5 CRUCIAL TIPS FOR SAFE SPEARFISHING
Spearfishing is an extreme sport. It involves stalking and shooting fish underwater using a speargun. This is often done while free diving and with no air tanks. Having said that, this adventurous sport can pose many hazards. So, it’s important that you’re physically and mentally prepared before you take a plunge and shoot underwater. To fully prepare you for this activity, here are five crucial tips for safe spearfishing.
LEARN THE WAVES, TIDES AND CURRENTS
Even the best divers struggle against strong ocean currents. Wave actions can make spearfishing difficult and dangerous, especially waves breaking onto rocks.
To avoid and survive currents, get local knowledge of where you intend to spearfish. If it’s hard to swim back because of the current, swim perpendicular to the waves. Do this until the current weakens enough.
Tides can also affect the performance of divers. Make sure to check the tide before you enter the water. Knowing which direction it flows will allow you to plan on where to dive and what time.
USE A DIVE FLAG
Using a dive flag can save you from injury and danger. Dive flags let boaters and other people on the surface know you’re underneath or nearby the water. A dive flag also means that boaters need to reduce boat speed. Being hit by a boat is one of the greatest dangers that spearfishos face. So, always bring a dive flag with you to enjoy a day of safe spearfishing.
WATCH OUT FOR SHARKS
One of the dangers of spearfishing is an encounter with sharks. To fully enjoy safe spearfishing, steer clear from sharks. Here are important tips to follow:
• It’s common knowledge that blood will attract a nearby shark, and so do vibrations of a wounded fish even from miles away.
• Don’t attach the fish to your body. Use a small float boat to store your fish instead.
• In high-risk situations such as in blue water, dive in groups.
• Never shoot sharks, unless you want to make them angry. In a close encounter with a shark, prodding with your spear will scare them off.
BE CAREFUL OF WATER BLACKOUT
Another freediving-specific risk is a shallow water blackout. It’s when a diver passes out on the surface after holding his/her breath for too long. Hyperventilation is a big factor to a water blackout. When you experience hyperventilation before diving, your body is flushed off of carbon dioxide and delays the need to breathe.
When you’re diving shallow, it’s easier to hold your breath. And with only a couple of kicks, you’re back to the surface. Do note that when you dive 20 metres or more, things are very different. Never dive deeper than you can handle, unless you’re physically prepared and trained for it.
BRING A BUDDY
Diving with a group or with a buddy not only makes it more fun but a lot safer for you and everyone else. Diving with a friend means someone can easily recognise early warning signs in you and can give help right away. Things to look out for are uncoordinated swimming or blowing of air out.
Most blackouts happen on the surface. This happens after the first breath, so don’t take your eyes off your diving mate until you’re sure he/she is breathing normally. If a blackout happens, support them at the surface by making sure the face is out of the water. Encourage your friend to start breathing. If breathing doesn’t come back, call for assistance and practice immediate first aid.
Despite the risks and dangers, spearfishing is a very fun and safe sport. The ocean can be very unpredictable, so you need to manage the risks carefully and sensibly. To fully enjoy spearfishing, make it safe spearfishing. You can do this by preparing physically and mentally. There are many freediving courses available to equip you with what you need to learn. Knowing the right gear and equipment is also important as well as knowing the correct safety measures. Whether you enjoy spearfishing alone or with a group of friends, just remember to be safe because no fish is worth risking a life.
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