Bouyancy Control: The Basics of Using Your Floating Device

Scuba diving makes it possible for you to explore marine life underwater and get close to reefs for a clearer view of the beauty of underwater creatures you will not normally see unless you are merely inches away from them. One of the skills needed to achieve this is through buoyancy control.

There are buoyancy states that need to be done by the diver, namely:

  • Negative buoyancy - important when you have to stay or descend on the seabed
  • Neutral buoyancy - when you need to stay in a particular depth without exerting much effort
  • Positive buoyancy - if you need to ascend and stay afloat

A Buoyancy Control Device (BCD) is an integral part of scuba diving. Depending on its make and design, it is an inflatable device with a bladder that can be adjusted depending on the buoyancy you need.

To maintain the buoyancy you want, it’s essential to mind your weight underwater. The heavier you are, the lesser you want to inflate your BC. If you want to achieve the opposite, you need to deflate your BC to control your buoyancy.

ow to Use Your BCD

As a beginner, your BCD might look complicated and technical for you. However, this is basically an important device you need to stay safe and maximize your scuba diving experience.

At the surface of the water, you need to inflate your BCD with air, using the blue button to float without struggling. Once you are ready to descend, simply deflate it by using the black button. It is important to just do so by tapping it slowly and not continuously to achieve to lose the right amount of air. Doing so abruptly can send you down faster that can result to you hitting the reef and inflating your BC without proper control can send you back up on the surface.

Manually inflating your BC in situations when the hose is cut or the mechanism fails. Simply blow air onto your BC and use the black button to deflate it by tapping on the button slowly for the water pressure to release the right amount of air and you can sink slowly.

Most BCDs have D-rings to make it easy to attach accessories like signaling devices. It also comes in different designs like the back inflates where it inflation bladder is at the back or the jacket-type where it is wrapped around your body.

Using your floating device is relatively easy so long as you know the right way to inflate and deflate it.


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