• Welcome to the DeeperBlue.com Forums, the largest online community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing. To gain full access to the DeeperBlue.com Forums you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

    • Join over 44,280+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 516,210+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 7,441+ user submitted images.
    • All this and much more...

    You can gain access to all this absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

how close shld be yr buddy

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


Well-Known Member
Jul 19, 2003
i wonder how close ones buddy shld be while hunting.
if he/she gets too close , he will scare the fish
if he is too away he wont notice u have a problem.
assuming 2-3 minute is too much time in a serious problem how u solve this problem.
  • Like
Reactions: donmoore and thud
Normally I put a 10-15m distance between me and the buddy and I could watch his moves so as he. If you have slightly better diving skills than your buddy choose the deeper side if not do the opposite. If you like to dive at the same depth you can swim very close and dive in turn.
  • Like
Reactions: thud
Its pointless to have a buddy if youre diving deeper than he can...the limiting factor for buddy diving is the depth of the weaker diver. If you go deeper than that you will likely end up with 2 victims if something should happen to you while deep.
If you will hunt at deep its good to have your diving buddy at the surface watching and waiting you to come to the surface. Its pointless to have distance between you and your diving buddy and hunting both of you at same time. If this is the case he/she can not react the black out situation fast enough. The best way is one up one down....I don't think the fish will scare if your hunting buddy waits for you on the surface at deeper waters....
I disagree Murat;

if you ' re trying to catch some dentex, don't ever think that you could catch one if someone up to you, we always keep some distance between us when we're hunting about 15-20 meters, sometimes more, not less, it mainly depends the visibility in the water.
  • Like
Reactions: donmoore and thud
Its pointless to have a buddy if youre diving deeper than he can...the limiting factor for buddy diving is the depth of the weaker diver.

Rig, I kindly disagree. Not with the concern for being careful, but with the view of equal deepness ability. We talked a lot about the possibility/impossibility of deepwater blackout out at the Performance Clinic. The facts from the very few possible existing incidences of deepwater blackout are suspicious and just don’t hold up to science.

Black outs are the number reason for buddy diving. In deepwater the O2 particle pressure in the body is high from the compression of air space in the lungs. People black out when nearing the surface because the refilling of the lungs lowers the O2 particle pressure which tends to suck the O2 back out of the blood and into the lungs, and also because it is the longest point of the dive.

There have been a few possible cases of nitrogen effecting judgment, but that was experienced by only a few top freedivers doing record type depths. Way deeper than a breathold spearfisherman would go.

I would feel comfortable going 80’ with a buddy I knew was competent, responsible and observant if his max was only 50’. As to the closeness of the buddy, in deep water I would say as close as possible without tangling the float lines when we are going 60’ or more. Scaring fish in deep water is not a concern, because they are not very scared of someone being still on the surface.

The reason the buddy has to be close is they have to be able to get there before the diver sinks. Most divers lose their air when they black out, which can easily make them negatively buoyant. A diver who is neutral buoyant with full lungs at 30 feet, maybe negatively buoyant in as little as 15 feet with no air. As they sink the compression of their body and suit will make them more negative and accelerate their descent. If your not there in a hurry, they maybe too deep for you to recover them, no mater how good of diver you are.

If were going to push it, I think its good to have your buddy dive during your ascent and meet you at 20’ to 40’. That way there is less of a chance of you sinking before they could get there.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: thud
By the way, I am thinking about something.

Let' say we've got 2 spearfihermen going down 20 meters, if one of them blocks out on the bottom, 20 meters down...

How the 2nd divers could takes his friends up to the surface???
I mean, I used to hunt in those kind of depth everytime and I can say I have some difficulties taking off frm the bottom because of earth attraction...how the second, without a rope, could bring his friend to air??!!??

Does someone have any experience about this concern??
In line with what Don was saying, blacking out at 20 meters is not likely. If you are having to retrieve someone at 20 meters, your most likely doing body recovery not life saving. About the only way someone is going to black out at that depth is if they totally lose track of time and have no contractions to remind them.

When a diver has to be retrieved from 20 meters, they most likely made it up part way, black out and then sunk back down. The chances of you being able to revive them after they spent some time on the bottom at 20 meters is bad, but it’s still better than nothing. Freedivers black out because of low oxygen, so they are starting with low oxygen to begin with, which makes death more likely than someone who blacks out from something else and starts with normal O2.

