Using the buddy system while diving

Beginning divers often fail to realize that unforeseen circumstances can lead to emergencies while diving. In fact, many beginners learn how to dive and believe themselves impervious to harm underwater. But, experienced divers can immediately relate to the value of diving with others. Doing so can ensure their safety from factors that are largely out of their control. In this article, you'll learn about the buddy system of diving. We'll explain how the buddy system works, reasons you should consider using the buddy system and ultimately, how to find someone to join you on your diving excursions.

How the buddy system works

Using the buddy system, divers go underwater in pairs or threesomes. While scuba diving, the divers stick together and remain alert to the surroundings that can impact any member of the buddy team. While many experienced divers like to use threesomes for the buddy system, diving experts suggest that pairs are more effective. In a threesome, one of the divers can easily be forgotten by the other two. While it sounds counterintuitive, it happens often because the attention of the divers is spread too thin.

While diving in a pair, each diver watches for anything that may impact the safety of the other diver. This can include tanks running out of air, one diver getting snagged on something, or predatory species that can be dangerous to the divers.

Reasons to use the buddy system

Some divers claim that using a buddy system while diving can actually present more dangers than diving solo. The theory is that certain divers are extremely capable underwater and can be dragged into dangerous situations by less-capable divers. However, most circumstances and events that can potentially endanger the divers are unexpected. They're often impossible to predict. Even pro divers find themselves in situations that can be life-threatening. While an experienced diver can avoid more dangers than a less-capable diver, even having a beginner along for the swim can provide help when required.

The buddy system requires that each diver watch out for the other and cooperates with them. They each play a critical role in the survival of the other diver. Sometimes, this means providing aid when one member of the team is entangled in a net or rope. Other times, it may mean sharing the air in your tank when the other diver's air is depleted (due to negligence or an accident). Often, emergencies happen that are impossible to predict. This can include an encounter with sharks, improper handling of a diving knife, or misreading a compass while diving in an environment with limited visibility.

Finding a quality diving buddy

A good diving buddy is well-trained, alert and usually avoids taking unnecessary risks underwater. If one member of the team is poorly-trained, makes bad decisions, or takes risks, the safety of both members is in jeopardy. You can find diving buddies in your area by using a website such as There are several diving buddy websites that will match you with other divers according to your preferences, skill, location and other factors. The key is to be proactive in finding a good diving partner for your underwater scuba adventures. Doing so can ensure a safe diving experience.