- A group of certified divers gathered for a fun shore dive.
- One diver was using brand-new gear.
- Having omitted the buddy check, the diver could not inflate her BCD just before entering the water.
A group of divers were gearing up for a beach dive in Hawaii. As they entered the water and were waist deep, one diver casually mentioned “my BCD won’t inflate.” Another diver turned and had them give it a try when they heard a hissing noise. The power inflator was disconnected from the BCD at the elbow. This was a brand new BCD right out of the bag that day. The elbow flange needed to be screwed on the inflator hose to the BCD. This would have been noticeable on shore during the predive buddy check.
Predive buddy checks are important and should not be omitted, no matter the skill level of the diver. Had this not been noticeable on the surface and the diver had tried to descend, this incident could have ended very differently.
Always check your own gear and your buddy’s gear prior to entering the water, regardless if the gear is brand new or your level of skill. Every training agency teaches the predive check one way or another during open water courses. No matter which way of checking or which mnemonic you might have memorized, keep in mind that it doesn’t take longer than a minute and can prevent serious incidents.