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Scuba Dive from your Jet Ski

With a few basic steps you can safely and efficiently scuba dive from your jet ski. Here are some tips for doing so.

Scuba-Diver-01The first step is properly securing your gear to your jet ski, especially since you’ll be bumping against and jumping over waves in the ocean. This is why a cage that will hold your gear for transportation is ideal. The key is to make sure both your gear and the cage become one with the ski. In other words, make sure nothing moves when pulling, pushing, shaking or tugging the cage or the gear from your jet ski. Experienced scuba divers with jet skis often use truck straps that have a ratchet to tighten cages to the ski until it’s unmovable. To fasten gear to the cage, use semi-elastic bungee cords. You want your gear to be secure enough that you don’t have a bouncing tank and so you don’t lose your gear if you flip your ski.

Before you get to the ramp, make sure your jet ski is ready, with the cage and gear securely fastened so all you have to do is launch your jet ski into the water. Your plugs should already be in and all your gear (fins, mask, snorkel, scuba set, personal dive flag, boat dive flag, etc.) fastened in place. Don’t forget to travel with your tank’s valve set to off. As you travel to the dive site, be sure to check your gear constantly to make sure it hasn’t shifted or slid out of position. Drive carefully and avoid big waves and hard bumps. Rather than cutting through the waves, surf on top of them. When you drive your jet ski with gear it’s best to travel no faster than 30-35 miles per hour.

At the dive site, secure your jet ski to a mooring buoy, unless you are drift diving. Making your jet ski unmovable while you dive can be accomplished most effectively by securing two independent ropes from different points to the mooring buoy. Use the number 8 knot since it’s the type of knot that tightens the more the rope is pulled.

Next inflate the BC to get your equipment positively buoyant. Before placing your gear into the water, it’s a good idea to have a line to secure your gear to your jet ski while you’re getting ready. Semi-elastic bungee cords work well for this. With your gear floating beside the ski, set up your personal and boat dive flags, attaching your personal dive flag to your BC. Next, put on your fins, mask and snorkel and jump into the water by your floating gear. Next, release the line holding your BC, grab your hand-held dive flag and descend with your diving buddy to the area you want to explore.

Once the dive has ended, it’s time to stow your gear from the water. This is as simple as working in reverse from the procedure described above. Fully inflate your BC so it’s positively buoyant, then clip it to the ski with a line from the cage. Remove the BC from your person and leave it floating beside the ski. Next, board your jet ski and stow your fins, mask and snorkel. Stow your diver’s flag, hand-held diver’s flag and boat flag into the cage. Turn the tank valve to the off position, then release the air in your BC.

Finally, place your scuba gear setup into the cage and secure it with the straps or bungee cords and you’re ready to head back to the dock.