Skip to content

Becoming a Better Diver: Tips from a seasoned dive pro

(DiverWire) Contributing Instructor Szilvia Gogh wants to make divers safer. Here’s a first-person story she wrote about a recent incident with a fellow diver.

I was already in the water waiting for my girlfriends to join me for our first dive while on our “Miss Scuba” vacation in Malta when I spotted an undoubtedly distressed diver on the surface a short distance away. He appeared out of nowhere, well not really out of from nowhere. I knew that about a 100ft below him lay wreck “Rozi”. He most
likely lost control of his buoyancy during his ascend and shot to the surface.

As a scuba instructor my job is to bring people back alive from their dive trips. Even though I was on my holiday, I felt I had to help the distressed diver.

I handed my camera to the nearest woman. As I swam towards the panicked diver I retrieved my pocket mask from my BC’s pocket. I prepared it for use, just in case he lost consciousness. When I was at earshot from him I asked if he was OK. He did not seem quite all right with the bloody foam coming out of his mouth, but I tried to be positive. He weakly said that he came up too quickly and felt dizzy.

By then, several other divers arrived to lend a helping hand. One took his gear off as I pulled the distressed diver towards shore, while another asked him questions: What is your name? Who are you diving with? Who shall we contact? What was your dive profile? Where is your buddy?

Efficient local dive instructors already had the portable DAN Oxygen bottle hooked up by the time we reached shore. When they took over, I returned to my girlfriends and we descended to start our underwater exploration in the realms of the Mediterranean Sea. Either the world is full of bad divers, or it is my luck (or theirs), that I happen to come across those in need for help every time I travel somewhere.

I came to the evident conclusion I needed to get all my scuba friends ready to deal with such situations and created a “Become a Better Diver” Workshop

Are You a New Diver or Already Scuba Professional? Take This “Self-Sufficient, Self-Reliant, Confident Diver” Workshop with Szilvia Gogh and You Will Become a Better Diver!

Each Session Will Focus on Different Areas of Diving. Don’t Worry if You Can Not be at Every Session, Just Do as Many as You Can! Contact us for exact dates and times of each of these segments.

Session One:  Let’s See Your Gear!

This session focuses on Your Scuba System and the importance of knowing the dive gear you dive with. How do you know how much air your tank should have? Where is the best place for your dive knife? Is your gear easy to get to? Do you have any back-up stuff, just in case your fin strap brakes or o-ring falls out of your tank valve? The key: LESS
is MORE, but always be prepared for the unexpected. We will talk about how to choose the Right Equipment for You! Just because something works for a diver, doesn’t mean it will work for every diver.

Session Two: Let’s See Your Dive Skills!

This session focuses on the basics of diving that will make all the difference on how comfortable you feel underwater. Let’s start with weights. Are you sure you really need that much weight? 80% of the divers carry way more than they really need. Next, work on CONTROLLED ascents, descents, body positioning, buddy system.

Session Three:  What Would You Do if… ?

This session will address the What If Scenarios. If you dive enough, this is really not a matter of IF, but rather WHEN this happens.  What will you do, when another diver close to you starts freaking out or passes out next to you while diving? What happens if you “blow through your safety stop” at the end of a dive? How do you handle an out-of-air scenario, realistically!? In real life you will never see a diver showing you the “I am out of air” sign that you learned in your class waiting for you to find your octopus…

Session Four: How Do You Find… ?

This is my favorite session.
80% of people diving with me says “I will just follow you,” when we dive together. But what if I want to sit out a dive or something happens to me? How do you find your way back? Someone dropped a mask overboard before they were ready and doesn’t have a spare one. How do you find it? There is a really cool shipwreck, 275 degree, 60 yards, you can not miss it! Let’s not mention a missing diver!? How do you find things that you are looking for based on the size of the object and the bottom of the ocean?

Session Five: Are You a Good Buddy?

Let’s go on a boat, dive together and see!  This session focuses on “buddy” diving while being self-sufficient and self-reliant. Let’s make a dive plan! How we going to get in? Where are we going? What are we doing? When are we turning back? Maximum depth… Let’s make sure we use the same signals for the same things. How are we going to stay together and what are we going to do if we get separated?

Why Should You Take This Workshop?
If you have 20, maybe even 200 dives under your belt and think that you know everything about diving that you need to know… you should read the Divers Alert Network Annual Dive Accident Report! A Good Diver Never Stops Learning.

Why Should You Take This Workshop with Szilvia Gogh?
Since 1989 Szilvia has been involved in International Competition Level Orientation Diving, and has logged close to 5000 dives, including training, competition, and recreational dives. She decided to travel around the world and make a living of scuba diving right after she finished college. Szilvia has lived and taught scuba all around Europe, Australia and Asia. She dove some of the most extreme waters, such as in South Africa with sharks and whales, in Antarctica
under icebergs and in Los Angeles  with the LAPD Dive Team in zero visibility.

In 2003 she became a Course Director. She is proud to be the youngest female world-wide ever excepted to become a PADI CD. She teaches dive instructor courses for the LAPD Dive Unit leaders, works as a safety and stunt diver in the motion picture industry. Recently she worked on Green Hornet, Piranha 3D, Flash Forward, Desperate Housewives and doubled Drew Barrymore for her latest movie, Everybody Loves Whales.

Bonus: At the End of the Workshop, Ocean Adventures Will Award a PADI Divemaster Training to the Most Deserving Diver ($750 Value). If You are Already a DM, I am Sure We Can Find Another Course For You!


This Is a Community Outreach Program, so We Will Offer a Special Price $198 for This Workshop.

Please Note that Boat Fees are Extra when diving off a boat.

To sign up or with questions, please call Ocean Adventures at 310-578-9391 .  Our instructors will be happy to clarify any queries you have.