What’s far better than risking your life and having to deal with a fellow diver that may not live is to pay close attention and catch them on their ascent before they sink back to the bottom. Watch how long they are on the bottom and if 2 minutes goes by and they are not coming up, start your recovery dive.

If they do end up on the bottom and its below our ability to retrieve them, a lot of divers carry scuba tanks, pony bottles, or spareair on the boat and pray they never have to use it to recover a diver. It would not be difficult to attach a spareair to a float. Another good thing about having this capability is it can pay for itself in recovery of equipment, like a fish getting holed up with your shaft and gun if it’s attached.
Originally posted by cece
I disagree Murat;

if you ' re trying to catch some dentex, don't ever think that you could catch one if someone up to you, we always keep some distance between us when we're hunting about 15-20 meters, sometimes more, not less, it mainly depends the visibility in the water.

Did not know that. I never cought dentex. But tell me how can you reach your diving buddy from 20 meter, if he blacks out at the -4 meter and starts to sunk down:confused: In some of my videos i regullary saw that even world class speros have diving buddy on the surface waiting for them.No matter what they hunt...
If two speros have the same diving potential, its unlikely to have a safe rescue at the max depth, the only thing that one caould is to release the other's weight belt IMO.
on a different note...yall really use buddies when hunting? I have never and will never rely on someone else to save me. I never push depth or time when hunting and the vis isnt good enough to keep track of a buddy anyway. Even when bluewater hunting in 4000' of water its almost impossible to keep up with another diver here. The only time I have done any true buddy hunting is when being harassed by large sharks offshore other than that we look for each other once in a while but thats not going to do any good in an emergency. However there have been times when a fish wraps updeep and I will get another diver to spot me b/c I am aware of the hazards of pushing it like that.

I understand what you are saying Don but I would have to disagree with you and the Performance team on that one, especially while hunting. Like I said, its almost impossible to keep a constant vigil over each other while hunting, unlike competitions. If you want to know how the story really ends ask Abri, he lost 2 buddies in one day just the way I said. By the time we realize our buddy is in trouble their on the bottom and like you said, then it doesnt matter how good you are.

We usually leave it up to the boatman to keep up with the divers, especially when bluewater hunting, not only to keep up with the divers but to ensure safety from other boaters as well. As for the tank, the ONLY thing they are good for is body recovery, definately not what I consider a safety measure.
Thanks for all answers,
we ussually know what shld be done, it seems we differ in our perception of the danger. i personally feel safer at max 10 m waters and dont feel the need for a buddy especially because fish gets easily scary at shallow water. at deeper dives i agree it is necessary.
So what your saying is with the way you dive, it doesn’t reality matter how good the other diver is, because chances are neither of you are going to be there if one gets into trouble. Well that’s a pretty honest answer and I will have to admit that my usual dive partner and I lose each other too. But sticking with each other is our goal. We remind each other all the way out, and at times, we stop diving until we have found each other again. Sometimes we separate when one has equipment problems or when returning a fish to the boat, but then we usually are pretty conservative until the other can get back.

We used to have the goal of getting the most and biggest fish. With that goal we seperated a lot more. We purposely changed our goals too enjoying the dives and considering the fish an added bonus. It doesn’t always work, but it’s our goal and currently I would estimate that we are there for each other 70% of the time.
The thing is I hunt in waters deeper than I can dive on the oil rigs. When we try to stick together it doesnt work out b/c I cant see my budy at depth. Also He might hunt around the rig and surface on the other side and Im still over there waiting for him. If you say your going to spot each other then loose each other even for a couple of minutes you could be making a deadly mistake in my opinion. When you think someone is watching over you you tend to push the limits a little more and if your buddy doesnt happen to be there the one time you need him, its all an exercise in futility. I would rather assume theres no one above me, play it safe and live to dive another day.

