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How to Communicate Underwater When Scuba Diving

When you’re scuba diving, you obviously can’t talk to others underwater. That’s why it’s important to know hand signals so you can communicate. They’re helpful both above and below the surface. Here are a few that you will learn as part of a Scuba BSA experience:

“Stop”: Hand up, palm facing the person you’re communicating with.

“OK”: Make the letter “O” with your thumb and index finger. If you’re wearing a glove, use your four fingers to make an “O” by touching them to your thumb. This is not interchangeable with a thumbs-up.

“Go up”: Make a thumbs-up and motion upward.

“Go down”: Make a thumbs-down.

“Level off at this depth”: Place your hand flat with your palm down and move your hand side to side.

“Buddy up”: Form fists, extend your index fingers and hold those fingers side by side.

“Go that way”: Make a thumbs-up and gesture with your thumb pointing in the direction of travel. This can also be communicated by holding your hand flat with your palm facing the side with all five fingers pointing in the specific direction.

“Low on air”: Place a closed fist against your chest.

“Out of air”: Make a cutting motion across your neck.

“Share air”: Make a flat hand and motion back and forth between your mouth and your buddy’s mouth.

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