Diving FAQs

Diving FAQs2019-08-15T11:29:37+01:00
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Do I have to be a strong swimmer to become a diver?2018-10-22T11:55:49+01:00

No. All you need to be is a reasonably proficient swimmer who is comfortable and relaxed in the water. The swimming requirement for certification is 200 metre non-stop swim (with no time or specific stroke requirement) and 10 minute tread water.

Do I need to have a dive computer?2018-10-22T12:24:53+01:00

All divers are required to dive with computers. We have an extensive equipment and gas rental service.

Do I need to have a Surface Marker Buoy (SMB)?2018-10-22T19:27:47+01:00

All divers need to dive with a Surface Marker Buoy as per CDWS guidelines. We have an extensive equipment and gas rental service.

How expensive is SCUBA diving?2018-10-22T19:29:52+01:00

Starting out is the most expensive part. You have to pay to get scuba certified and buy some gear. But once this part is out of the way you can choose to spend as much or as little as you wish. To get started you need to participate in the PADI Open Water Course (or equivalent). This course will give you full certification and is the most popular diving course in the world. Dive equipment prices vary depending on brand etc. Depending on your budget you can go low key or push the boat out and treat yourself to a top of the range set of gear.

How long does a cylinder of air last?2018-10-22T19:30:24+01:00

This is a common question that, unfortunately, doesn’t have a single answer. People breathe at different rates, and you breathe faster when you’re swimming than when you’re resting. Also, the deeper you go, the more you use your air, and, you can get different size cylinders. So, the simple answer is “it depends.” This is why divers have a gauge to tell them how much air they have left at all times. As a rule, your air consumption will improve with experience. As a novice diver, you are likely to consume more air due to anxiety / excitement. As you dive more, you will learn to control your breathing. However, everyone is different and some people just naturally consume more than others.

How old do you have to be to get certified?2018-10-22T19:30:56+01:00

A PADI ‘Bubble Maker’ course can be completed from the age of 8 but to become a certified Junior Open Water Scuba Diver, PADI requires you to be at least 10 years old. 10 and 11 year olds must dive with a certified parent, guardian or PADI professional to a maximum depth of 12 metres. 12 to 14 year olds must dive with a certified adult. At age 15, the junior certification upgrades to a regular Open Water Diver certification.

Is it hard to learn to scuba dive?2018-10-22T19:31:31+01:00

As far as active recreational pastimes go, scuba diving is one of the easiest to learn. While you’re gliding around enjoying the underwater sights, you’re engaged in only three basic skills: floating, kicking, and breathing. Of course, there’s more to it than that – becoming proficient at using the equipment, developing knowledge of scuba concepts, and learning safety procedures – but if you breathe through your mouth, chances are you can learn to scuba dive. The basic PADI certification is The ‘Open Water’ Course. This is conducted over five days with two days devoted to theory and pool skills and two days allocated for your four open water dives. The course is “performance based,” which means that you progress as you learn and demonstrate knowledge and skill.

Is scuba diving dangerous?2018-10-22T19:32:06+01:00

Not really. Statistics show that recreational scuba diving is about as safe as swimming. Certainly there are potential hazards, which is why you need training and certification. But like driving a car, as long as you follow the rules and use common sense, it’s pretty safe.

Isn’t the equipment heavy and difficult to learn how to use?2018-10-22T19:32:39+01:00

The bulky scuba gear worn by many divers may seem intimidating, but learning to use it is straightforward. If you’ve snorkeled, you’re already familiar with the mask, snorkel and fins. The scuba unit consists of an air cylinder containing compressed breathing air, buoyancy compensator (BCD) jacket to help you float on the surface or to maintain your desired depth underwater, and you’ll have a regulator for you to breathe through. The wetsuit keeps you warm when diving in cooler water. Whilst it is a little awkward on the surface it is practically weightless underwater.

PADI Manuals and PIC (certification)2019-08-28T10:44:33+01:00

Every PADI student/diver must have a manual. This is a teaching standard and cannot be broken – applicable worldwide. Breaking this means exposure to the teaching instructor and dive centres. There are very rare instances where exceptions are allowed:
– The manual is not available in the language of the student
– The manual simply does not exist (for example: AWARE Shark speciality)
– When a student takes part in a refresher course
– When a student has already pre-purchased their manual

If you already have a manual, you must contact the dive centre you purchased your manual from and purchase from them a paper PIC. If you have purchased a manual from a friend or platform, PADI quotes that this is not a legitimate way of purchase.

If you are unable to return to the dive centre that you purchased the PADI manual from, you can purchase a PIC only from Blue O Two, providing you sign the student liability form. Please contact a member of the sales team for more information on 01752 480808.

What is the Bends?2018-10-22T19:33:33+01:00

As a diver descends in the water column, the combination of increased pressure and consequent increased solubility of nitrogen in the body’s tissues causes an increase in the “on-gassing” of nitrogen. Air is made up of approximately 79% nitrogen, which on the surface, is easily cleared from the body. However, as the diver goes deeper, the pressure increases, increasing the partial pressure of nitrogen, and the “on-gassing” of nitrogen exceeds the body’s ability to clear the gas. The deeper the diver goes, the faster this process occurs. A diver with a “nitrogen burden”, upon surfacing may allow nitrogen inside the body to come out of saturation (similar to removing the lid from a shaken/pressurized cola can) causing bubble formation. These bubbles may cause joint pain, sensory changes, limb weakness, and in severe cases paralysis and death, the symptoms being dependent upon location of bubble formation (joints, spinal nerves, spinal cord, etc.). This process is known as decompression sickness, or “the bends”. Onset of these symptoms generally occurs within 12 hours of surfacing from a dive (90% within 6 hours), however, a physician familiar with diving should be consulted anytime decompression sickness is a potential diagnosis.

What’s in a scuba tank? Oxygen?2018-10-22T19:34:12+01:00

Recreational divers breathe air, not oxygen. It’s filtered to remove impurities, but otherwise, it’s air like you’re breathing now.

Will my ears hurt from the pressure when I scuba dive?2018-10-22T19:33:07+01:00

Your ears hurt because water pressure pushes in on your ear drum. When you learn to scuba dive, you will be shown a simple technique to equalise your ears to the surrounding pressure; then you should feel no discomfort at all.