As you know, speaking underwater does not work. So how can we communicate with each other under water? Easy, we can use our Hands to signal our Buddy or our Dive Guide how we feel.

Here are some of the most important Scuba Diving Hand Signals for you to remember:


Hand Signals to communicate underwater

Are you ok?

As a Scuba Diver you might know that Thumps up doesn’t mean I am ok – I am ok means when you do like the picture is showing.

Your Dive Guide will ask you few times during the dive how you feel – just answer with this sign if everything is OK

I have a problem with my ears


If you face a problem during a dive, stretch your hand out straight and move it back to left and right to show your buddy or Dive Guide that you have a problem. Also always show where you’re facing the problem – for example like on the picture on the right side: with your ears or with equalizing.

How much air do you have

This sign means, how much air do you have? To answer, see below

I have 100 / 50 / 20 bar left


To show your buddy how much air you have left, use your both hands (one horizontal and the other vertical) to show you still have 100 bar. If you have 50 bars left, make a fist. If you have lets say 70 bar, show the fist for 50 bar and two fingers (each finger showing 10 bar).

The current is strong

This sign means, there is a strong current.

Go closer to the reef / to the bottom


If the current is strong, your Dive Guide will tell you to either go closer to the bottom (picture left) or closer to the reef (picture right)

Let’s go up

To end the dive, your Dive Guide or your buddy will give you this sign to show you that it is time to ascend.

3 Minute Safety-Stop

One of the most important sign is this one: it is time for your 3 minute safety stop at 5 meters depth.

And here are some of the basic signs for the Marine life:


If you see a shark and you want to let your buddy or dive group know, just put your straight hand in front of your head.


If you see a Lionfish, put both hands together and lift your fingers up.


If you see a turtle, put both hands together and put your thumps out.

Of course, there are many more Signals which we use on a dive or especially during a Scuba Diving Course – these are just the most important and basic ones. You will learn the Signals during your Open Water Course and with the time of continuing your Scuba Diving education you will even learn more and more.

Also on every dive with MolaMola Diving Center in Oman, we are reviewing the most important signals, so every diver understand what we are saying and how he or she can communicate with us.

Let us know if you know any other Signals, especially of Marina life, on your next dive with us.