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Abyss Scuba Diving
Can You Scuba Dive If You Can’t Swim?
You might think that non-swimmers would not consider scuba diving as an option. You’re in the water, surrounded by water, and you can’t swim. Is that a good idea?
Well, the fact is that scuba divers don’t actually swim as the fins helps move then through the water their BCD (jacket) keep neutrally buoyant while underwater and enables the diver to float at the surface. So the simple answer is YES, non-swimmer can scuba dive, but there are a number of issues that come into play and the practical, real-world answer is that they should not attempt the course.
Scuba divers must be confident in the water and most non-swimmer are not comfortable once their feet cannot touch firm ground. Unless divers feel comfortable in the water, they will not be able to learn to dive and are a risk to themselves.
To qualify as a open water diver (entry level scuba diver) or even to progress through the open water course the student divers must demonstrate that they can comfortably maintain themselves in water too deep in which to stand by completing a 10-minute swim, float or tread water without using any swim aids.
At some point before certification, the student diver must complete a 200-metre continuous surface swim or a 300-metre swim with mask, fns and snorkel. Most people can complete the 300 metre swim with mask, fins and snorkel and it is the lack of water confidence that is the major issue.
One of the other issues with people who are not comfortable in the water is that the lack of fundamental water skills tires them out very quickly. Breathing compressed air underwater, carrying heavy equipment and using mussels which are not use to working against the resistance of water will tire most people when they learn to dive. For non-swimmers this problem is magnified many times.
If you are a non-swimmer it is not a good idea to begin a open water diver course and the first step should be for them to go our and build their confidence in the water. Ensure wou can snorkel 300m with mask, snorkel and fins along with being able to float for 10 minutes.