Most important safety tips for spearfishing in 2021 – Sports Medicine Weekly | Dr. Brian J. Cole
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Published on: 10-Oct-2021

Spearfishing as a sport is no different from most other sports. It is fun, recreational, enjoyable, and also has its rewards. However, this time tools such as a speargun can be potentially harmful, yet are essential for such recreational activity. So, we will give you a run-through of the essentials you need to begin spearfishing, as well as safety measures on how to handle them to avoid complications and injuries. 

Look out for the waves and currents underwater

Spearfishing involves diving into the depths of the ocean, so safety precautions must be exercised when confronted with the elements. Strong currents can be problematic, especially if the fish tries to use them as a means to flee. It is best to be familiar with your diving capabilities, and how far you are willing to go to catch fish. Always have a plan in case things go south, and if need be, go along with a professional. 

If you are a shoreline diver, then you need a float to keep your kill and in case of emergency, to fly an emergency flag. Divers need to learn how to differentiate between rip and tidal currents. The latter is usually stronger and more aggressive and can go on for very long distances. Instead of trying to fight it head-on, it is advisable to swim to it and just stay afloat to preserve energy and avoid being flung towards objects around. It is always advisable to get a kayak or boat to help cross over the current and return to your destination. Paddleboards are also good. Always remember to take some professional training in navigation and search and rescue, if necessary. 

Watch out for small dangerous animals

There are several animals that you have to avoid when diving, but unfortunately it becomes problematic to do so, as they can be very tough to detect. Creatures like electric fish, scorpions, stingrays, and fire corals are difficult to spot in the depths and cause injuries, to varying degrees.

These creatures have lots of sharp edges and spines that can inflict wounds, while some can even cause shocks and burning sensations. Always wear protective gear and equipment to avoid these encounters and limit potential injury. 

Dangers in the waters

Being caught in the middle of shooting lines is a big danger when spear diving, as they are projectiles that can cause severe injury. Divers can also get caught in nets and other sea debris. There is always the danger of colliding with dangerous objects left by human activity, so it’s best to stay alert at all times. 

Some Spearfishing Equipment to Keep on hand

  1. Always keep a sharp knife, as it can always come in handy if faced with danger. For example, if you encounter dangerous marine life, or become entangled in fishing nets and other debris. You can also carry sea snips along with you
  2. Always wear tough gloves to protect your hands against stings and spines. But remember, the gloves should be flexible enough to ease handling spearing guns. Kevlar gloves are very ideal for warmer waters and climates, and last longer, unlike most latex gloves that are only known to last one time. For colder waters and climates, neoprene is very ideal as it is very flexible and also very durable. If needed, add Kevlar materials to aid usability. 
  3. It is advisable to have a sling shaft that can also double as a diving flag in case of emergencies. Just attach it to the hook of your shaft, as it is a wonderful safety marker and meets standardized diving flag regulations and requirements. 
  4. Some electronic safety gear like WHF Radios are also very good and are highly recommended, especially if you intend to spearfish with a kayak or boat. Be careful to identify one that is appropriate for deep water diving, as most may have depth limitations.  
  5. Handle the spears with extreme caution and restraint, especially when the target is not yet in sight, so as not to cause injury to unintended victims. Be always aware of where the muzzle is pointed, and never point your speargun at anything that is not a target. It should always be pointed in a safe direction 
  6. Never forget to unload spearguns and be very cautious and make sure to completely remove them from the barrel. Also, remember that spearfishing equipment should never be loaded out of the water, as it is only meant for underwater use. A lot of divers make these mistakes. Also, when in the water hunting, keep the equipment uptight till you enter the water. Then, point it forward in line with your body to avoid mishaps. It also helps to prevent drag and the weight slowing you down. Never place your finger on the trigger until a target is within distance. This rule is important as it prevents most unwanted accidents underwater. For quality spearguns and polespears, when spearfishing, you can check out options at Neptonics. 
  7. With masks, remember that fit is everything. Get one that fits your face perfectly, regardless of brand. Also, clean the glass thoroughly so that it is safe to use in water and always removes any chemical residue. White toothpaste can be very good for this, as it removes most leftover chemicals and other debris from the glasses, so as not to impair vision when diving.  

Conclusion

Spearfishing is a ton of fun, and also has great rewards for divers. However, there can be dangers at times and it is always advisable to keep a cautionary eye on the situation whenever you are diving. These safety tips will go a long way to ensure that you can engage in spearfishing as safely and as freely as possible. At the end of the day, your safety ultimately depends on you and the precautionary measure you take. Always remember to follow safety guidelines and make an exit where a situation seems to be taking a dangerous turn. Happy diving!

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