It may seem a strange question, yet there are many people who want to go scuba diving that can’t swim! The two are, after all, very different disciplines, so do you need to be able to swim before you go scuba diving?
The answer is not easy to come to, and for a number of reasons, but what we would say is it is generally required. Before we go on, we recommend you learn what scuba stands for as few people know, and the history of scuba is an interesting one.
If you register with any certified diving course there will be certain requirements as to your ability in the water. This will usually require you to be able to swim 200metres and to float and tread water for 10 minutes.
Safety prevails when it comes to scuba diving, and these requirements are entirely as a precaution. You may also want to think about how old you have to be to scuba dive as some schools will take children as young as 8 years old.
Do You Need to Know How to Swim to Scuba Dive?
Do you need to know how to swim to scuba dive?: In reality, there isn’t actually any correlation between swimming and scuba diving. Scuba diving is done under the water using SCUBA equipment – it doesn’t require the use of your arms, just your feet. Technically you don’t need to know how to swim to be able to scuba dive.
Swimming is the act of keeping ourselves above the water. Scuba involves the use of a Buoyancy Control Device (BCD) which effectively keeps you afloat under the water. Knowing how a BCD works will give you a better understanding of the difference between swimming and scuba diving.
While unlikely, this can fail on occasion, which leaves you as the only way of keeping afloat – using your legs. In this instance, you need to be able to swim and tread water to get to a point of safety.
However, there are some dives on which the ability to swim is not a requirement – these are generally ‘resort’ dives where you will be diving in shallow water, and will be closely accompanied by a qualified and experienced instructor. Swimming and scuba diving are technically very different, but of course, both require you to be in the water!
Another problem with non-swimmers and scuba diving is that there are certain natural fears to overcome, which you may not have considered beforehand.
The first is that you will be breathing underwater, which is a concept that the mind may find difficult to process. The second is that the water can be deep and this can be very frightening in the first instance.
Any sense of panic can be dangerous when in the water, so if you are used to swimming and being in the water, then you have a very big advantage over a non-swimmer. It is essential that, when diving, you remain calm and composed at all times, and remember that there will be an instructor close by so you are supervised during the dive.
If you are a non-swimmer who is considering scuba diving, you should look for a diving school that begins training in a swimming pool.
This way, you can get used to being underwater in a contained and safe environment and learn the techniques. Getting used to breathing underwater is quite difficult to do, and you will be instructed in the correct methods.
There is something very special about being under the water, among the wildlife that we can only experience when scuba diving, so check out local diving schools for further information and have a chat with an instructor about your swimming ability.