If you already are a certified diver, you have already come across this Buddy Check procedure.
If you are considering to take up Scuba Diving, you will come across this when you take your PADI Open Water Diver Certification.
There is a simple acronym to remember this Buddy Check , "BWRAF". It is remembered as "Begin With Review And Friends" and sometimes also referred as, "Big White Rabbits Are Fluffy", "Because We Really Aren't Fish", "Big Whales Really are Fine" and many other versions.
BWRAF is a simple yet important procedure to do with your buddy before a dive to ensure a smooth and fulfilling dive. Even if you have a lot of dive experiences and have a huge number of dives in your books, this is highly recommended to do to avoid delays and termination of dives.
So what exactly is BWRAF?
B = BCD
Make sure the BCD is adjusted and fit your buddy properly. Check that the low pressure inflator hose is properly connected to the manual inflator and the tank is firmly strapped in. Press the inflator button for a short burst to ensure it is working properly. If it is not a negative buoyant entry, partially inflate the BCD. Check that visual and audio signaling devices are in place and in working order.
W = Weight
Confirm your buddy has the correct amount of weights and are distributed correctly. Also be sure that weight pockets and/or weight belt is secured, and can be easily released using the quick release system. You need to know how to release your buddy's weights and they need to know how to release yours.
R = Releases
Check all releases, make sure they are secure, and that you understand where they are and how they work. These include chest straps, shoulder straps, belly straps and also the tank release.
A = Air
Check that your buddy has turned on his air tank. Have your buddy take a few breaths from their regulator, as you watch the Submersible Pressure Gauge (SPG) to ensure the tank is full and the valve is fully turned on. The needle on the SPG should not move. Test your buddy’s alternate, and make sure it is working fine and you are familiarised with the system.
F = Final Check
Secure all loose items including hoses, consoles, lights, cameras, etc and make sure nothing is tangled. Make sure wetsuits are zipped. See that your buddy is holding mask, snorkel, and fins, and ready to enter the water.
By folloing the BWRAF before every dive, you can ensure your buddy and you have a safe, fun and enjoyable dive.
Stay happy and dive safe,