Sometimes, when diving from a rubber duck, conditions require you that do a negative entry. Usually when there is a strong surface current, the Dive Guide or Dive Master will tell you that a negative entry will be required. But what is a negative entry, and how do you do it?
This is not as daunting as it might sound, very similar to a standard backward roll, which we chatted about in our blog post here.
The difference between a standard backward roll and a negative entry from a Rubber Duck (RIB) is as follows:
How to perform a Backward Roll from a Rubber Duck (RIB):
You would inflate your BC whilst still on the boat, and fall backwards on the skipper’s count (usually this is one… two… three… go!). You would then regroup at the back of the boat, at the buoy marking the shot line, or at the dive guide’s permanent marker buoy. You would all then descend at the same time, meet at the bottom and begin your dive (depending on briefing).
How to perform a Negative Entry from a Rubber Duck (RIB):
The aim is to get under the water as quickly as possible, avoiding the strong currents that can whisk you away from the dive site. The skipper would drop you up-current from the dive site so that by the time you start descending, you will land up in the right place to reach the reef, taking the current into consideration.
To do this, you need to be negatively buoyant by deflating your BC and squeezing all the air out of it (done easily before you put on your BC) so that there is no air in it at all.
You would fall backwards on the skipper’s count and start descending immediately. You would need to fin down quickly but calmly. Just keep your eye on the Dive Guide / Dive Master and meet below the surface at about 5 – 10m or at the bottom (again, depending on the dive briefing).
It is important when doing a negative entry to ensure you do a proper buddy and equipment check before you roll backwards. If you discover you haven’t opened your air, you’ve forgotten your weights, or your inflator hose is not connected you’re going to miss the dive trying to fix it all.
And remember to hold on to your mask as you roll back so that it stays firmly in place!
That’s all there is to it!