Scuba diving in currents can seem quite intimidating, but it can also be one of the best things you ever experience. It is also important to know how to dive in currents in case you are ever caught under the water in a current that you didn't expect.
Currents often change the number and type of fish that you see underwater. However, diving safely in currents requires a certain amount of experience in diving. So, before you get started, you need to be sure that you're physically fit and fully-prepared to prevent any accidents from happening.
How to Scuba Dive in Currents?
1. Before getting in the water, look at the pattern of the current. If you're diving in unfamiliar waters, be sure to ask an experienced diver or local fisherman who is familiar with the area.
2. Once you've familiarized yourself with the water, it's time to get in. Once you're in, you should try and descend as fast as possible so the current doesn't sweep you away from the dive site. Often, you will use a line to descend to a dive site where there are strong currents. This gives you something to hold on to which helps keep the dive group together. Once you get down to the bottom, the current will be milder and you can start exploring.
3. When there is a strong current at a dive site, you will usually swim with the current, which actually makes the dive easier than normal because you don't have to do any work - the water just takes you. This is much easier than swimming against the current.
4. To ascend after the dive, you will want to return to the line and use it to get back up to the boat. If you don't use the line, you will ascend and be a long way from the boat, which could be dangerous.
Important Safety Tips for Scuba Diving in Currents
First of all, you should only attempt to dive in currents if you have some scuba diving experience. As a minimum, you should have your PADI Open Water SCUBA certification. This course will teach you all the basic skills and knowledge you need to dive safely. You can take this course in any diving centre. Ideally, you will have a little more education and have completed the Advanced Open Water course which gives you even more experience in the water.
If you don't have much experience, always go diving in currents with a certified dive instructor or a more experienced diver than you.
Never swim against a strong current. This will cause fatigue faster and may lead to some accidents. Study the tide table and keep an eye on the time to prevent yourself from getting surprised from a sudden increase in the current's speed.
Be wary of rip tides or rip currents, which are strong channels of water that flow away from the shoreline. If ever you do get caught in one; do not panic! Swim parallel to the shoreline until you get out of it.