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Diver Communications

Communication means ' common understanding' and there are many ways for divers to communicate, both under and over the water.


There are many signals and variants of signals that divers need to understand and practice to promote that common understanding.

Attracting buddy attention

Attract your buddy's attention underwater can be difficult, especially if they are engrossed in something. Try the following:

  • Touching and grabbing.
  • Shouting into your regulator.
  • Banging your tank with a knife or stone or use a dedicated tank banger.
  • Clapping hands with one hand fisted.
  • Using your torch.
  • Banging stones together.
  • Air sirens (these devices attach to an air hose, usually on your stab jacket).

Hand signals

Once your buddy's attention is gained, communication is usually in the form of hand signals or writing on a slate. It is important to remember that hand signals must be clear, slow and deliberate. They should all be acknowledged to inform the sender that they are received ok. It is good practice to agree on any hand signals before the dive.




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Page last updated on October 16, 2007
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