Precautions for Night Diving

by Allison Horky
Night diving allows you to see the different creatures.

Night diving allows you to see the different creatures.

Jupiterimages/ Images

Night diving is exciting and anxiety producing at the same time. You can see lots of new underwater activity, but there is an increased risk of losing your dive buddy and your bearings. With the proper equipment and preparation, diving at night can be full of adventure and new scenery.


Beginning your dive at twilight, rather than after the sun has set, allows you to use some of the daylight to put on your gear and begin entry into the water. It will be dark by the time you submerge and begin looking around. You will see the creatures of the ocean or lake settling in for the evening or preparing to hunt. Your point of entry or location of your boat should be clearly marked to prevent you from straying too far and getting lost. You use your air faster at night, so do not venture too far from your starting point.


Diving at night requires that you bring your own dive light with you. You should have a primary light and a backup light that is smaller in case your primary light malfunctions. Each person needs to have his own dive light. You should not share with your buddy because of the increased risk of the one light breaking and both of you not having a backup.


Navigation is a part of any dive, but particularly at night, keep track of your location. Being in the dark might make you pay more attention to other details or have you wondering what is beyond your personal dive light. Do not lose focus while you dive and forget to track your location. Your compass is your guide as you swim around. Always note where north is when you submerge so that you know if you are swimming toward or away from the shore. If you lose your buddy, follow the proper procedures of resurfacing to reunite.


Night diving puts extra strain on your senses, requiring you to pay attention to more details due to the decreased visibility. If you dive in a place you have never been to before, you are likely to make mistakes, lose your way and worry about correct navigation. Diving in a familiar location takes away one aspect of the unknown. If you have dived at this particular spot before, you know the terrain and general layout of the area.

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