Rule of Separation

“What do you do if you become separated from the group on a dive?”

This is probably one of the rules that everybody should know and because of that I think it is taken for granted that people know it. In most dive training organisations we are taught that if you become separated from the dive group, you and the group should search for one minute, if you do not find each other after a minute, then surface where you should meet. Once you have regrouped on the surface, you can decide whether to continue your dive or end it.

As a PADI Instructor, I know that we teach this throughout our beginner courses right through to our professional levels. It’s also important to remind students and certified divers that dive with you about this “1 minute” rule in every briefing before taking people for a dive, just in case they forget what they have been taught in their training.

Here in Koh Tao, we are very lucky because of our calm waters, small-ish dive sites and abundance of dive boats on the water it is very hard to completely lose a diver… but it’s a lot easier to find someone that’s surfaced after a minute than someone who has swam off for 45minutes not knowing where they are going.

So remember look around for 1 minute then slowly ascend to the surface where you can then regroup and re-plan the dive.


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