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Safety Stops and Why you Should Make One While Diving

A scuba diver in a drysuit
While some of the scuba diving abilities we acquire are only meant to be used in times of emergency, others are practically always useful. When we initially enter the diving world, we’re trained on employing safety stops while scuba diving. They’re a preventative and proactive approach that ensures our bodies are appropriately acclimatized when we return to the surface after spending time in the depths of the sea.

Safety Stops 

Whether you’re on an exploratory scuba diving excursion in the Red Sea or are just leisurely diving in Aqaba; it’s customary to make a safety stop at dives below 10 feet. After spending time at depth, divers often take a short break of 3 to 5 minutes at around 5 to 6 meters. People often confuse this with a deep stop, which is done around 50% of the dive’s max depth.


Nitrogen builds up in our blood and tissues when we breathe compressed air for too long. The pressure drops when we come up out of the water, and the same nitrogen starts to flow back out. This is known as off-gassing.  

Ascending too fast can cause nitrogen bubbles to form in the blood vessels. As a result, these nitrogen bubbles may become trapped inside us and cause decompression sickness. A diver’s return to the surface is greatly slowed by safety stops, giving their bodies enough time to eliminate the extra nitrogen collected in their blood and tissues. 

Safety stops are important for all kinds of dives, whether deep or shallower ones. Along with stopping at a depth of 5–6 meters, there are other reasons you should make this stop.

A stop can offer you space to evaluate the surface conditions and see any possible dangers for the next ascent. It also provides a diver time to check their equipment before coming out of the water. After all, you don’t want to lose your expensive camera or a flashlight just because you weren’t vigilant in the water.

Scuba divers exploring underwate

Tips To Make A Safety Spot Correctly

Neutral Buoyancy  

Being near to the surface makes buoyancy difficult. To achieve neutral buoyancy while scuba diving, make sure you exhale while making the stop. When ascending, don’t forget to expel the air from the BCD. Pressure drops and the air grows wider as you move upward. You can prevent unintentionally floating to the surface by continuously adjusting your buoyancy and ascent rate.

Holding a Good Position

There is no “proper” body alignment for a safety stop. Whether you’re okay with a vertical or horizontal stance depends on your circumstances and preferences. 

Get Hold Of A Line

It can be difficult to determine your safety stop in open water without a visible guide or mark. If you have a mooring line or an anchor around, grab onto it to maintain your body at the same position.

Safety is important, and Deep Blue Dive Center is no stranger to this. Our scuba diving excursions are completely safe and fun. Experience the beauty of the underwater world by checking out the most-visited ruins in the Red Sea.  

You can also become a PADI 5-star certified diver by taking our diving courses. We have scuba diving packages at the most affordable prices for the whole family to enjoy. Contact the best diving center in Aqaba to schedule a PADI course or book a boat diving trip.