Asian Diver Magazine
By Divers, For Divers
With articles drawn from the world’s best underwater journalists, photographers and academics specialising in the vast region of Asia, Asian Diver magazine was created for the serious diver who understands the challenging lure of the deep blue. Twenty years on, Asian Diver has become a brand recognised internationally for its penetrating and unique insights into the world’s richest dive regions. Featuring content that helps boost the industry, the magazine promotes continuing education and increases knowledge and awareness of the sport. Aimed at industry leaders that include dive agencies, equipment manufacturers, dive operators and especially those working on the ground – our intrepid instructors and dive leaders – the magazine strives to create a community committed to preserving and developing this well-loved sport the world over.
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STAY SAFE AGAINST...
DANGEROUS MARINE ANIMALS
The best tip is that if you do not know what it is, do not touch it, and this includes touching by accident, so keep your buoyancy skills fresh and be extra careful after diving for the first few times after a break as your skills may be rusty. Very rarely an angry animal may confront you, this is usually because you have entered its territory and it perceives you as a threat. The best thing to do is to move away in an unthreatening manner.
Most fish (including sharks) will not attack, as it is dangerous for them because they may become injured in an attack but they may posture at you, which may look alarming. Retreat slowly and put your back close to a reef. Any animal would be less likely to attack in case they hit the reef. Danger of this type is so rare it has only been recorded a few times.
Text Anne-Marie Kitchen-Wheeler
STAY SAFE AGAINST...
Fast drift diving is a type of diving in its own right and is the only way to visit many locations and is often the best way to visit sites where large numbers of sharks may be seen as they gather at current points at many famous locations including the German Channel in Palau and Fakarava Pass in South Polynesia. Drifting in a fast current can feel like flying and even without the marine life makes for exhilarating diving.
Sometimes, the current is very fast and becomes turbulent especially when the reefscape undulates or where currents mix. The most important advice is to listen to the dive briefing so that you know what to expect and how to handle the types of current experienced. Common advice is to stay close to the reef as the water closest to the reef moves more slowly. If you are close to the reef, it is possible to slow down by swimming into the current or to stop by hanging on.
Often, a reef hook is used as this avoids touching the reef (except the hook in point). It is really important to hook into the dead bedrock, not coral, which will break. A hook is only useful to stop in the same place for a short while. In very strong current, stopping can be very difficult and is not a recommended option. When the current is so strong so as to become uncontrollable, the best option is to end the dive as soon as possible. If making a safety stop would actually put you in danger, just ascend. It is recommended to always carry and use a surface marker buoy/safety sausage when making drift dives.
Follow the dive guide’s instruction on when it should be deployed. On some sites, the entire dive is made following a buoy or float, while during other dives, they are deployed as the diver makes their ascent to the safety stop. Remember that in some conditions, the buoy may drag you onto shallow reef or across a current if the wind is strong. Use of the surface buoy will also indicate your location to your support boat. Every diver should carry, know when and how to deploy a safety marker buoy if they dive in currents.
By Anne-Marie Kitchen-Wheeler