Safety advice for freediving

Orbiloc and the British Freediving Association have teamed up and created the best safety advice for freediving away from a line. Read them to make sure that you are prepared for your next underwater adventure.


Normal safety procedures as outlined by your Training Agency should always apply, but here are a few points to consider when diving away from a line.

1. Most important never freedive alone, always with a trained buddy.

2. Be extremely conservative with bottom times and communicate to you buddy about what you are doing.

3. Tell your buddy about where you will be coming up and for how long you will dive.

4. As a rough guideline it is better to keep depths to about a half to two thirds of your personal best in cold water. So if you are a 40m diver, go to around 20-25m as a max for diving away from the line. A 16m diver should not be dive much deeper than 10m etc.

5. You should make these depths much more conservative if your buddy is unable to see you at all times during your dive.  If you are diving away from the line, then your buddy’s only mean to give you adequate safety will become his or hers visual reference, so please keep this in mind during your dive planning.

6. Plan dive sites according to ability.

7. Always have an emergency plan in place for your location

8. Take into account waves, tides and currents and know your environment.

9. Avoiding penetration of wrecks or overhead environments for reasons of entanglement / entrapment

10. Buddies can wear stop watches / gauges to time each other so that you are not guessing dive times. 

11. Breathe up through a snorkel. That way you can keep watching for the diver down.

12. The buddy at the surface may still dive down to meet the diver coming up, but keep in mind this is difficult for them if they lose visual reference for the diver.

13. Make yourselves visible – pale colour rash vests or yellow weights help. Avoid single use glow sticks as they are not environmentally friendly.

14. Consider using a low profile, easy to wear, & powerful underwater light.  A powerful underwater light is a good addition to your dive kit in cold water and in low visibility condition to increase safety.

Remember ALWAYS dive with a buddy, NEVER freedive alone.

Link: British Freediving Association

Picture: Daan Verhoeven – Instagram @daanverhoevenfreediver

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