The Buddy Check
The final preparation before beginning the dive is the pre-dive buddy check. The buddy check provides an opportunity to identify any gear problems while still at the beach or boat deck where corrections can easily be made.
Divers learn various buddy check methods, so your buddy may check your equipment differently than how your instructor taught you. But regardless of the specific system used, make sure the following is verified:
- Valve knob is opened, and cylinder is full.
- 2nd stage and octopus operate correctly.
- The power inflator operates correctly.
- Weight belt is donned to allow release with the right hand, and the BCD does not interfere with the ability to ditch the belt.
- All straps and clips are fastened.
- Your buddy has not forgotten a mask, fins, or any other equipment required for the dive.
Reviewing Special Dive Procedures
As you've already learned, several options are available for alternate air sources, weight systems, and BCs. For this reason, it's important to review your equipment with your buddy to ensure your buddy knows how to operate it in the event of an emergency.
Alternate Air Source
Identify your alternate air source, and review the procedures to use in the event of an out-of-air emergency. The procedure you use depends on whether you have an octopus, integrated air source, or redundant scuba system.
Review the procedures for removing your weight system. If you have a weight integrated BCD, review the procedure for ditching those weights.
Make sure your buddy knows the location of your BCD's air dumps, as well as quick-release buckles to use in the event the BCD needs to be removed in an emergency.