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Diving alone and the controversial solo diver

Published on: 14th January, 2016 | Dive Safety and Medicine
Photo credit: TDI/SDI
Is the subject of solo diving taboo? In some circles, absolutely. Is diving solo safer than diving with a danger or incompetent buddy?

 Solo diving is the practice of scuba diving alone without a dive buddy, and it may be gaining acceptance amongst experienced divers.

Solo diving certifications for the recreational diver are on offer from several training organisations (albeit under different names).  The training focuses on diving within specific training and experience limits and carrying redundant equipment, including an air supply.

A survey of dive shops in various states in Australia found a range of positions.  A minority of shops openly supported it and permitted it on their boats, some that would support it if pushed, and others would not permit it at all.  It seems however, that those who permit it, do not advertise the fact.

Interestingly enough there does not appear to be a lot of data that supports the opinion held by many that solo diving has a higher rate of accidents than buddy diving.

There are generally four types of divers: open and honest solo diver; closet solo diver; recreational buddy diver; and technical ‘team’ diver.   Probably the most rare of these divers is the open and honest solo diver.

Solo diving remains a contentious subject and it looks like this will continue to be the case, although there is no doubt that many discoveries (in cave diving in particular) would not have been possible without solo diving.

The original article ‘”He Supports Solo Diving – Burn the Witch!”’ by enduranceswimmer is available here.


Susan Shield

TDI Adv. Nitrox & Deco. Procedures. Chartered Professional Engineer