid kit and ALWAYS PLAN THE DIVE AND DIVE THE PLAN :0)

  6. storm whistle, smb w/ 47 ft finger reel, cutting tool (shears), 50 lb lift bag, float w/ flag.

  7. Knife, sausage, pony tank and tank knocker!! Love them knockers:) Ha!

  8. Air.

  9. Sometimes I loose the other stuff but I always keep air near by. :)

  10. Air.

  11. Dive Buddy

  12. My eyes and ears.

  13. It’s not an accessory, but diving. The more the better.

  14. My common sense!

  15. With a safety sausage, emergency signal, whistle, one small mirror, a back-up Time-Table card, one knife and two computers!

  16. A lighter or matches, just in case the dive light goes belly up.

  17. Enough with the dive buddies! What’s their real life experience saving people? How many people has your dive buddy saved? Did they ever preform CPR? How about CPR in open waters? Do you trust someone that did a PADI/NAUI course everyone passes with your life because they’re your diving “friend”? PADI/NAUI have to instill safety safety safety into their clients heads for the same reasons ski/snowboard instructors have to drill the safety aspects into the lessons – the clients want to believe they are safe and (2) it takes the responsibility of stupidity off their hands when people forget common sense. In real life, if I have student crash into a tree or another person, even if I’m a medic or trauma Dr. (yes, Dr. have an obligation to save a life but it doesn’t wash them off the hook for doing so – welcome to America) in real life, I can’t touch the student until ski patrol arrives or I will lose my job, and both I and the resort will be sued even if I saved his/her life.

    Good luck with a dive buddy saving your life… wait until they mess up and cause you more harm than good – you’ll be forced to sue you “buddy” to cover the bills (I’m a full cert snowboard and ski instructor in the winters and dive instructor in the summers – yes, I drill the dive buddy bull as well because we have to – some people shouldn’t be trusted to breathe air without supervision.

  18. Whistle and signal sausage, dive knife and EMT shears, signal mirror

  19. Gary, take a deep breath & clear the narcosis bud, several people said a “Qualified Dive buddy” were not talking just a random guy off the street corner. Yes, I carry all the above listed stuff in/on my BC and if my partner doesn’t have it, we go over where everything is on mine. Having a Qualified Dive Buddy is just as crucial as all the other stuff, either to watch your back spearfishing or helping you out of a snag/tangle & if all else fails, they can get you to the surface and they expect the same from you.

  20. Wish I had a dive buddy single sucks

  21. Wish I had a dive buddy single sucks

  22. knife, sausage, whistle, mirror (my DAN bc tag), slate, flashlight

  23. knife, sausage, whistle, mirror (my DAN bc tag), slate, flashlight

  24. Dan Ross you made me laugh so hard I was crying – Just saying! Oh and no buddy I won’t go diving with you!!!

  25. Dan Ross you made me laugh so hard I was crying – Just saying! Oh and no buddy I won’t go diving with you!!!

  26. Tank, reg, mask, fins and computer are the only things I dive with. Never used the BC so took the wing/bladder off years ago. Don’t like dive buddies so tend to go my own way when with others unless leading a dive. I do have my octo most of the time though not always.

  27. Amazingly, my group was able to penetrate a (the) wreck in Cozumel because I had enough foresight to bring a flashlight. Current was strong and we were swept past our dive sight and the next site down current was the wreck. Isn’t a flashlight on everyone’s gear list? Apparently not.

  28. Altimeter!! Bitches!

  29. My Dive Buddy.

  30. My Dive Buddy.

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