Nick Gholkar is passionate about scuba diving, and has earned his NAUI and PADI certifications. He has had the good fortune of traveling to Bora Bora, Turks and Caicos, Yap and other places known for good dives. He loves getting the chance to share his knowledge of the sport with new divers. Like any sport, safety is essential in scuba diving. Here are some key safety tips for new divers from Nick Gholkar:
Don’t dive alone
A scuba diver should only head out on dives with someone who has training and a similar skill level. Even the most experienced scuba divers may encounter dangerous situations that require the help of another person. Both parties should know how to handle such situations, and should learn basic first aid and CPR. Nick Gholkar explains that in some instances it may become necessary for a diver to head out alone; for example, when they are photographing or videotaping the views underwater. However, for the most part it is advisable to go out with one or two other people. Those who plan on diving alone can participate in solo diver courses to ensure that they know how to stay safe without a buddy accompanying them.
Don’t hold your breath
Nick Gholkar explains that many new divers find themselves holding their breath as they head down under the water. This is a dangerous habit, and is one that should be avoided. When a person refrains from exhaling as they head underwater, they can harm the alveoli in their lungs, which can lead to lung problems or even death. Scuba divers should breathe normally in order to avoid injuries that stem from lung over-expansion. Understanding how scuba diving impacts the body is a necessary part of participating in this unique sport.
Don’t ascend faster than your smallest exhaled bubbles
When a person begins to ascend, Nick Gholkar explains that it’s important to do so slowly, so as to thoroughly rid the body of unwanted nitrogen that has gathered in the bloodstream and body tissues. Failure to do so can result in sickness, injury and even death. Instead of rushing up to the top, the diver should simply enjoy the view as they head up. Beautiful creatures live in shallow water and are often overlooked as a person is on their way down, so the slow journey up is the perfect chance for a person to observe these creatures.
Nick Gholkar Reviews the Importance of Sticking to a Plan When Diving
Nick Gholkar emphasizes the importance of planning the dive in advance and then sticking to the plan. A person may get caught up in examining a particular type of fish or plant, which puts them at risk of running out of air or having issues with residual nitrogen after the journey is complete. Regardless of how interesting the view is, the person should come up when they originally planned to do so. A person who embarks with a captain or divemaster should follow this person’s cues at all times. Failure to do so could prove fatal. Other important tips for new divers include:
Don’t go too deep
For newbies, Nick Gholkar explains that shallow dives are the safest bet. The individual will be able to stay underwater for longer, and will see just as many beautiful sights as they would should they have ventured further. Shallow dives are more manageable when a person is getting comfortable with the sport. As a general rule, recreational divers should not venture further than 130 feet.
Always set out with equipment that is well maintained
Prior to diving, an authorized technician should take a look at the person’s diving equipment. A person’s equipment can become a matter of life or death during scuba diving, which means that even seemingly small problems can become disastrous. The equipment is essentially life support equipment, and divers should care for it properly.
Be mindful of the environment
Scuba diving is all about taking in the views underwater and appreciating the animal and plant life that exists down there. However, many of these creatures are fragile. For example, one kick of a fin can destroy coral that has taken hundreds of years to develop. In order to enjoy a dive without doing harm to the environment, a person should remain conscious of their body and their placement in the water at all times. This means remaining aware of where feet are, as well as taking note of any dangling equipment that might get entangled in objects found underwater.
Nick Gholkar encourages new scuba divers to log their excursions after they’re done. This includes listing where they went, what they saw and when they did it. They should also write down anything neat or unusual that happened on the trek, as well as what equipment they used and how much weight they wore. Not only does this help keep each experience fresh in that diver’s mind, but it also allows them to prepare for future dives accordingly.
“Scuba diving is an invigorating and eye-opening pastime, but a person must take care to obey the rules and guidelines in order to stay safe. Proper training is essential, and the diver must always maintain their equipment. Unlike in other sports, when a piece of equipment malfunctions, it can put that person’s life at risk. It is certainly worth the few minutes it takes to get the tools inspected before setting out on a dive. I highly encourage new scuba divers to learn all they can about the sport before they embark on their first expedition,” states Nick Gholkar.
Nick Gholkar is passionate about the field of accounting, and hopes to pursue a career in private equity one day, specifically in mergers and acquisitions. Though Gholkar is fully focused on his career, he is also passionate about sports. He enjoys watching some of his favorite pro sports teams complete; this includes the Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals. He regularly plays sports himself, and is a regular fixture on local golf courses. He has played golf since the tender age of 13. He also has his PADI and NAUi certifications for scuba diving.