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Ontario Underwater Council

Mission: to promote the sport of scuba diving in Ontario through safety, advocacy,
cultural & environmental awareness
, self-governance.....and fun!

OUC Safe Diving Practices

Risk management is the process of identifying and analyzing the risk factors involved in our activity. It is the proactive steps that we take to mitigate those risks and to ensure avoidable accidents are being prevented.

All of us are responsible for managing risk within and outside the OUC. All divers have an important role in ensuring we perform our diving in a proactive manner. We must always ensure that safety is top of mind.

 OUC's policy on Solo Scuba Diving can be downloaded as a PDF document.

Recommended Safe Diving Practices

OUC's Recommended Practices for Clubs can be downloaded as a PDF document..
  1. All confined and open water scuba diving activities should adhere to the Buddy System. Buddy Teams should consist of 2 divers (in water and on scuba) except in those circumstances where a Buddy Team of 3 divers becomes necessary. No one should dive alone.

  2. Skin and snorkel diving activities should also adhere to the Buddy System. No one should dive alone.

  3. First Aid and Medical Oxygen (O2) should be on-site and in a ready-to-use state at all times during diving activities.

  4. Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)s should be on-site where possible.

  5. Certified Safety Diver/s should be present and ready to respond during open water diving activities.

All Divers should:
  1. maintain good mental and physical fitness for diving.

  2. avoid being under the influence of alcohol or dangerous drugs when diving.

  3. keep proficient in diving skills, striving to increase them through continuing education and reviewing them in controlled conditions after a period of diving inactivity.

  4. be familiar with their dive sites. If not, obtain a formal diving orientation from a knowledgeable, local source.

  5. if diving conditions are worse than those in which the diver is experienced, postpone diving or select an alternate site with better conditions.

  6. engage only in diving activities consistent with the training and experience.

  7. do not engage in cave or technical diving unless specifically trained to do so.

  8. use complete, well-maintained, reliable equipment with which the diver is familiar; and inspect it for correct fit and function prior to each dive.

  9. deny use of their equipment to uncertified divers.

  10. always have a buoyancy control device and submersible pressure gauge when scuba diving.

  11. recognize the desirability of an alternate air source and a low-pressure buoyancy control inflation system.

  12. listen carefully to dive briefings and directions and respect the advice of those supervising the diving activities.

  13. Recognize that additional training is recommended for participation in specialty diving activities, in other geographic areas and after periods of inactivity that exceed six months.

  14. adhere to the buddy system throughout every dive.

  15. Plan dives - including communications, procedures for reuniting in case of separation and emergency procedures - with their buddy.

  16. be proficient in dive table usage.

  17. make all dives no decompression dives and allow a margin of safety.

  18. have a means to monitor depth and time underwater.

  19. limit maximum depth to their level of training and experience.

  20. ascend at a rate of not more than 18 metres/60 feet per minute.

  21. be a SAFE diver - Slowly Ascend From Every dive.

  22. make a safety stop as an added precaution, usually at 5 metres/15 feet for three minutes or longer.

  23. maintain proper buoyancy. Adjust weighting at the surface for neutral buoyancy with no air in the buoyancy control device. Maintain neutral buoyancy while underwater. Be buoyant for surface swimming and resting. Have weights clear for easy removal, and establish buoyancy when in distress while diving.

  24. breathe properly for diving. Never breath-hold or skip-breathe when breathing compressed air, and avoid excessive hyperventilation when breath-hold diving.

  25. avoid overexertion while in and underwater and dive within their limitations.

  26. use a boat, float or other surface support station, whenever feasible.

  27. know and obey local dive laws and regulations, including fish and game and dive flag laws.

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