Scuba Diving Hand Signals

As any scuba diver will tell you, there are quite a few scuba diving hand signals that are universally used.  When you share hundreds of dives with the same buddy you will create your own code of communication, but until that time comes you need to know some basic underwater communication signals that you’ll use to warn of a danger, to show how you feel while diving, to confirm the direction to take or to warn your buddy of the presence of an animal. There are more than 200 common diving signs and there is no hurry not know all of them but you at least need to know some like the back of your hand because that can actually save your life. We use thumbs up for “ascend”,  thumbs down is “descend”, and several different signals for “OK” depending on if you are above or below water.  We see a wide range of signals for the creatures we see underwater as well.  I have seen at least three different ones for “eel” alone!  When the briefing is given on Sea Experience dive boats, we are reminded of how to communicate with the crew before and after the dive and if a dive guide is going along, we are given a  rundown on how they will communicate with us as well.  Recently, I came across some hand signals I had never seen before.  One was the thumbs down pointing at the top of the other hand, this signal is “current depth” and a variation of the same signal but with the other hand being palm up meaning “greatest depth”.   Of the signals I see varying most often it is the air pressure signal.  The important thing to remember is that we need to speak the same language with our dive buddy.  We could be scuba diving with someone for the first time and have two very different ways of communicating underwater. Always do a pre-dive safety check and as part of that have a discussion with your buddy as to what hand signals you will be using.  The staff of Sea Experience wants everyone to enjoy their dives and to dive often!  Give us a call at 954-770-3483 for dive trip reservations and information on classes.

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