The new PADI Open Water course has a new big push on safety and there have been some new skills added which reflect this. These new skill revolve around safety equipment, giving the newly certified divers the skills and knowledge to help keep them stay safe.
One of the new skills is the inflatable signal tube use, in which a student diver must deploy an inflatable signal tube (SMB) at the surface or underwater. This new skill encourages students to use a SMB as part of normal diving practices and to make sure they know how to use one by the end of the course. Having students learn to use a SMB from underwater help keep the divers safe from passing boats. Have student divers learn to use a SMB at the surface reduces the risk of divers drifting out of sight.
Besides a visual signal device, another required piece of equipment the student divers need to be familiar with in the new open water course is an audible signal device such as a whistle. This also help reduce the chance of divers being lost on the surface by teaching the students that something as simple as a whistle is a very valuable piece of equipment and could save lives.
Communication between diver and dive guide is also involved in the new open water course by having the student divers recognize audible signals underwater. Instructors now introduces and employ an audible underwater signal, such as tank bagging. Students learn to understand that upon hearing it, they must look at the instructor for directions.
PADI teaching student divers to be more in control and safe thanks to the new PADI Open Water course.