Speargun Safety – The Basics
Why Speargun Safety is Important
Spearfishing is one of the most fun sports you can participate in. That being said, there are risks involved. Speargun safety is one of the most fundamental aspects of preventing spearfishing accidents. New divers always think that their greatest risks are from sharks or other environmental issues, but the reality is your greatest risks come from other divers. Every few months there seems to be a diver that is shot with their own or another divers speargun. There are a couple rules you can impose on yourself that will prevent any problems with this.
The Basic Rules
- Never load a speargun out of the water
- Do not fire a speargun out of water
- Never point a speargun at anything you do not want to kill
- Keep you finger away from the trigger until you are ready to shoot
- Know what is behind your target
- Ensure there are not tangles in your rigging
- Never rely on the speargun safety
A Better Breakdown
Here is a more in depth breakdown of why these rules are so important.
Use Out of The Water
Never load or fire a speargun out of the water. Spearguns need water resistance to function properly. The amount of force stored in the bands is capable of shooting a spear up to 20 feet underwater. These same bands out of the water can launch these spears over 200 feet. There is no safe way to control that kind of shot.
Speargun Safety Compared to Firearm Safety
Most of the other rules are taken from basic firearm safety, but the same rules apply with spearguns. It stands to reason that you can’t shoot your buddy if you never point your speargun at them. That means never pulling the trigger of a fish directly between you and your buddy. Accidentally hitting you dive buddy with a spear is much less likely if you keep your finger away from the trigger until you are ready to shoot. That being said, The trigger can get caught on tons of things in the underwater environment. Be aware of your surroundings and maintain control of your speargun, especially if it is loaded.
Speargun Specific Considerations
Tangles in the shooting lines and bands are a major concern. This can be catastrophic because of the amount of force involved and extremely dangerous to all the divers in the vicinity. Always load your speargun properly.
The last key element is to never rely on your spearguns safety. Speargun safeties are notorious for failing. Many custom gun builder do not even bother installing them into their spearguns because they can be so frustrating.