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The Different Ways to Communicate Underwater

Communicate Underwater
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The Different Ways to Communicate Underwater

From hand signs to whistles to dive alerts, these are the best ways to communicate underwater.

Many people choose to pursue scuba diving as a hobby because it gives them the opportunity to see wonderful sites under the water, and they can enjoy blissful silence away from the ringtones and alarms of our daily lives. With that in mind, communication is still essential when you’re under the water to warn your diving partners of a problem, make decisions, and more.

When you’re under the water, talking to your fellow divers isn’t as easy as opening your mouth and shouting towards them. Of course, this isn’t possible with the diving equipment, but how do divers talk to each other while under the water?

Well, there are a few ways that divers communicate underwater. Today we’re going to discuss the primary ways that divers to choose to communicate with each other. We’ll also talk about any benefits and drawbacks of each s you know when to use each one.  

Hand Signals

For decades, divers have used hand signals to communicate with each other. They can use hand signals to direct other divers of a direction, tell them when it’s time to head for the surface, discuss their air levels, and more. They are easy to use because they don’t require any specialized equipment. All you need to know to get started using hand signals while under the water are the basics. From there you can begin learning more advanced hand signals and practically have conversations while under the water.

One of the great things about hand signals is that they are generally universal, and no matter which language you speak, you can typically communicate with other divers. Even so, some signals mean different things in different parts of the world. For this reason, it is always crucial to go over the signals above the water with other diving buddies before you dive.

One drawback of using hand signals is that they are completely silent. What if you really need to get the attention of a diving buddy, but they aren’t looking at you? Well, in this case, you’ll need a diving communication device that makes a noise that they can hear.

Using a Dive Alert

A dive alert is a great option to use in an emergency. A dive alert is a compact device with large buttons that are easy to press and use while under the water. The primary function of a dive alert is to send a super loud sound to people either underwater or even on the surface. The horn is extremely loud and works to get the immediate attention of anyone that is even remotely close to it. If you’re in a dire emergency situation either underwater or on the surface, it is a must-have.

One of the drawbacks of using a diving alert is that you can’t really communicate different messages with it. Instead, it is designed with the purpose of getting the attention of others rather than telling them a unique message. Even so, once you get their attention, you can then use hand signals to communicate what they need to know if necessary.

Dive Whistles

Dive whistles are a must have. Let’s say that you are underwater, and you come to the surface to see that the boat has left without you. This is an incredible fearful situation for many scuba divers. You can only yell so loud, but if the boat is even slightly far away, you might have difficulty getting their attention.

A dive whistle is the perfect tools for this situation. Dive whistles are generally very compact and don’t take up much space of a scuba diver’s tool belt. If you need to get the attention of someone on the surface of the water, all you need to do is blow into it, and a loud, piercing sound will get their attention. Even if they are a fair distance away, most people can generally hear the dive whistle.

Underwater Shaker

The final underwater communication device that we want to cover today is the underwater shaker. This is a small tube that is worn around the neck typically on a lanyard. What makes this tool great is that it is a more subtle way to get the attention of your dive buddies while under the water. Like mentioned earlier, hand signals are a great way to communicate a message to someone under the water, but you must get their attention first.

The underwater shaker, you can simply shake it, and all of the divers nearby will be able to hear it, even while under the water. Once you get your attention, you can then use other means to communicate with them. It’s not the best for immediate emergencies, but if you just need to get the attention of other divers gently, it is the optimal choice.

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