How Long Should You Stay Under The Water?


When you’re learning how to dive, one of the most important questions you have to ask yourself is, how long should you stay under the water when scuba diving? This question is especially important when you go scuba diving in areas where it’s difficult to judge how deep you are.

Read the article to answer the question.

But before you know how long should you stay under the water, it’s best to understand or gauge the depth of water you’ll go under. That way, it can become easier to measure how much you should stay underwater. 

Here’s what you can do:

  • There are a few different ways to judge the depth of the water. The most common way is to stand under the water and try to see where you’re standing. Of course, this method can be inaccurate. This is because if you were on the sand or coral reef, there’s a good chance that the bottom of your diving gear will show up in front of your head.
  • Another method is to take a dive certification class. By doing this, you’ll know how much water you should stay under if the dive instructor cannot gauge the exact depth.
  • If you can’t wait for the instructor to tell you the exact depth, then you can use the depth finder to measure how deep you are. The depth finder has been around for years, and most scuba divers have used them to determine how deep they should be.

Staying Underwater

When you’re first getting used to scuba diving, make sure you don’t stay underwater longer than three hours. This is because you don’t want to damage your equipment by trying to go deeper than necessary.

You want to stay under the water for three hours because of the possible problems that can occur while you’re scuba diving. For example, you could suffer from decompression sickness if you stay under for too long.

If you have already suffered from this sickness, you should only stay underwater for a maximum of fifteen minutes. Once you feel fine, you can then go on your way. If you’re unsure, then you should seek medical attention. This is a very serious condition that can even be fatal if you don’t seek treatment quickly enough.

Other Factors To Determine How Long You Should Be Underwater

Moreover, how long you should stay under the water while scuba diving depends on the conditions you are in, your skill level, and the type of scuba diving you’re doing.

  • If you’re taking your first dive and haven’t experienced it before, you should take your time. Don’t rush and do anything you’re uncomfortable with. 
  • If you’re taking your second or third dive and have the experience, you might want to go longer, but you should still take your time. If you’re using a mask on your first dive, then you should stay below five feet for your second one and your third dive as well.
  • If you’re going for the very first time, then you can always start at three feet and go deeper as your skills improve.
  • When you’re diving in waters with other divers, there are some situations where you should stay below five feet, but not above it.
  • If there’s debris in the water, you need to stay below because it can lead to an accident.’


Once you know the guidelines you need to follow, you also need to know when to get under for your dive. If you’re diving with an instructor at your side, you can ask them how long you should stay below so that you don’t go overboard.

Don’t stay underwater for so long. If you aren’t a good diver, you need to keep working at it so you’ll master the art of scuba diving and become a better diver in the future.