Are you a non-swimmer but wish to experience the amazing water sport called scuba diving on the Andaman Islands? Well, then this article is for you. People from all over the world travel to the islands for their scenic beauty, white sandy beaches, and exciting activities like scuba diving. And the best part is that the Andaman Islands have diving spots for all kinds of divers, from first-timers to professional, skilled divers.
The wide popularity of fishes and corals will leave you mesmerized. Needless to mention the crystal-clear waters that will offer you a sight you’ve never witnessed before. So, are you ready to find out how you can dive as a non-swimmer on the Andaman Islands? Let’s get right to it then.
Why Choose the Andaman Islands for Scuba Diving?
While there are numerous dive spots across the globe, divers are attracted to the Andaman Islands due to its fascinating water and weather conditions along with rich marine life. Below are three reasons why you should scuba dive on these islands.
- The Andaman has a large variety of soft and hard corals along with a high population of vibrant fishes.
- You do not need to go into extreme depths to witness marine life - the shores are filled up with reef beds and marine creatures.
- Crystal-clear water combined with warmth offers ideal underwater visibility.
Types of Scuba Diving for Non-Swimmers
If this is your first-time trying scuba diving and you do not know how to swim, there are two ways in which you can perform the activity on the Andaman Islands. These are as follows:
- Shore Diving
The first step to shore diving is a training session with the instructor, where you will be wearing scuba equipment in waist-deep water. Your instructor will explain to you how to breathe underwater along with other essential skills. This will lead to an assisted dive, where every diver will be assisted by an instructor. Any issues you face while diving will be solved by the instructor.
The cost of shore diving is lower as compared to other kinds of scuba diving activities on the Andaman Islands. So, if you are a non-swimmer with a low budget, this is the type of dive you should go for.
- Boat Scuba Diving
Just like shore diving, you will receive directions from your instructor prior to taking the dive, which you must pay attention to very carefully. The session will help you become familiar with the scuba gear and breathing techniques you should follow underwater.
In boat scuba diving, you will have an instructor with you at all times to assist you. All you need to do is jump from the boat into the water to experience the thrilling activity. Also, this kind of scuba diving for non-swimmers is more expensive than shore diving.
Scuba Diving Sites for Non-Swimmers on the Andaman Islands
Scuba diving for beginners who do not know how to swim takes place only at certain regions on Neil Island, Havelock Islands, and Port Blair. For a boat diving experience on Neil Island, you will be required to go to the dive site close to Bharatpur Beach. Further, on Havelock Island, scuba diving for non-swimmers takes place only at Nemo Reef.
Shore diving can be done on Havelock Island as well as North Bay Island. Further, there are some dive sites in the capital as well. However, for a boat diving experience, you can either go to Havelock Island or Neil Island since these are the only islands on the Andaman Islands that offer such activities.
Is it Safe to Scuba Dive in Andaman?
Scuba diving is a safe underwater sport, provided that all internationally recognized safety standards and guidelines are thoroughly followed. It is best to perform scuba diving under the guidance of an instructor affiliated with a certified institution (SSI/PADI).
Also, the ratio followed during scuba dives on the islands for beginners is one-is-to-one, which means that there is an instructor for every scuba diver. This helps in ensuring the safety of unskilled divers and keeping them away from misadventures while exploring marine life.
Provisions for Scuba Divers
While the criteria may vary from one scuba diving institution to another, the general provisions for scuba divers are mentioned here. First of all, the individual must be physically as well as mentally fit in order to perform the activity. The age must be between 10 and 51 years. Being skilled at swimming is not a necessity.
Instructors advise against swimming to first-time divers since the experience can be exhausting and uncomfortable. Furthermore, people suffering from certain health conditions that require everyday medication are not suggested to scuba dive. These medical conditions include mental disbalance, recent surgery, ear disease, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, asthma, and diabetes. In case of further queries regarding these, ask your instructor before diving into the sea.
Best Time to Perform Scuba Diving
One can visit the Andaman Islands for scuba diving all year round. However, based on underwater visibility and heat conditions, the months from October to May are the best for a perfect experience. Nonetheless, the islands can experience light rainfalls or cyclonic weather during these months as well. This is why it is majorly the weather that determines if it is suitable to scuba dive on a particular day or not.
Oftentimes, people prefer diving on weekends. So, if you do not want to wait longer for your turn, consider scuba diving on a weekday. Finally, the time of the day does not impact the underwater experience as well. Yet, most travellers prefer diving in the morning due to milder winds and lighter sun. In case you take a scuba diving session in the morning, you get to rest well later and enjoy the picturesque views on the white sandy beaches as you bask in the sun.
The Bottom Line
Scuba diving is a watersport that everyone must perform at least once in their lifetime. And even if you are a non-swimmer, you can choose from shore diving or boat diving on the Andaman Islands. Remember to pay careful attention to the instructor before taking the dive.