Great Barrier Reef Scuba Diving Etiquette

Robbie Wyckoff on May 30th, 2018

So I’ve never been much for table manners, but my mother made sure that I had them.

She kept me focused on where not to put my elbows, don’t scrape my fork across the plate, don’t chew with my mouth open, and don’t blow bubbles with your straw in the drink.

Now as I mentioned in my last blog, staying focused helps you mind what you are doing and even more so, your surroundings when it comes to scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef.

So just like table manners are implied while eating with others, the same goes for scuba diving

Focus on where you are and who you are with while trying not to be rude to those around you during your recreational dive no matter where you are diving in the world.

Yes, divers, true hardcore scuba divers, have proper diving etiquette and if you wanna dive with them, you better mind your manners.

Now, what I mean is that when diving, there is an invisible bubble that surrounds each diver, metaphorically speaking.

The bubble is a diver’s personal space. It’s rude to get inside the bubble unless invited or necessary in order to assist.

Basically, when diving, it can be scary, as well as funny, when something touches you, even if it’s just another diver.

So bumping into other divers, kicking them, grabbing their fins, etc. would be considered bad etiquette in the diving world.

I was once kicked in the face by a very rude diver who swam right in front of me as I was observing a very beautiful honeycomb moray eel.

In my fit of rage, I grabbed him by his fin, pulling back, face to face, and gave him a few choice words with my hand signals.

He apologized and swam on. Bad response from me but that was in the early days!

Now much like angry drivers using hand signals to show their displeasure with others, divers can do it too. Yes, it’s rude but it’s also a form of communication. And when diving, it’s always better to keep in constant communication weather good or bad.

So can divers be angry at other scuba divers? Well try laying down on a bed of corals and see just how many divers will pick you up.

The marine life in the ocean are why we dive in the first place, unless you’re just a fan of wreck diving.

So when touching any of it, that being coral or fish, it’s considered very very rude and or crazy, and many divers seriously hate seeing that.

I once saw an underwater photographer put her entire body on top of a bed of beautiful hard corals just to get a picture of a few crabs that lived within them.

Our dive guide, flipped out on her at 15m below the surface and then again above the water. It was a long argument.

While some people are just plain rude, it’s always important to have good etiquette whilst scuba diving.

Being focused, aware of your surroundings, polite to others as well as the environment, is all a part of what it means to be a good diver.

People don’t want to dive with bad divers. It’s bad for business, bad for health, and that includes your safety as well as sanity.

Just like you should never drive angry, one should never dive angry.

And there’s nothing more that can make you angry as to see someone sitting on a bed of corals or being kicked in the face with a flipper that may just hit your regulator which is your oxygen and, if you are new to diving this could turn into a very bad, bad situation at 12 – 15 metres under water!  It’s just rude.

Be respectful of the environment and others around you.

Dive businesses and regular divers don’t want to dive with those who have bad scuba diving etiquette much like you wouldn’t want to sit at dinner while someone is chewing with their mouth open or blows bubbles in their drink. 

Happy day see you on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia for your next diving adventure! stay tuned.

If you missed any of my previous blogs you can find them all here and if you need some help with planning a dive trip give Barrier Reef Australia a call on 1300 231 118.

Happy diving!

Robbie Wyckoff

Robbie Wyckoff

Hi my name is Robbie Wyckoff and I am a full time PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Instructor who now works all over the world teaching people how to scuba dive and discover the amazing underwater world on our planet.

You May Also Like

Exclusive Reef & Island Day On The Great Barrier Reef

Exclusive Reef & Island Day On The Great Barrier Reef

This tour is special in so many ways, and is unrivalled to all other reef tours in Far North Queensland. First of all, it has the shortest open water crossing to get to the Great Barrier Reef. Fantastic news for anyone prone to motion sickness. Although this tour is a ‘Reef’ tour, it includes a ‘River Cruise’ on the journey there with Island activities on arrival. And a huge PLUS to guests that like to avoid the crowds, it has one of the lowest passenger capacities of all the island tours with a maximum of 100 guests. The destination is to an uninhabited continental island called Normanby in National Park which is part of the archipelago of Frankland Islands. It is located 10km offshore from the mouth of the Russell and Mulgrave Rivers at Russell Heads, which is approximately 45km South-East of Cairns. The Normanby Island has an abundance of wildlife not only in the water, but also on the island itself. The island is pristine, and has its own rainforest and a fringing reef not far out from its sandy shores. There are also coral gardens located further out from the island for the those that want to explore the deeper waters. 

Great Barrier Reef 2 Day 1 Night Liveaboard

Great Barrier Reef Tour - 2 Day 1 Night Sail, Snorkel, Dive

Great Barrier Reef Tour - 2 Day 1 Night Sail, Snorkel, Dive

Cairns

This is not a blog, it is a pitch on how good this Great Barrier Reef 2 day 1 night liveaboard dive trip from Cairns is such good value. One of our team members wrote it because she thinks it is such an amazing good value Great Barrier Reef tour, she wanted to write about it and put it on our Barrier Reef Australia blog page. We were not sure it was appropriate to pitch a single tour but we decided on free speech and free opinions so read more if you are inclined, or go to another page now. From our wonderful Great Barrier Reef Tour Specialist Chelsea Are you looking for a good value liveaboard Great Barrier Reef scuba diving adventure from Cairns without the crowds? Do you want the best dive deal money can buy in Cairns? If your answer is yes, then check out what deals we have on offer with our Great Barrier Reef Tour 2 Day 1 Night Sail, Snorkel and Scuba Dive tour! 

Underwater Observatory on the Great Barrier Reef platform

Great Barrier Reef Tours For Non-Swimmers

Great Barrier Reef Tours For Non-Swimmers

If you are scared of the water and the creatures that live there or have never been exposed to an aquatic life in your younger years, but still wish to live out that lifelong dream of seeing the iconic wonders of the world the Great Barrier Reef, then that is okay, we have a tour that will enable you to see the coral reef from above the water and also below the water’s surface without you even getting your hair wet!

Leave A Comment

Great Barrier Reef Blog