How to Give a Great Dive Briefing
As a PADI Divemaster, one of your key roles is to guide certified divers and show them the wonders of the underwater world.
During your Divemaster course, you will practice numerous times giving dive briefings, as well as listen in on the briefings of our experienced staff.
Let’s have a look today at the 10 points of a good dive briefing and how to make the most of it!
- Dive site name: this one is pretty obvious, but if there is a little anecdote or story behind it make sure to mention it!
- Site description: here we want to discuss topography, maximum depth and dive time, any hazards or difficulties of the dive site. If you have a map of the dive site this is a good time to use it! You should also discuss fish life and other points of interest (wreck, etc), as well as any other information about the site that is relevant to the dive.
- Your role as a Divemaster: explain how your divers can recognize you underwater, where you will be during the dive and also what you will use for communication (audible device etc)
- Entry and exit techniques: a useful point especially for beginners, you should check if your guests are familiar with the entry and exit techniques you will use (boat entry, shore entry tc) and if not provide a description on how to perform those.
- Dive procedures: this is where you want to review the procedures of the dive. For example airchecks and what the divers need to signal to you, safety stops, directions, where you expect the divers to be during the dive, etc.
- Emergency procedures: review what to do in case of buddy separation, out of air situation, detail the recall procedure if there is one. Also explain if your guests have to use an SMB upon ascent or any other procedures that may apply to the area.
- Signal review: give a reminder of the hand signals, such as going up and down, buddy contact, air check, current, and specific fish signals for the area.
- Buddy and roster: depending on the size of the group and the local procedures you might be using a list or roster, so you will need to clarify that point to your divers. You also need to assign buddy teams or have your divers pick a buddy.
- Environmental orientation: if there is anything specific to the conditions this is a good thing to explain, you also want to remind your divers about the importance of not touching corals and marine life and how to be aware of their position in the water and their buoyancy.
- Predive safety check: give a quick reminder of the buddy check procedure (BWRAF) and make sure that your divers perform it. If the gear has been set up for your guests you also want to remind them that it is part of their responsibility as certified divers to check everything before they get in the water.
These points do not have to be explained in this specific order, after a bit of practice you will find your style and flow for your dive briefings and how to make it work for you! Depending on the Divemaster giving the briefing you may have noticed already that each person might have a slightly different style.