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Must I be a good and strong swimmer to become a diver?
Not necessarily. All that is required is to be a reasonably competent swimmer, comfortable and relaxed in the water. Certification requirements are a non-stop 200 metre swim (with no time or specific stroke requirement) and also 10 minutes of treading water.

Is Scuba Diving Expensive?
Learning to scuba dive is generally the most expensive part. You need to pay to get scuba certified, and buy relevant diving gear. To get started you need to participate in the PADI Open Water Diving Course. PADI’s Open Water course gives you full certification and is the most popular diving course in the world. Dive equipment prices will vary depending on brands, but on average should cost you approximately £700 – £1000.

Do I need to have a dive computer?
Yes, this is a must for all scuba divers. Dive computers are an essential part of all diving equipment. There are many different manufacturers of dive computers. Ocean divers recommend www.suunto.com.

Do I need to have a Surface Marker Buoy (SMB)?
All divers need to dive with an SMB as per the Chamber of Diving and Watersports (CDWS) guidelines.

How long does a cylinder of air last?
Unfortunately there is no simple answer to this question and will vary for every single diver. People breathe at different rates. Also diving at depth will increase air consumption significantly. Furthermore, there are a variety of different sized cylinders. In short it depends on various factors. This is why a diver has a gauge to tell them how much air they still have at all times. Generally, a diver’s air consumption improves with experience. A novice diver for example, will commonly consume more air due to anxiety and excitement. As your diving experience increases, you will learn to control your breathing and help improve your air consumption. Not all divers are the same and likewise different people consume more air than others.

How old do you have to be to get certified?
From the age of 8 a PADI ‘Bubble Maker’ course can be attained. To become a PADI Certified Junior Open Water Scuba Diver, it is required that you are at least 10 years old. This certification requires diving to be made with a certified parent, guardian or PADI Professional at no greater than a depth of 12 metres. Ten to 14 year olds must dive with a certified adult. Junior PADI Certification can be upgraded to a regular Open Water Diver Certification but only at the age of 15.

Is it hard to learn to scuba dive?
Scuba diving is one of the most enjoyable and easy to learn leisure pursuits. Whilst being motionless enjoying underwater wonders, you are also engaged in three basic skills – floating, kicking and breathing. The basic PADI Open Water certification is conducted over five days. Three days of theory and swimming pool skills and two days allocated for four open water dives. Becoming proficient at using your equipment, developing your understanding of scuba concepts and learning safety procedures are the key requirements learning how to scuba dive.

Is scuba diving dangerous?
Yes, if not carried out carefully with all your educational safety practices being adopted at all times throughout every dive. In fact, statistics do indicate that recreational scuba diving is as safe as simple swimming. There are many potential hazards associated with scuba diving, but provided you follow your scuba certification training rigidly scuba diving can be as safe as driving a car. As long as you follow the rules and use common sense, scuba is by and large safe.

Is there any special scuba equipment I need?
Like snorkelling you will require a mask, snorkel and fins. The scuba divers equipment will also consist of an air cylinder containing compressed breathing air, a Buoyancy Compensator Device (BCD) which is a jacket to help you float on the surface or to maintain your buoyancy underwater. A regulator will also be required which will help you breathe throughout your dive. Wetsuits are also required to keep you warm when diving in cold waters.

Do you get any pains when diving at depth?
Your ears will hurt the deeper you go as water pressure pushes in on your ear drum. During your Open Water PADI Course, you will learn how to prevent this by using a simple technique which helps to ease the pain pressure. This procedure called ‘equalisation’ will help equalise / balance your ears to the surrounding pressure.

What is put in the scuba tank that we breathe?
Recreational divers breathe air (not oxygen) which is filtered to remove any impurities.

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