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Buddy diving is the use of the buddy system by scuba divers and is a set of safety procedures that improve divers' chances of avoiding or surviving accidents in or underwater by diving in a group of two or three divers. When using the buddy system, the group dives together and co-operate with each other, so that they can help or rescue each other in the event of an emergency.
In recreational diving, a pair of divers is the best combination in buddy diving; with threesomes, one of the divers can easily lose the attention of the other two. Groups with more than three divers are not using the buddy system. The system is likely to be effective in mitigating out-of-air emergencies, non-diving medical emergencies and entrapment in ropes or nets. When used with the buddy check it can help avoid the omission, misuse and failure of diving equipment.
The buddy system is the situation which occurs when two divers of similar interest and equal experience and ability share a dive, continuously monitoring each other throughout the entry, the dive and the exit, and remaining within such distance that they could render immediate assistance to each other if required.—B Halstead , Line dancing and the buddy system
With buddy diving, each of the divers is presumed to have a responsibility to the other. The "buddies" are expected to monitor each other, to stay close enough together to be able to help in an emergency, to behave safely and to follow the plan agreed by the group before the dive. When the system fails, it is generally because one of the divers does not fulfill his or her responsibilities as a buddy.
The two alternatives, solo diving and diving as an individual in a large group, have disadvantages when compared to the buddy system especially for the novice:
- Although solo diving is practiced by some divers in technical diving, it is only effective if the diver is totally self-sufficient. This usually entails a completely redundant gas supply, such as a pony bottle or an isolation manifold. Self-rescue is not possible in some cases, such as entrapment in ropes and nets and during non-diving medical emergencies.
- In group diving, especially in large groups, poor visibility or currents, weak or inexperienced individual divers can easily become detached from the group and lose the protection of stronger or experienced divers in the group. This is referred to as "resort-diver syndrome".
- ^ a b c Halstead, B (2000). "Line dancing and the buddy system. reprinted with permission from Dive Log 1999; 132(July): 52-54". South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society journal 30 (1). ISSN 0813-1988. OCLC 16986801. http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/5829. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
- ^ Sheck Exley (1977). Basic Cave Diving: A Blueprint for Survival. National Speleological Society Cave Diving Section. ISBN 9994663372.
- ^ Lo, RCY (2006). Personal and Social Dimensions of Risky Diving Behaviour. Honours Thesis. University of Melbourne. http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/7594. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
- ^ Caruso JL, Uguccioni DM, Ellis JE, Dovenbarger JA, Bennett PB (2000). "Buddy versus solo diving in fatal recreational diving accidents". Undersea Hyperb Med Abstract 27 (1 supplement). http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/1375. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
- ^ Halstead, B (1990). "On Your Own: The Buddy System Rebutted". Aquacorps (2): 18–21. http://www.cisatlantic.com/trimix/AQUAcorps/survive/nobuddy.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-05.