In scuba diving you will always get a device fitted in your mouth and nose that will help you with breathing, for this reason you cannot be able to talk to anyone around you hence the only thing you can use is hand signals.
The first frightening thought I had when I joined scuba diving was that I would lose communication from my friends and probably get lost or I may fail to understand what the signs meant.
On my second day of diving I actually misinterpreted a sign and moved in a different direction from the instructed, luckily it was not in a dangerous direction.
Hand signs are very Important in scuba diving, especially when you are doing it with your friends, there might be danger in one direction and in that case, whoever will be leading will have to give you a sign to change the direction.
Misinterpreting signs might land you into danger, it is then very important that you understand the meaning of every sign before you get into diving. It can be confusing sometimes differentiating these signs but don’t be afraid, I got you.
I am going to take you through the most important signs that will save your life, I will be telling you the message and which sign is used for it;
- 1 What is common scuba diving hand signals ??
- 1.1 1.Down sign
- 1.2 2.Slow down sign
- 1.3 3.Okay sign
- 1.4 4.Not okay sign
- 1.5 5.Up sign
- 1.6 6.Stop sign
- 1.7 7.Move in this direction sign
- 1.8 8.Look out sign
- 1.9 9.Level up sign
- 1.10 10.Come to this direction sign
- 1.11 11.low on air sign
- 1.12 12.Group up sign.
- 1.13 13.Out of air sign.
- 1.14 14.Leak sign.
- 1.15 15.Safety stop sign
- 1.16 16.Write down sign
- 1.17 17.Question sign.
What is common scuba diving hand signals ??
When the leader wants to tell you to dive deeper, they will turn their thump down, it is commonly known as a “thump-down” sign, it is commonly used when the diver want to dive deeper during the first step when you are still in shallower waters.
2.Slow down sign
If you are going too first and the leader wants to communicate to you to slow down, they will hold their hand flat and move it down slowly, it is a very important sign to know this is because you may be taken by the fun and end up swimming too first which may cause hyperventilation.
This is another very important sign to know as a diver, the instructor will join the thumb and the index finger to form a loop while the other three fingers remain extended in the direction of the loop. This is the very first sign you should know as a diver because it will demand you to take a very fast response to show if things are fine or not.
4.Not okay sign
It is a very important sign especially if there is a problem. The hand is moved from one side to another, if you have to communicate this sign to your buddies then you will need to point to them where the problem might be arising from so that they get to know which safer direction to take.
This is a sign to show the divers that they need to end the dive and move back to the top. This involves raising the thumbs up, is commonly referred to as the “thump-up” sign.
Is a sign that signifies you to stop, the instructor moves their flat palm outwards while facing up, just like traffic police will lift their hand to stop you.
7.Move in this direction sign
This is an important sign to tell you to change direction; the instructor uses a flattened finger to point it in the desired direction. The instructor can use all the five fingers or one of them.
8.Look out sign
This is a warning sign that is very important to know as a diver. It is shown when an instructor uses the index finger and the third finger to point at their eyes and point in the direction of the threat.
9.Level up sign
This is a sign to which tells you not to dive any deeper and remain at the current depth. It is shown by leveling the palm which is facing down and moving it from aside to side in a horizontal way.
10.Come to this direction sign
This is the signal that informs you to move to the direction of the instructor. It is usually shown by stretching a flat palm which is facing upwards and moving the fingers towards one self.
11.low on air sign
This is a sign that shows that you have reached the minimum air that is allocated for diving. This is a very important sign because it means that you will have to move up. The sign is shown by holding your fist that is closed against your chest.
12.Group up sign.
The sign is meant to inform you as divers to stay together. It is shown by placing the two index fingers in a parallel manner. This will help scattered diver to group up and diver together or closely.
13.Out of air sign.
This is the most important sign because you can have very serious problem if you run out of air and your buddies are not aware so that they can help you. It is shown by, moving your flattened palm across your throat. This is a sign that will need immediate up dive as you find an alternative breathing source.
Sometimes your tank might be leaking; this is noticed if you realize there are bubbles coming out. The sign is shown by, opening and closing your fingers several times faster, this means that the diver will have to move slowly up to the surface.
15.Safety stop sign
Safety stop communication is important for the instructor to communicate to you all as divers before you proceed. The sign is shown by putting three fingers over a flat hand; this is because the stop only takes three minutes at most.
16.Write down sign
Used when you are studying and you need to write a thing. It is shown by, demonstrating hand writing on a surface.
Put your index finger up in a way that resembles a question mark.