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The different functions of a surface marker buoy

The surface marker buoy or SMB can be used to show the position of a diver, provide a support from which to hold while being in a stop for safety or stage decompression. It can also be used as a sign for boat traffic in general and, whatever the function for which you wish to acquire one is, you should know that they are very practical and versatile devices.

There are different kinds and pieces of equipment which a diver must carry with him for different purposes. For example, there is backup equipment which mainly consists on an air system, a mask and lights; and there is the SMB which is a whole type of equipment by itself. Non prudential divers often do not wish to use it, but it can not only provide safety but it can also be very useful.

There are some problems that a surface marker buoy might have and which you should be aware of. First of all, these devices sometimes can deflate or be pierced and therefore become useless. They can also be hit by a boat, sink or sometimes they can even explode on their way up. But, although these situations can happen at any moment, they do not happen all the time and you shouldn't have a headache because of them.

These devices can be used in two main different ways. In one first way, the diver can pull the SMB on the surface while he dives allowing boats to know where he is. Or, according to one second methodology, the diver can send it to the surface when he is on his way up and this way he would only give a sign on where he is at the time to go to the surface.

It is important to have into account the fact that a diver who practices this activity without a SMB is unsafe and could be lost. Therefore, it is highly recommendable that divers always use this device, not only those who are just starting to practice the sport but also those who already have experience at it.

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