I guess I aquired my bad taste for rellying on a buddy through my years of scuba diving. Every "close call" Ive had when diving has been do to the buddy I was with that day. They have almost drown me when panicked, tangled me up when trying to get them out of places they shouldnt have gone, shot me when trying to shoot fish, and sent me into deco several times with limited air b/c they were using my octo... It is a system for dependancy in which one diver relenqueshes control to another. One will relax b/c the other is in the lead or more experienced. Many tank divers have lost their lives b/c they made dives they shouldnt have but did b/c they had a buddy or 2 die b/c a buddy runs into problems ect, ect. Self reliance is the key. I like knowing that I have prepared for most situations I hope I never encounter. When hunting the rigs for example we use ss cable for shooting line. Thats a recipe for a dangerous situation so I carry knives capable of cutting it but more important a pair of EMT shears that cut it instantly. I guess it is smarter to always use a buddy but I dont let it influence my diving either way b/c I always try to dive like I have no backup if that makes any sense.

Everyone becareful out there, I would miss talking to you.
You have some good thoughts there. I think that it is smart to dive as if your by yourself, even if your not, but if there are very many times when I dive with my buddy next to me and he is no where in sight when I surface, I will be looking for a new buddy. I take the effort to try and keep up with him and I expect him to do the same. But, it’s my boat, so if he wants to dive with me he has to play by my rules.

I dive pretty much in the same environment as you. My buddy is good about staying together. He told me that if I want to dive the other side of the rig fine, we will do it together than we will dive the side he wants to. I don’t know if you have had any problems with barracuda trying to take your fish there, but we had some here last year. I came pretty close to getting bit once and had my cable get twisted all up another time by a cuda teeth. After that I left some nice looking snapper, just because my buddy already had one and he needed me to guard him on the way back to the boat.

The main reason I want a close buddy though is still blackouts. As I have learned more about freediving I have come to realize that the line between pushing it and being conservative is very fuzzy. The main difference between someone who is able to hold their breath longer and someone who can’t is bradycardia, which is the O2 conservation reaction brought about by a lower heart rate and constriction of blood flow to extremities.

As we advance in our freedive abilities we get stronger bradycardia. The problem is it may not happen on ever dive. In static, it’s no big deal. You just come up, well that is most of the time. I passed out once way before my pb and had no warning. In a depth dive, even if we are able to sense it the realization may come after we reached our planned depth. Then there is nothing we can do, but pray, try to remain calm while we swim toward the surface.

My own opinion is that there are way too many spearo deaths and I don’t ever want to have the realization that I probably could have saved a person, if I had been there to get him on his ascent, before he sunk.

What are and where do you get EMT shears? Sounds like a good idea.

On another note, are you doing the Hell Divers Rodeo this year? Do you know the date?
I hear ya bout the buddy stuff but honestly I dont see it happening for me. We do try to keep up with each other as much as possible but not as much as we probably should...especially bluewater hunting.

As for the cudas, hug your fish to your body and they will leave it alone. Once you get it in to you your gravy, but if you swim to the boat with it extended out on your spear or something...look out! The cudas are getting really bad the past 2 years oten there will be a couple hundred on my favorite rigs...I have perdonally started thinning out the population when I can. I find that after I shoot a couple at the surface, the rest tend to keep their distance.

Yes, I will be shooting in the Helldivers this year. I believe the date is the first weekend in June? Not sure if its posted on their site yet helldivers.org . Might be some good surprises on the table for freedivers(I dove last week with 2 of the helldivers including the pres. so I got a little inside scoop)
Guys you said a diver could not bring up another diver from his max depth, weel if he dropped both weight belts he would have a good chance or failing that if hes to deep shot the guy and retrieve him on the float line;)
Hiya Poacher

I need some advice regarding your suggestion. I was just wondering where would be the best place to shoot for a good holding shot?? 6.5mm or 7mm spear?? 20mm or 16mm rubbers??What size gun do you recommend?? Floatline or reel??

Please advise as i am not too familiar shooting that specific specie.:D :D :D :D :D

:D :D :D
once i dropped one of the fins to 10 15 m bottom (dont ask how, i dont remember) after some try i concluded i coulnt reach it with one fin, i decided to shoot it .for a fin best place to shoot is the thin edges assuming u dont use carbon :duh
  • Like
Reactions: bobbybuttr
DeeperBlue.com - The Worlds Largest Community Dedicated To Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing


ISSN 1469-865X | Copyright © 1996 - 2024 deeperblue.net limited.

DeeperBlue.com is the World's Largest Community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving, Ocean Advocacy and Diving Travel.

We've been dedicated to bringing you the freshest news, features and discussions from around the underwater world since 1996.