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this is not a thread about solo diving


imho
serious diving in the UK waters will eventuly lead to a situatoin where you are alone, most experianced divers i know accept this and continue there dive alone when seperated from there buddy, this condicendes everything we have been taught
knowing of this aventuality i have activley dived my second (its only a 25m bumble dive) solo to prepair myself for the eventuality of being at 55m without a budy

now we all know the rules, but to end up at 50m without a buddy and without adequate preperation is stupid in my opinion

all the traning agenceys disagree with this practace yet to me i needed to prepair for this eventuality, and a solo 20/30 m dive gives enough realisum in a controled enviromrnt

there will never be a safety option as good as a budy, i can fully understand why all traning agenceys requre budy diving, yet, we live in the uk, and unless you and your buddy are fully alike, you will loose each other eventually

i once found myself at 44m alone relativley inexperianced, 0 m viz and in total blackness, i shite myself, actualy thaught i was going to die, not to be recomended


question
what is your opinion of solo diving?
 

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I agree with you, Everyone should be able to get themselves out of the poo without any help. Fore warned is fore armed, IMO.  When you dive with a buddy, do you stay within arms reach like when you were learning ?, or do you keep an eye on each other from a distance that you can across if something goes wrong ?.  I'm not including entanglement because i've got different bad attitude about that.
 

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Hi

Being self sufficient and confident underwater is a mandatory skill in my opinion, but so are good buddy skills. You should never be further than a few feet from your buddy and bumping into them every now and again means your 'doing it right'.

Separation therefore only happens when one of you has a problem and in that case you must abort the dive and do any deco stops necessary. You must have the confidence necessary to complete that task.

I don't accept that you need to dive solo to 'practice' as you are just asking for trouble. Sods law says that its on your practice dive when you suddenly need a buddy.

Sort out the rules before you dive, descend together and ascend together, agree direction during the dive with good signals, swim next to each other and buy a decent light, preferably HID, which means you can find each other and signal to each other, should the viz deteriorate. Also, try swimming in a team of three which means separation is even less likely. You need to look after your buddy. He (or she) is your main redundancy system.  

Just my opinion

WL
 

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<font color='#000080'>I think it depends greatly on the experience of the diver, and the type of experience they have.

I dive solo from time to time, but dive independent twins and usually have a sidemount of air just in case. I see that as safer than diving on a single with a buddy. My buddy's strapped to my back this way.

To be honest, most of the divers I go in with aren't going to be a great use to me in the event of a problem. Then again, most of them are novices who haven't been trained to do that yet.

I think if you've got the right attitude, and have thought about it, you can safely dive solo. I would say that for me, a solo rig is likely to be different to a buddy diving rig. Especially at shallow depths, where a lot of divers think that a single is fine for pootling in Stoney at 22m.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>A slight tangent perhaps, but for those on the boards who are instuctors, often you are in the same situation as a solo diver anyway as your trainee buddy may be of very little use to you in a FUBAR situation other than for their air, and if you are operating with redudancy (as I believe everyone should anyway) you shouldn't need their air.
Chee-az
Steve
 

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Actually, not all organisations condemn solo diving. PADI's technical director made a statement a couple of years ago in which he said solo diving was acceptable under certain specific conditions (quoted in Diver mag) and SDI even have solo diving courses. http://www.scubadiving.com/training/instruction/solocert/
I'm not advocating solo diving but, personally, I believe that it will eventually be considered just another form of diving, like cave diving or wreck diving, with special training for the purpose. The training will need to be a LOT more advanced than SDI's though.
 

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Every diver should be able to function on their own under water once past the novice stage. All need to be able to resolve any foreseeable problem without going OTT and imagining the highly improbable. Wrecks and overhead environments obviously need special consideration.
A buddy should, IMHO be a parachute (excluding  the social side) no more. Hopefully something that never needs to be used but some thing that you do know how to use if you cannot resolve the situation yourself.
I do dive with buddies and take that responsibility seriously especially with my brother - the though of facing our Mum.....
but I find much is lost in ensuring the buddy is still where they should be, producing enough bubbles etc. I have even offered air to an OOA diver, eventually.

Confession time  - my first dive was solo and probably 80% of all dives subsequently have been also; both pleasure and work. Of these only one had the potential to be a tad terminal but you can breathe from an ABLJ between the deck of a wreck (bump your head a bit though!).

Buddies should be in the nice to have have category not an essential accessory.

