Underwater signs

Scuba Diving Hand Signals

Author’s Note

Proper, easy-to-understand communication underwater is one of the most important things that improve a diver’s safety. Every scuba diver should be able to use hand signals to communicate. Thanks to them, we can relay information to our partner, like as sharing observations, warning of danger, or asking them to do something for you.

As a professional guide and instructor, I’ve been diving with over a thousand different divers from all over the world. Sadly, their knowledge of hand signals was below satisfactory. Despite that, I’ve seen and learned many signals from the people I’ve met. Scuba divers sometimes use different signs to communicate the same messages. They often make up new signs or use those utilized by local diving communities.

I’ve realized that there’s a need for a unified standard of scuba diving hand signals. There are many of them in use, but in my opinion, none of the diving federations pay enough attention to this problem. Finding a list of hand signals turned out to be impossible. It’s possible to find some information about them, but it’s incomplete. That’s why I decided to collect, draw and publish this Scuba Diving Hand Signals guide. It consists only of the most popular and most often used signs. I must remind you, however, that you can meet with signals not listed on this guide, or ones that differ from them.

Every visitor of our website can copy and publish this list for educational uses, but not for commercial ones.

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Diving signs