How to share air under the water

The alternate air source ascent technique is your solution if you ever (never) get into this situation where you or your dive buddy are low in air. In order to help your buddy using this technique, you´ll need an alternate regulator or well known as an Octopus. Keep reading to find out how to use this technique.

This is one of the most important safety maneuvers learns in our Open Water Course but the one you hope you’ll never use. Be out of air while you are diving can put the whole group in tension but nothing that we can not handle.

As a School with over 10 years of experience, we know that these scenarios can happen and that’s why we teach and practice with our students the Alternate Air Source Ascent technique so you can be prepared for this kind of circumstances.


Octopus - Your diving best friend
Oceanic Slimline 3 Octo
Octopus alternate air source

In order to help your buddy using this technique, you´ll need an alternate regulator or well known as an Octopus. The octopus is a second-stage device that has two functions: to help you if your primary air source fails or if your dive buddy is out of air. It´s really easy to recognize it because they are manufactured in bright colors so you or others can spot and take it with no difficulty.

The alternate air source ascent (octopus) is a really good option if you are in this kind of situation because it allows divers to maintain a normal ascent rate and buddy contact.


Out of air signal - underwater communication
out of air signal - underwater communication
Out of air signal Gif by

The out-of-air diver signals “out-of-air” (gif below) to his buddy, secures his buddy’s alternate air source and breathes normally from the alternate air source while the two divers make an immediate, controlled ascent to the surface. 

This option has several advantages in comparison with the remaining options. Each diver keeps a regulator in his mouth during the ascent and can breathe normally through the entire trip to the surface. The divers have sufficient air to maintain a safe ascent rate which reduces the risk of decompression illness. 

They stay together as a buddy team, so the diver donating air can calm the out-of-air diver and help him to ascend slowly and safely.

Just remember to follow these 3 steps:
  1. Catch your buddy out of air signal
  2. Deploy the alternate air source and help your buddy.
  3. Confirm that everything is set up and you are ready for ascending procedure.

As long as you stay close to your buddy and practice this skill in your Open Water Course until you are comfortable, you´ll be able to dive with peace of mind. It is important to always remember to stay calm and that your training will serve you well in any situation in the water.

At Achidivers store we offer you air tanks refill for only $5 and all the equipment you need for a safe diving trip so you don´t have to live a nightmare while you are exploring the ocean. 

You can to always enjoy the thrills of the ocean in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Jupiter, or Key Largo with us. 

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