What's the most important rule in SCUBA diving?

One of the first things you will learn on your Open Water SCUBA Diving Course is to always dive within your limits and never to your limit. 

Your instructor will have thrown in a few playful witty phrases to emphasis pre-dive safety checks, proper ascent rates and emergency scenario procedures.  Everything from “ascend no quicker than your bubbles”, to “small bubbles equals no troubles” and “Bruce Willis ruins/rocks all films” depending on your preference for the actor.  

The most important rule of SCUBA diving from the get go is to never hold your breath. From depth, compressed air expands and to prevent any unpleasant lung over-expansion injuries you learn to equalise your lungs by breathing in and out constantly.

Whaleshark swimming in Coral Bay
Whale Shark in Coral Bay, Western Australia
Whale Shark front on in Coral Bay Western Australia
Whaleshark and humans swimming side by side with Ningaloo Reef Dive & Snorkel
Whale Shark in Coral Bay, Western Australia
Whale Shark in Coral Bay, Western Australia
Whale Shark in Coral Bay, Western Australia
Whale Shark in Coral Bay, Western Australia
Whale Shark in Coral Bay, Western Australia
Whale Shark in Coral Bay, Western Australia

What other important rules do we have for SCUBA diving?

I shall never dive ALONE.

Absolutely right joe, always share your experience with a buddy. It takes two to tango and two to dive. And it is heaps more fun to share the immersion for any post-SCUBA catch-ups at the local happy hour.

I shall frequently check my AIR supply.

Spot on, check your air supply and you can gauge your air consumption rate. Always ensure that you plan your dive so that you can factor in your safety stop at 5 meters for 3 minutes, your entry and exit procedures and maintaining 50 bar in reserve for the surface. We do not want to put into practice the out-of-air scenarios that you trained for in your open water course. When low on air signal your buddy and make a normal ascent. There is no reason to be out of air. Be a prudent and safe diver. No cowboys or mavericks allowed.

At Ningaloo Reef Dive we typically dive in very shallow waters. If anybody is particularly enjoying the Coral Bay air and guzzling it down more so than the others, we will buddy up with them and take them to the surface. From here they can establish positive buoyancy and snorkel from above. This allows us to invite all levels and not disrupt the dynamic of the dive to ensure everybody gets full enjoyment and pleasure from the diving experience. 

I shall do my pre-dive safety check.

Bruce Willis ruins all films, burgers with relish and fries, Bruce Willis rocks all films…there are many you can recite but let us keep it G-rated for now.

I shall check that I have ample air pressure at least 200 bar or 3000 psi.

The use of SCUBA: self-contained underwater breathing apparatus is with compressed air. A typical tank is filled to 200 atmospheric bar. That’s the equivalent to 200 times what we are breathing now on the surface at an atmospheric pressure of 1 bar. As we immerse ourselves on a dive we want to take plenty of air, so why not take 200 times that amount that we breathe here at sea level.  Better to have more than less. So make sure you check before entering and keep it open.

I shall never pee in my wetsuit.

…hope so for hygiene reasons. Absolutely not in hire gear. Your own wetsuit, your own rules.  However, just no…

I shall check my no-stop time at depth and bottom time frequently on the dive. 

Another absolute must. Our bodies can only tolerate a safe level of Nitrogen. Recreational diving is called fun diving for a reason. We stay well within our limits so that at any time on the dive we are able to come back to the surface without stopping nice and slowly. When using a dive computer for the first time always make sure you read the manufacturers instructions and know how to use the console.

If you are flying after diving you must have a minimum of 18 hours out of the water to de-saturate. Call the dive shop if you have any questions, but most of our dives you will be out of the water by 3 pm with the next flight out of Learmonth (Exmouth) airport at 11.30 am the next morning.

It’s all about BUOYANCY!  

The Ningaloo reef is the perfect place for the beginner diver and the most experienced to master the art of buoyancy control. Ningaloo is notorious for its shallow lagoons with sculptured coral formations with a diverse dwelling of local habitats. The dive sites are a playground for streamlining your trim and control of dive movements with your lungs. 

The dive sites that we explore include shallow depths on average of 6-8m. In this body of water, you are diving in the column where the pressure of water will double from 0 metres at the surface at 1 ATA to 2 ATA at 10m. In this range, it is imperative that you take the time to do a proper buoyancy check before the dive starts to get correct trimming. When weighted with proper trim you will be able to remain neutral with a simple transaction of breath in and breath out. You will notice that with a bigger breathe you can pivot a full 1m upwards and downwards with an exhalation. 

All SCUBA dive tours operate daily over a full day and half day tours. The are all guided by a locally experienced dive master and instructors to provide a helping hand and show you all the best secret spots on the Ningaloo Reef.

After your first day of diving with us, we will invite a 20% discount on any more dive tours that you wish to make. With 6-8 different dive sites all showcasing the diversity of the Ningaloo Ree, you’d be silly not to take advantage of this fantastic offer!!!

Our most popular tour is the Double Dive Manta Ray tour which includes 2 SCUBA reef dives on the Ningaloo with a manta ray snorkel during your surface interval and a bite to eat with lunch. Check out our Ningaloo Reef tours for more information or call the dive shop on 1300 CORAL BAY.

Thanks for reading!