The most important pre-dive safety activity is to perform a Buddy Check. This is a Pre-Dive Safety check that should be performed by every diver no matter what their level of diving proficiency. To perform this check, each diver and his/her buddy inspect each others’ scuba equipment before descending on a dive. The Buddy Check ensures that your equipment is working properly. It allows you familiarizes yourself with your buddy’s equipment should you need to assist or receive assistance from him/her.
All divers should perform the pre-dive safety check before each and every dive to decrease the chances of having a scuba diving accident or incident. It is never a good idea to skip the pre-dive safety check, even though many divers do just that! If you are renting your scuba equipment , you cannot be 100% sure that is was set up properly unless you inspect it yourself. Again, each diver should always inspect his own gear and perform a buddy check before each descent.
PADI’s use the mnemonic “BWRAF” to make it easier to remember the components of the pre-dive check.
BWRAF stands for:
- BCD. Check your BCD. Make sure that it is properly adjusted, in good operational use, and that the low pressure inflator connection is tight. Also, make sure that your tank is adjusted properly so that you are safe and comfortable throughout your dive as well.
- WEIGHTS. Check your Weights. The belt should be already set up with an ease of access for right hand release. Ensure that you are not over-weighing yourself and that your quick release is easily accessible should you need to quickly dump the weights.
- RELEASES. Check your buddy’s Releases. This is of utmost importance for the safety of your buddy. Know where the releases are, and how they work. Go so far as to ensure that you can find them with your eyes closed; you need to find these in an instant should something go wrong.
- AIR. Check your Air. Make sure that your tank is completely filled with air and make sure that you have enough for the dive you’ve planned. Make sure that the valves are open and that the regulators are fully functional. While checking your own air, also make sure you know where your buddy’s octopus is and how to use it.
- FRIEND. Check again. Double check yourself and your buddy one more time. Give each other a good look-over from head to foot and check for anything missing, damaged, or in the way.
PADI uses a mnemonic to help divers remember the pre-dive check list BWRAF: Begin With Review And Friend. Divers have also come up with several different mnemonics to help them remember. Here are some examples:
- Beans With Rice And Fish
- Bruce Willis Ruins All Films
- Breathing Water Really Ain’t Fun
- Big White Rabbits Are Fluffy
- Because We Really Are Friends
- Blonde Women Really Are Fun
- Burgers With Relish And Fries
- Bunnies Will Run Away Fast
- Be Willing Ready And Fun