Even the most experienced divers experience a unique thrill when diving in the Maldives. Diving in Maldives can be a memorable experience if all precautions are taken for a safe dive. More than 1000 dives are made daily in the Maldives, but the strong security and safety measures taken ensure that accidents are few and far in between.
Currents and Tide
No matter where you are diving, safety always enhances the enjoyment of your dive. An important factor to be considered for a successful dive is the “Strength” and “Direction” of the currents. The tide determines the strength and direction of the currents as well as visibility. Clear waters are brought into the atolls by the rising tide, while the ebbing tide takes away less clear waters. Ceaseless currents sweep the Maldivian archipelago. Caused by the monsoons, they are usually west to east during the southwest monsoon from May to November east to west during the Northeast monsoon from December to April. But changes in wind directions and tides can offset the influence of the oceanic currents. Strong currents make a dive livelier. Enjoy a dive with the emphasis on full safety!
Important Tips for Safety
- Check and recheck your and your buddy’s equipment.
- Never dive alone and always follow the buddy system procedures
- Listen attentively to the pre-dive briefing and follow all the instructions properly and carefully
- To avoid being swept off the dive point, start your descent without spending much time on the surface. It may help to empty your BCD before you jump in
- Try to stay as low as possible on the reef but without touching it. Avoid dragging your equipment on it
- Descend to the lower depths of the waters to avoid being swept by the current
- Swimming against a strong current should be absolutely avoided
- The protection of coral outcrops provides a diver with place for a rest or a good viewing point
- If necessary, hold on to dead corals only
- Avoid exceeding a depth of 30 meters. Deeper diving is banned by local dive regulations
- Avoid decompression stops in open water as you can be swept many kilometers away without being able to stop for a single instant
- Additionally safety can be ensured by making sure that all your dives are no-decompression dives
- Due to the crystal clear waters, visibility is usually good. Do not underestimate distance based on visibility
- Carry a flag or a surface balloon without fail, to signal in case of distress. This can also be used if you are unable to see your dive boat when you surface.
Dangerous Fish and Corals
Marine life seem attractive and apparently harmless from a distance. But, as you get nearer you realize that not all species are harmless. There are some species which are small to look at but extremely venomous. Some of them are too small or too well hidden and they pose a high threat to divers
Species like the Scorpionfish, which includes the Stonefish, quietly lie in wait for their prey. They have sharp spines which are associated with venom glands. When these spines come in contact with human skin, the fish injects a powerful neurotoxin. This results in immediate nausea followed by cardio respiratory insufficiency, sweating and fever. The effect of the sting can be reduced by soaking the affected area in hot water.
Even the coral reefs like the Yellow fire Coral are a bit dangerous. This coral species launches thousands of tiny poisonous darts upon contact. Wetsuits offer some protection, but the best protection is precaution. Avoid any contact with any of the creatures, even if they appear tiny and harmless. Any contact with creatures seen leaning against the corals and walking on reef tops should be avoided at all costs.