Planning a diving trip? 10 signs you must know

Are you planning a diving trip any time soon? Communicating underwater is very important, that is why divers must learn a number of hand signals to indicate certain actions and feelings. Here are the 10 signs all scuba divers must know.

The Okay signal


This signal should not be confused with the end dive signal. Formed by pressing the tips of the thumb and index finger to form a circle and extending the other fingers this signal should also receive the same response from the other divers in the group.

The problem signal


Be careful not confuse it with the level off signal, the not okay signal is shown by rotating slowly a flattened hand side to side  (similar to expressing ‘so-so’ in a conversation) and then pointing at the source of the problem such as the ear, tank, leg or whatever is bothering the diver.

Up or End dive signal


This signal alerts other divers to begin ascension. Other diver’s in the group acknowledge by responding with the same signal. To indicate a need to end a dive, point one thumb upward.

Descend signal


By pointing a thumb downward, you indicate to other divers to continue descending or to prepare to descend.

Stop signal


This symbol is probably one of the most commonly known signals for divers, the stop signal. An open palm is extended outwards indicating to other divers to stop. The hold sign, similar to the stop signal is indicated by also extending the hand yet tightly fisted with the palm outwards. Fellow divers do the same to show they have acknowledged the demand.

Safety stop signal


Another important signal, the safety stop is presented using both hands. Three fingers under the level off signal indicate to other divers to maintain a certain depth for at least three minutes.

Directional signal


By pointing all five fingers together in an open hand towards a desired direction of exploration a diver indicates to others to head that way.

Level off signal


This hand signal is used to suggest maintaining a certain depth when diving. It is made by presenting a flat open downward palm and slowly moving it side to side horizontally.

Low on air signal


When you are diving you should always check your oxygen or air often and if necessary get ready to ascend. The low on air signal is indicated by holding a closed fist close to the chest.

Bubbles or leaking signal


This signal is completed by opening and closing the finger tips together. It is an indication that there may be a link or bubbles coming from the diver’s gear or one of their companions. Possibly one of the most important, the bubbles or leaking sign can help make divers aware of oxygen issues.
Making sure you know all the proper ways to communicate underwater is important to ensure a safe and fun dive or exploration. These symbols are universal, with them being used all around the world.


Before your next diving trip, you should become familiar with these 10 signs all divers must know so you can make the most out of your scuba diving tour with Aquaworld!

Get ready for a new adventure at the bottom of the sea, Book your dive now!