Dive Tips

Scuba Dive Training worldwide with Pete Bucknell

8/ Ascent

As always, breath normally
  • never hold your breath.
  • keep your air passage open by keeping it in use

Use the “5 Point Ascent”:
  • Signal: thumbs up, or ‘wait’ signal (wait for thumbs up reply)
  • Time? Check your gas, bottom time and remaining dive time
  • Elevate: inflator hose elevated (ready to let air out) right hand elevated
  • Look up: boats, other divers
  • Ascend, very slowly kick to the safety stop depth, vent BC air as needed
  • Rotate as you ascend, aware of your situation
    • On the surface, immediately inflate your BCD
    • Be prepared to dump weights in an emergency

Other reminders:
  • Ascend slowly, on a line if available
  • Ascent rates:
    • From safety stop to surface: 6 seconds per foot
    • From 60 feet (20m) : 2 seconds per foot
    • Below 60 feet 1 second per foot

  • Use an anchor line to measure each foot (meter)
  • Allow nitrogen in your system to diffuse without becoming large bubbles
  • Watch your computer for ascent speed warnings

Use the anchor line in a loose grip while ascending
  • if none available, use visual references and your buddy (and go even slower )
  • wait below other divers on the line, or find an open position above
  • be very aware of other dives in the safety stop zone, keep still (it can get crowded )

Use your deflator valve early and often
  • let that expanded air out of your BC in small amounts
  • hold the inflator up high
  • make sure you know which button is which (don’t inflate!)
  • keep firm control of buoyancy, near neutral at all times

Look up
  • listen for propellors, wait for them to pass
  • look for other divers above, especially if on an ascent line

Check your tank pressure: if you are low, look for alternate air sources
- Don’t bolt to the surface if you are low on air
- Share air with another diver if you are low on air
- It’s better to share air and keep some reserve in your tank than to empty your tank

Safety stop: always recommended
    -be conservative, 3 minutes is the minimum
- why not do a 5 minute stop? (Read more about
Safety Stops)