Whether you are diving in the Emerald Sea or somewhere tropical, currents are a fact of life. And they will threaten that life if you are not prepared.
Before getting into an ocean environment you should be asking about Tides and Currents. If you are not familiar with them, then ask your local dive shop or consult local Tide and Current tables. There are even apps you can download to assist you. Even if you are prepared, sometimes Mother Nature will throw you a curveball anyway.
In the event you find yourself caught in a current, establish positive buoyancy and assess your situation. Often just swimming perpendicular to the current direction will be the simplest solution. Depending upon depth and air reserve, sometimes taking a compass heading towards shore and dropping to bottom where current is often less severe and making your way out will work. Other possibilities include ditching your weights allowing you move through the water easier, or/and signaling for assistance (more is covered in the Advance Open Water Class).
You should be carrying at least two signaling devices; a noise maker, which can be as simple as a whistle, or as loud as a Dive Alert, and a visual signaling aid, most often an inflatable orange or yellow safely sausage or signaling mirror. Always carrying a dive light makes good sense too!
These items are just a must with boar diving. In my years of experience, I have witnessed many divers get turned around and find themselves surfacing a good distance from the dive boat. Having the ability to signal the boat to alert them to your presence is very comforting.
In the Argonaut Diving PADI Rescue class and the Advance Open Water Class, we practice deploying a safety sausage from depth and the surface, both valuable skills. Click here for info on our next class.
Bottom line is, be conservative in your decisions when diving. Dive smart, dive safe. Continue your dive training. There is a whole new world out there beyond your Open Water class! Let’s get wet!!