 
 

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I'll play Devils advocate here,
what extra training is required, let someone know when you'll be back and where you are going. Get the appropriate kit, we carry that anyway.
What's so difficult about it, no really I'm being serious. A 20m bimble as a solo, how difficult can it be. Maybe a 40m wreck pen. is a bit more technical, but how many times does one diver get in to trouble and is rescued by his buddy. Recovered possibly, but rescued, how often really.

Instructors virtually are anyway everytime they dive. Buddy pairs should be self sufficient so are really just a pair of solo divers. Chances are if you are buddied up with a 'stranger' you'll be on your own if you hit trouble anyway, how many would risk life and limb for someone they hardly know?

This isnt a troll, I just dont see what all the fuss is about re solo diving.

Matt
 

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<font color='#000080'>Good to see you come out of the closet Richie (Well the solo diving closet anyway !!).

I generally dive with a couple of friends who are reasonably experienced and competent,  we usually agree that if we get seperated we will meet after the dive (We also agree a max dive time).

But as Ritchie can confirm I do give my buddies the option of using standard seperation procedure and in fact would insist on it with inexperienced divers.

Daz
 

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<font color='#000F22'>i feel safer on my own as i don't need to keep checking on my buddy, worrying where they are or if they're ok. i can concentrate on my own well being and enjoy my dive more.i dive manifolded twins so air doesn't really bother me, if you have an ooa situation at 40 m you've done something sadly wrong (imo). Even if you're with a buddy what's the chance of making the surface in one piece ?two dead divers instead of one ? this is MY opinion a lot of people won't agree with it but what the hell i know the risks if i don't come back it's my own fault.  
 

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Daz,
Is that standard procedure as in two fingers  
??
 

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<font color='#000080'>Ahhh  Richie,

Consider yourselves one of the choosen few who now qualify for my special buddy seperation procedure of 'two fingers'.

The list is short and distinguished  


Daz
 

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Hi all, some good  points, personally I dive "solo" even with a buddy as I believe strongly in self relience, I have dived solo on a number of occasions and as long as you let people know your intentions in my case I think this is ok, Wet lettuce, I must dissagree with your comment "that your buddy is your main redundancy system" AFAIC this could be a potentially dangerous assumption.
As Steve W said if you are an instructor you are essentially solo diving, I have dived with people who are only interested in staying in one place bashing metal for 50mins so you either stay and hold a torch or pootle off on your own, and don't get me started about diving with a serious photographer


The fact of the matter is that solo diving is not for everyone but some debate is needed on this subject, as loads of people do it even though they may not admit it, and for training agencies to say that the buddy system is the only way is out of date IMHO.

Safe diving,
Steve.

P.S. I have a cpoy of solo diving if anyone wants to borrow/buy it.
 

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<font color='#000080'>I'm with Markg on this one,
90% of my diving is solo, this started out of necessity- someone has to be on the boat! So, for me and my "surface-buddy" & vise versa, it has been the norm for 8yrs or so.
Occasionally two people are required to swing on the crow-bar- hence the 10% of buddy-dives.
Dive as safe and as often as you can,
                Terry
 

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Glad to see there are so many solo divers at YD, I must admit that I find solo diving a lot less stressful.  Although it is not for everyone unless you understand the risks, have the right rig for the job and completely confident in being self sufficient then leave well alone.
What scares me is when you see a buddy diver (single cylinder and octo for company) trying to go solo the only difference to his dive plan is that he has left his buddy at home.


Allan
 

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<font color='#000F22'>one of the best things is if it really goes tits up you won't have to listen to the "i told you it was dangerous" brigade
 

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When i told one of my dive mates that when we do the deeper stuff, the only time we see each other is if we need a hand breaking something off to lift he asked me if i was taking the p**s, i thought that was SOP. We all go down with seperate plans and each of us has a different goal when we get there.  We keep an eye out for each other but we don't hold hands.  If i get into a situation, i don't expect any help, obviously it is appreciated but i have to sort it myself, i can't rely on anyone else.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>I find that before you contemplate solo diving you want to have good experience as well as the appropiate equipment. You will want to know your equipment inside out and practise until everything is second nature.  Imagine any of the problems and try to resolve them by yourself. This is good practise for anyone, afterall I believe a buddy can very limited use in case of problems. I don't solo dive though when I'm in the water unless my buddy is my wife (whom we think alike) anyone else is as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike.
The main dive courses may find themselves avoiding the solo issue because of its complexity. I believe the vast market of diving are of inexperienced /novice /occasional divers where solo should be avoided.

 
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