When you are going diving understanding the behaviour of different currents and what is causing it will be part of your dives.
Current means basically water moving. And it is mainly caused by wind or difference in salinity and/or temperature.
The likelihood for current is higher when there are reefs, small islands or passages where the water has to pass through.
So when you experience a current it is recommended to swim close to an object, the bottom, the wall etc. as the effect will be much less on you.
However, if you are caught in a rip current the rule number 1 is – do NOT panic. A rip current is often happening when the water has to move through a passage e.g. 2 coral reefs. Basically a large amount of water at the shoreline rushes in a narrow path back to the sea
Moving at speeds of up to eight feet per second, rip currents can move faster than an Olympic swimmer.
If you can’t break out of the current, float with it until it dissipates, usually just beyond the breakers. Then swim diagonally to shore.
It is always useful to bring your SMB and whistle if you go diving. If you go diving off a boat it will help the boat to find you again in case you drifted off due to a strong current. Make sure you stay buoyant by inflating your BCD when you on the surface and try to stay calm even if the current will move you away.
The current is likely to be less severe on the surface, but if it is strong, again, try swimming to either side of it, as it may be reduced significantly here. And signal for help whilst aiming to swim to the shore if possible.
But as always practice and experience is the best supporter when it comes to diving in a current.
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