Why Scuba Divers Should Invest in Surface Markers

Every diver, whether novice or advanced, should know the importance of safety when scuba diving. Preparedness is imperative since some dives will not always go exactly as planned. At times like this, a safety device, such as a surface marker buoy or a dive flag, can make a huge difference.

Just why should you consider bringing surface markers in your dives?

Surface Marker Buoy (SMB)

Also referred to as safety sausage, a surface marker buoy (SMB) is a visible device that comes in handy to highlight the position of the dive group. Being underwater, seeing the rich marine life below and exploring the beauty of the coral reefs can divert your attention and you can end up being far from the boat. 

If you already have minimal air and the current is strong from where you ascended, your SMB will alert your companions of your location. Not having an SMB can be a problem since you might not be seen by the people on the boat, especially if dusk is setting in.

Conversely, if you are concerned about another device taking up much space, this is not an issue when it comes to a surface marker buoy. Apart from being inexpensive, it can be placed inside your BCD pocket and can be hooked on your tank or be attached to your jacket.

Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB)

Another type is a delayed surface marker buoy that is used when you are underwater. This device is helpful to let other divers on the surface know that you are either ascending or decompressing. While an SMB shows your location on the surface, a DSMB has several uses. 

It is useful as you ascent without the mooring line if you navigated incorrectly and lost the position of your boat. Moreover, it comes in handy if used in areas with heavy boat traffic and during drift dives.

Whether you are an experienced diver and familiar with the area or a beginner on your first few dives, investing in surface markers should be on your scuba diving list. 

These safety devices not only keep you visible to other divers and boats, it also saves time in case your diving did not go well as planned, say, the current has taken you farther away from where you should surface.


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