Why is the buddy check important?
by Cindy
in Blog
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Why do we need to do a buddy check? Why is it important?

When you start diving, you learn how to do a buddy check before entering the water. But, what about it?
Why do we need to know this skill?

Whatever the association you chose to do your open water course with, you should have learned how to do a buddy check (with your buddy) before entering the water. This skill is composed of 5 steps which can be remembered by an acronym, for example the acronym “BWARF”. Here “BWARF” represents “BDC – Weight – Air – Release – Final OK”.

As a reminder:

BCD means you should check that the BCD of your buddy is in order, that it is inflating and deflating using all the purges.

Weight means that your buddy weightbelt or weight pockets are put on and correctly attached. You need to know how to release them in case of an emergency.

Air means you need to check that your buddy tank is completely open, that your buddy and yourself can breathe from the second stage and the alternate air source without the needle of the pressure gauge moving.

Release means you check all your buddy clips and know how to detach your buddy BCD in case of emergency and that the tank strap is also correctly attached.

Final Ok means that everything is fine, your buddy has all her/his equipment on (fins, computer, mask, etc.) and your buddy should be ready to enter in the water.

To use the acronym to remember the 5 steps is important because with the excitement and/or a bit of apprehension, one step can easily be forgotten by anyone. You need to take your time and do it properly every time you get ready to dive. To remember the acronym itself, you can use many different sentences, for example one of them is "Breathing Water Really Ain’t Fun".

You’ve probably already heard a story about somebody who lost her/his weight belt, or jumped without fins… It can happen to anyone, that’s why the buddy check is here to help you avoid that. You won’t have hard time to imagine the problem if somebody doesn’t do the buddy check and jumps with negative entrance into the water with a closed tank… Or imagine how annoying it could be if someone jumps into the water for a drift dive, without weights…

The goal of the buddy check is to make sure you’re safe before entering the water, and also helps divers minimize the risks of incident. However, if you are paired with divers who think it is not necessary to do it, you can remind them that it is easier to deal with a small problem at the surface than with a bigger problem underwater, and if you're not 100% sure about your buddy check, you can always do it on yourself ;) 

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