• Scuba Diving Communications RSS Feed

    Communication is the way people relay messages to each other or the ability to share information. Oral communication is a very common way of expression, but there are other ways to communicate. It is imperative in diving that we have a variety of ways to communicate with others in our underwater world.

    To effectively communicate underwater, you must first start before the dive to learn the many forms of hand and body posture. In some situations, like technical and cave diving, you can even communicate by touch and light signals.

    Despite very comprehensive pre-dive discussions and planning, issues can arise during a dive. Examples include the need to check a partner’s air supply, to tell them to go a certain direction, crisis situation (like they have a leak), or to simply signal to see if they are okay. To end a dive requires one of the most basic of hand signals, the ‘Go Up’ or end the dive hand signal -- the thumbs up.

    There are many hand signals you could learn, but some are deemed more important or more appropriate for diving. Hand signals meanings can vary by agency and area, kind of like the many different oral languages. As long as you and your dive buddies use the same signals, your communication efforts will be better than trying to communicate with someone who has a different 'signal' vocabulary.

    You can find and learn more about underwater communications and hand signals from professional divers, online resources, and manuals. You should learn and coordinate your hand signals with all your dive buddies as well. We will display multiple video clips for many of the underwater signals to show you variances in them as well as putting them to use with other signals.

    It is not the intention of Dayo Scuba and those that created and contributed to this page to make you experts in underwater communications; by merely by viewing this site, but we do hope to improve and broaden your underwater communications skills. Nothing can replace practicing underwater communications with your dive partners.

    Produced by Dayo Scuba, Orlando, Florida

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    Cave Diver's Forum

    NACD's Hand Signals

    NSS CDS' Hand Signals