• 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!

Support Divers for Competition Freediving

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.


Apr 5, 2001

What are your thoughts on the optimal number of support divers
and their placement for freedive competitions?


My vote, and this is what we use in South Africa.

2 Freedivers for the top 15m.
1 Scube diver, (rescue diver) every 10m.
1 Well qualified, trusted scube diver right at the bottom.

It is a bit of a overkill, but with 1000's of roaming
scuba divers, one can NEVER be to safe.

Just my 2c

Herman Cremer
Freediving South Africa
< http://www.freediving.org.za >
Hi Herman,

I'm with you, lots of divers. I was thinking about the line spacing and viz, something like the distance being dictated by ability to see the diver or his/her lights. The bottom diver or divers are required in all settings.

Thanks, and safe diving,

Competition Safety


I've been a competitor in three competitions, a volunteer in four of them, have helped organize Eric's world record attempt and have been listening in on Kirk's preparations for his various record attempts and competitions. I'm starting to get a grasp on the large task of setting up a constant ballast competition. Here are some thoughts...

I think safety divers are important, but what's more important is that they know what to do in the event of an emergency situtation, and what freediver "behaviour" they might expect.

A detailed safety briefing is far more important than simply having divers in the water. And actually, things can go wrong if the scuba divers are inexperienced or aren't fully aware of the competition plan. If you have 6 or 7 scuba divers who don't know what's going on, then accidents can happen.

Also, it is always up to the freediver to look out for their own safety. That's where experience with diving comes in. Scuba divers are there for back up and may actually distract you from your own safety "sensors." The more dives you make to your "target" depth the better for your own safety.

It is extremely useful to have someone with competition organization experience give a briefing on some of the things that can go wrong and what sort of training safety scuba divers and safety freedivers should have.

I think you also need to factor in:
-Timing of dives - overall schedule (and what to do if it gets altered)
-Scuba diver general experience and competition experience
(have they practiced rescues?)
-Resources needed to support the safety divers (support boat, volunteers)
-Safety freediver experience (have they performed real or simulated rescues?)
-Coordination of support boat(s)
-Depth line set-up and environment (general safety of dive site)
-Communication between surface and Scuba divers
-How to rescue a freediver in distress given available equipment and personnel (is it adequate?)
-SCUBA safety guidelines
-EMTs / Doctor
-Volunteers for timing
-Warm-up lines (safety and logistics)
-Experience and ability of competitors....
-Weather and currents, tides, swells,...
-Plan for worse case scenarios...

I'm sure Kirk Krack could provide some insight into this but we're on our way to Ibiza tomorrow...


Vancouver, BC, Canada
Hey Laminar,

Thanks for the points of support. I hope you and your fellow divers and support
team have a great time!

Best wishes, and dive safely,

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.