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What is a predive briefing for adaptive diving?

One of the most important protocols of adaptive diving is the predive briefing. The predive briefing includes all members of the dive team and should take place before you arrive at the dive site. It is important for everyone to discuss and review all relevant information and procedures, and how the team will coordinate their efforts from the moment the diver begins gearing up to the moment the team returns to the poolside, shoreline or dive boat. The dive team leader and the adaptive diver are responsible for directing the conversation and making sure everyone agrees. A good and effective briefing must include the following actions:
  • review any conditions on the adaptive diver certification card
  • review relevant medical conditions that relate to abilities, medical aids and devices used, the list of scuba skills that require assistance and how to render assistance
  • review which team members will have primary responsibility to provide assistance with which scuba skills
  • review with the team who, when, where and how transfers on and off the dive boat and in and out of the water will take place
  • review any special hand signals and other methods for communicating underwater
  • review and confirm that all adaptive dive gear is available and ready for the dive
  • review with the diver any weather, boating or underwater environmental conditions (such as currents) that may affect the diver’s ability to dive safely and plan accordingly
  • review any special precautions that should be observed in view of the diver’s medical impairments
Since there is a considerable amount of information to review during the predive briefing, use the Adaptive Diver Profile Slate for every dive. It will serve as a checklist to help organize and guide the briefing and to ensure that everything is covered. This is similar to the commercial airline pilot who is required to use a checklist each and every time he or she flies, regardless of his or her experience or seniority.

At the conclusion of the briefing, the last question is: Is everyone comfortable and in total agreement with the dive plan as discussed during the briefing? If the answer is no, or you do not agree with any aspect of the dive plan, then further discussion must occur until there is complete agreement among the entire dive team. In the unlikely event that all divers are not in complete agreement, the matter must be reviewed by the event leader to decide how to best proceed with the dive.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.