18 Guidelines for Diving During the Pandemic
To reduce the risk of disease transmission during the COVID-19 pandemic, Aquatic Adventures has adopted the following practices based upon recommendations from the Divers Alter Network (DAN) and the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). By diving with Aquatic Adventures, you agree to follow these guidelines as means of helping us protect our customers and staff.
- Do not come to a dive site if you are sick, have a fever or have any symptoms associated with coronavirus.
- Do not bring friends or family members to a dive site. Instructors and divemasters will ask anyone not on their dive roster to immediately leave the area. Students under the age of 16 can have a parent or guardian accompany them when at the pool or shore diving provided the parent or guardian stays in their car or keeps 25 or more feet away from divers. Children under the age of 16 are not allowed on boats during the pandemic unless a parent has paid to dive with them.
- Do not touch anyone else’s equipment. Use hand sanitizer before boarding a boat or touching your equipment. Reapply hand sanitizer regularly, but especially after coughing, sneezing, using the restroom or exiting the water.
- Wear a medical mask at a dive site or on a boat whenever you are out of the water. If you do not have a medical mask on, have your scuba mask on and your regulator in your mouth. If this is not feasible, such as when donning a dry suit, attempt to stay 12 feet from other divers.
- Don your exposure suit on the dock before boarding a boat. Bring enough water with you to avoid overheating during the drive to the dive site.
- Use your own mask and snorkel. Aquatic Adventures will not rent these items during the pandemic, and we will not take responsibility for disinfecting these items.
- Do not share defog. Each diver must have their own defog to avoid the risk of disease transmission. Rinse your mask before entering the water by using bottled water or water from another source you know has not been compromised.
- Do not spit into your masks or into the water. It is unclear whether the virus can be transmitted in these ways, so DAN recommends using tissues and defog.
- All regulators and BCDs used by students during a training class will be disinfected prior to training and stored in sealed containers. A staff member will distribute these items at the dive site or at the dive center. Once you take possession of these items, you are assuming responsibility for keeping these items disinfected while you are using them.
- Staff members must have clean hands when distributing disinfected equipment. Do not touch a disinfected regulator or BCD without clean hands.
- Avoid touching your tank valve opening or the regulator inlet prior to attaching your regulator to prevent contamination between the tank and regulator.
- Test your alternate air source by pressing the purge button rather than by breathing from the second stage. This is to protect anyone who may need to use your alternate in an out-of-air emergency. Use extra vigilance in avoiding an out-of-air situation as breathing from someone else’s air source could pose a health risk to you.
- Use visual buddy checks with self-demonstration and verbal confirmation only. Do not touch your buddy or your buddy’s equipment.
- Because there is a risk of recontamination when a mouthpiece is changed, not to change the mouthpiece on a disinfected regulator. If a mouthpiece goes bad during training, ask your instructor for a new disinfected regulator. If your mouthpiece must be changed, disinfect your regulator again before using it.
- Use the low-pressure inflator on your BCD rather than the oral inflator whenever possible. Do not put your mouth on your BCD inflator to test it.
- Keep your regulator in your mouth immediately prior to, during and immediately after the dive to avoid disease transmission. Replace the regulator with your medical mask after exiting the water. We recommend keeping your medical mask in a zip lock bag while you are diving.
- Do not allow your regulator to float in the water. If you must remove your regulator to talk above water, keep your distance from other divers and hold the mouthpiece above the waterline.
- Respect distancing guidelines whenever possible. A good rule of thumb is 6 feet when both divers are wearing a medical mask and 12 feet when your mask is off and you are not breathing from your regulator.
Please note that failure to follow these practices, just as failing to follow any other safe diving practice, could result in permanent expulsion from diving with Aquatic Adventures. If you are removed from a class or charter due to behavior that compromises someone’s safety, no refunds of any fees will be granted.
Aquatic Adventures Management