Boat Diver Etiquette

Since all of the dives in the Florida Keys are done from dive boats, and you may have little or no boat dive experience, we thought it might be a good idea to give you a few pieces of information which will help you understanding boat diving procedures and general etiquette.

In general, be a considerate diver. Inform the dive staff if they can help or answer any questions, and they will go out of their way to assist you. If you do not feel comfortable about a particular dive, be it conditions or depth, then speak up. It’s your dive as well, and you should dive within your personal limits. Remember that good divers are responsible divers.

When diving from boats procedures vary from operator to operator, even when the same types of boats are used. You are strongly advised to listen and adhere to boat safety procedures. The boat Captain generally tells these prior to the boat leaving the dock. Listen so that you know where all safety equipment is located in the unlikely event of an emergency.

Also, pay close attention to the boat briefing. It generally will be given by a member of the crew, telling you how to securely stow your dive equipment, how you will get in and out of the water, and what to do in a case of emergency, among other things. It is a safety-based briefing for your benefit to ensure a safe and enjoyable dive experience. Ask any questions at the end of the briefing.

During any briefing please be considerate and attentive. The information provided is for your safety and enjoyment.

In boat diving space is limited. Therefore, stow all of your dive equipment in the space provided. Don’t place heavy objects such as weights in places where they may fall and cause injury to someone.

Know where everything is: life jackets, life rafts, medical kits and oxygen. Remember, your Captain relayed all this information during the briefing. In an emergency please listen to your crew. Stay calm and don’t panic. Your crew is trained to handle any situation that may occur. Follow their instructions.

Seasickness can be an issue, even on calm days. If you suspect that you might be prone to seasickness you can take preventive measures. There are many motion or sea sickness drugs available. Please do not take them just an hour or two before your dive. You need to get these drugs into your system the night before to be effective. Always read the directions prior to taking any form of a drug. When in doubt please consult with your physician. Preventive measures can be the difference between a good dive experience and a bad one.

Tipping works just like gratuity in a restaurant or bar. Boat crew, dive guides and instructors work extremely hard to ensure that your dive experience is a positive and safe one. Dive industry staff rely on your generosity. Tip your boat crew at least $5-$10 per tank. Generally, there will be a tip jar on the boat. The crew splits the tips at the end of the day. Tip your instructor or guide as well separately since they do not share in the boat crew gratuity. Remember that tips are never expected but always highly appreciated.

Last but not least: We welcome your feedback in order to better serve the dive community. If there is anything we can do to improve your experience, we want to know. If you enjoyed your experience and feel the facility and instructors who taught you did a great job, please mention it to the facility management and/or give us a review online.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Enjoy your diving, be a safe diver and please respect our seas and coral reefs.

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