Black Rock Beach

Point Pleasant Park, Halifax
Certification Level:  All levels - easy site

Overview

 

Black rock beach is located in Point Pleasant Park close to downtown Halifax NS. It is ideal for trunk divers (people who don’t own boats) that want to test out some new gear, or just don’t feel like traveling too far, or are new to diving and want to get a nice easy dive under their belt. There is a large parking lot when you enter the site so you won’t have any trouble finding parking. I personally recommend parking close to the beach where there is a wall that you can easily don and doff your gear. As you can see in image A,B and C.

The beach is sandy and has a nice slope to it that will help with entering and exiting the water. One thing to keep in mind is that there is quite a lot of sediment which can cause low visibility if you stir up the bottom. It can take several minutes to clear up. For your convenience see image D for entry and exit procedures.

There are also rocks on both sides of the beach so take a bearing of 080 degrees towards the small wreck (indicated by the orange triangle on the image below) from the beach. Make sure you refer to the site map in order to ensure your safety.

There is a second wreck quite far out adjacent to the container jetty it is on a bearing of 095 degrees if you reach a depth of 50 ft or deeper you have gone too far. See the site mapge 5 for a reference.

Hazards

 

  • The shoal on the left at low tide can be inches deep causing you to stand and possibly slip see picture F

  • The sediment could cause you to lose your buddy (don’t dive alone)

  • There are lobster traps so ensure you have a knife in case you get entangled

  • There are rocks on the left side closest to the parking lot, don’t get snagged

  • There is a drop from the parking lot to the beach, it is about 3 feet so ensure your buddy helps you out

  • There will always be people around that will be very impressed by your awesomeness and will want to take pictures of you. This is good but can be distracting, which could cause you to lose your buddy.

Emergency Procedures
 

In the event of an emergency, the best plan is to exit the water from the beach and then go to the parking lot. There is always going to be people around so make sure to tell them to contact 911 and tell them why. The hospital is only 6 minutes away by google maps. You will also have great reception so if there is no one around call yourself if need be. Remember to always have an emergency kit, the list below is some items that should be included.

 

 

Low -air / out of air situation: In case this happens, ascend to the surface immediately using standard surfacing techniques. Ascend slowly looking up to see any boats that might be in the area. Surface swim back to the entry / exit point at a slow but comfortable pace. (Remember to always check your SPG  to ensure this doesn’t happen)

 

Buddy separation: Stay down and look for 1 minute (look for bubbles) if not found proceed to the surface with a controlled ascent looking up and around for anything over head you might run into. Make yourself positively buoyant wait a short time, if your buddy doesn’t return to the surface, proceed to the entry / exit point and contact emergency assistance.

 

Injured diver: If your buddy receives a marine life injury, return to the shore immediately then assess the situation and contact medical assistance if required. If injury is due to marine life make sure you take the steps to avoid being hurt yourself. (Don’t make the lobsters mad to ensure this doesn’t happen)

 

Near -drowning situation: Lung injury, or decompression illness. Get the injured party to shore and contact Emergency assistance immediately. Provide oxygen if you have it on hand .

 

Emergency Assistance Numbers

  • 911

  • Police \RCMP:911

  • Search and Rescue:911

  • DAN (divers alert network):(919) 684-8111 or (919) 684-4326

  • Marine VHF:Channel 16

  • Recompression Chamber:(902) 473-7998

 

 

First Aid Kit List

Safety First

In first aid, you need to protect yourself before administering treatment. That means every first aid kit needs to include protective equipment:

 

  • Nitrile or latex gloves

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) mask

 

Basic Supplies

Equip your kit with basic supplies to handle a range of injuries. Basic kit supplies include:

 

  • Safety pins

  • Soap or sanitizer

  • Antiseptic solution

  • Assorted bandages including adhesive and triangular

  • Adhesive tape

  • Cold packs and/or heat packs

  • Aloe Vera

  • Irrigation syringe

  • Plastic bags for contaminated material storage

  • Pen and paper or pencil and dive slate

  • Flashlight or headlamp

 

 

Medications

All kits should include some basic medications but administering medications may not be within your scope of practice. Laws vary regarding administration of medication so you’ll want to be up on what is allowed in your area. Remember, never provide any medication without first asking the person if they have any allergies. A typical kit might include the following:

 

  • Anti-inflammatory medication containing ibuprofen (Advil®/Motrin®)

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol®)

  • Antihistamines containing diphenhydramine (Benadryl®)

  • Anti-diarrheal medications containing loperamide (Imodium®)

  • Hydrocortisone cream

 

 

Customize

A first aid kit for diving should also include several specialized items. Remember, you should only provide care within the scope of your training. Some of these items include:

 

  • A bottle of vinegar to manage jellyfish stings

  • Oxygen equipment including cylinder, demand inhalator valve, non-rebreather mask and oronasal resuscitation mask

  • Tincture of benzoin so bandages adhere to wet skin better

  • Meclizine (Bonine) or dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) for seasickness

 

Emergency Essentials

The additional emergency equipment you might consider depends on where you are and where you’re going. Some important components include:

 

  • A means of conveying emergency information such as mobile phone, satellite phone or marine radio

  • List of emergency contact information, including the DAN Emergency Hotline number: 1 919 684 9111

  • Insurance cards

  • List of allergies, prescription medications and medical conditions

  • Emergency blanket

  • Emergency manuals relevant to your trip (such as hazardous marine life first aid guides)

 

Pack it all up in a waterproof case, and you are ready to go. You should review and assess the state of your kit quarterly – you’ll want to make sure you replenish anything you’ve used or any expired supplies.

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