Overcome Your Scuba Diving Fears: #2 Getting Lost

03 Aug 2021

There’s no denying it – there’s a lot of ocean out there and for a beginner diver it can be a daunting thought. The underwater world can be disorientating especially when diving over plateaus, criss-crossing the reef or when jumping in the blue water and diving towards a channel edge or reef you can’t actually see at the point of entry! Getting lost is an understandable fear that many divers want to overcome.

Diving with Prodivers Maldives is a solution in itself – you will always have a guide who knows the area and although you don’t have to dive with them we strongly recommend you keep them in sight – not because of getting lost but because they know where all the interesting stuff is and you’ll see much more with the guide. You will have a detailed briefing and usually the instructor will tell you ‘reef left shoulder’ or ‘reef right shoulder’ – this indicates the direction of travel – if the correct shoulder is next to the reef as you dive along it, you’re going in the correct direction! You won’t need to get to any particular point at the end of the dive, when you reach 50 bar remaining in your tank, go with your buddy to the safety stop at 5 metres then swim away from the reef and surface – give the boat the big okay signal or, if too far away, inflate your safety buoy and wait – it’s like hailing a taxi – the boat will come and pick you up. Don’t panic if you see the boat going in the opposite direction – they’ve probably seen another buddy pair and are picking them up first – all you have to do is wait with an inflated BCD and ensure you stay off the top of the reef, the boat will soon be with you.

There are special techniques for navigating underwater using natural features as well as a compass and these skills are introduced on the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course. Divers who wish to learn more about navigation can take the Underwater Navigation Specialty course and then further enhance and practice their skills on the Rescue Diver and Divemaster courses.

Find your way to a Prodivers dive center and you’ll be in the right place!