Having to breathe underwater for the first time will be a great and memorable experience anyone could have. But before you plunge into the water, you have to know this basic skill in breathing with diving regulators and it will be your best buddy in your diving experience.
What is a Diving Regulator?
It is one of the most innovative inventions human made. Breathing underwater for a long period of time in low pressure can be achieved with the use of diving regulators. So basically, it is the lifeline between you and your air source (cylinder tank) while diving. A Regulator has 4 main components: 1st stage; 2nd stage; Octopus (Alternate 2nd Stage); & Hoses. A diving regulator consists of two parts: a mechanism that accomplishes the first stage of pressure reduction (called first stage) and a mechanism that accomplishes the second stage of pressure reduction (called second stage).
So breathing underwater can be an easy skill to master and you can follow these simple steps that you can remember.
Look where is the right side up
First thing to check is the location of the logo in the front of the regulator to see which way is up. In order to breathe, you have to place the rubber mouthpiece between your teeth and seal the mouthpiece around your lips. You have to make sure that it is not upside down as water cannot escape through the exhaust valve and it will also cause water to enter the regulator while you breathe.
Try breathing first above water
You have to test your regulator first by standing with your head above the water. Make sure that you can breathe smoothly with your regulator and no amount of water on it. Do not force breathe the air. Remember, it should smoothly flow.
Immerse your face at the surface of the water
As you already tested the airflow of the regulators above the water, you can now test it on the water but just on the surface only. While still standing, lean your head on the water, like snorkeling, but with the diving regulators on your mouth. Take a lot of breathing at this position to test if everything will work perfectly.
You can now fully submerge your face underwater
You have tested breathing at above and just under the surface of the water using the diving regulators. Now it’s time to submerge fully under the water. You can go down to a swimming pool or shallow water and breathe normally. You need to deflate your BCD (Buoyancy Control Devices) and kneel at the bottom of the pool. And again, remember to make sure that there is no water when you inhale at the regulator.
Congratulations! You can now breathe underwater!
At this point, you should be comfortable and at ease breathing underwater. You are prepared to learn other guides in using diving regulators, like replacing and removing it underwater.
Never hold your breath. This is the most important and crucial precautions during diving as this will result to grave danger or even death. If you are nervous at first, practice these steps out of the water first and then move into a shallow pool or confined water.
Exhale at the regulator first. Then you can have your first breath at the regulator because this method will clear out all the debris like sand or water at the 2nd stage of the regulators. You got to relax. Take a deeper breath and make it slower than usual while under water. As this will help you save air and increase your breathing efficiency.