Night Diving

At night, the undersea world comes alive, phosphorent corals and luminescent fish are rendered in a nocturnal glory that is out of this world. You must be qualified to do a night dive as there are special risks to take into consideration such as increased shark activity and visibility problems. PADI offer a specialised Night Diver qualification, while BSAC include it on their Advanced Diver syllabus. The visual rewards of night diving mean that doing it is high on every scuba diver’s priority list.

In the dark, night time sea hand signals are useless – instead diving lights are used for communication so that scuba divers can see where they are going. Head mounted dive lights should not be used as a single glance at your partner and – hey presto! You have destroyed his night vision for the next fifteen minutes.

Scuba divers should never shine their dive torches in each others faces. Instead they communicate messages by focusing the light on the seabed in front of their diver buddy. As follows:

  • Quick side to side movement of torch on seabed = attention, look towards me.
  • Quick side to side movement of torch on surface = in trouble, please give me assistance.
  • Large circle = Everything ok.

To confirm that he has received and understood your message, your buddy must repeat the same torch signal. With your surroundings blacked out and many points of reference lost in the gloom, it is easy to wander into caves by accident during night dives. To avoid swimming into danger you should make periodic sweeps of your torch all around you to check on your surroundings.