Scuba diving is one of the most exciting experiences that you can have. It allows you to explore beautiful under water worlds and see flora and fauna that you could never even imagine. What could be more fun than exploring a shipwreck or seeing the creatures that live in the depths of our oceans? With the excitement though, comes a great deal of responsibility. Scuba diving can be extremely dangerous if you do not know exactly what you are doing and do not follow established safety protocol while in the water. Having the correct knowledge and the proper equipment is imperative.

If you are just starting out in the world of scuba diving, you will need to take a certification course to learn. These are offered at scuba diving centers around the country, some sporting goods stores and some colleges. You should have no problem finding one close by. Expect to spend a few hours in a classroom before heading into the water. The most important things that you will learn in the classes are how to breathe underwater, return to the surface and remain calm. The last one may sounds slightly silly; however there is nothing more important than not panicking under water. Returning to the surface too quickly either because you don’t know the correct way or because you got nervous and shot back up, can cause severe problems including death. Panicking can cause hyperventilation and returning to the surface too quickly can cause bubbles to form in your body’s tissue which could kill you.

Having the correct gear is extremely important to your safety. This gear includes the obvious, best swim fins for training, regulator, oxygen tank, and wet suit (depending on where you are diving, you may not need a wet suit), but also includes more advanced technology. A dive computer will be very helpful to you. The diving computer provides information as to how long you need for decompression and how deep the dive is. It also gauges data such as the levels of nitrogen content in the bloodstream, or decompression sickness that could be fatal to the diver’s life. You will also need a compass and gauges for your dive, and underwater lights and cameras will make your dive even better. Knowing your equipment is just as important, if not more, as having the proper equipment. You don’t want to find out that you don’t know how to use something when you are hundreds of feet under the water. Ask around before purchasing equipment to find out the best brands and types for your dive and price range. Fellow divers can be an excellent source of knowledge as can sales people and dive magazines.

Scuba diving can be a wonderful sport for people of all ages. It is extremely important though to recognize the dangers associated with it and to do everything in your power to prepare for and head off emergencies before they occur. Having the proper training and equipment are the …