When spearfishing out in the ocean or free diving in general, there are always risks that you must take into consideration for your own safety. Overall, if you aware of the risks associated, it will make your time out in the ocean spearfishing a lot more enjoyable.

One of the risks associated with free diving out in the ocean is a SAMBA. Now you might be asking yourself “What is a SAMBA?” and this blog will give you what you need to ensure you are ready, should it occur.

What is a SAMBA?

A Samba typically occurs 15 to 20 seconds after a diver has surfaced from the ocean and taken their first breath. The difference between a SAMBA and a shallow water black out is that with shallow water black out, it occurs while you are under the water. SAMBA is the loss of motor control after 15 – 20 seconds of resurfacing whereas shallow water black out is the loss of motor skills underneath the water.


What are the symptoms of a SAMBA?

The symptoms of a SAMBA include the inability to keep your eyes open, air bubbles leaking out of the mouth, eradicate movement indicating minor losses of muscle or fine motor controls. Many divers experience a SAMBA without even realising it. This only enhances the importance of spearfishing or free diving with a knowledgeable and alert dive partner.


What do I do if a SAMBA occurs?

If you are diving with a partner, keep a close eye on your partner once they have surfaced for approximately 20-30 seconds after they have surfaced. This is to make sure they do not begin sinking back underneath the water.

The risk of a SAMBA occurring is increased when a diver performs multiple dives without properly re-oxygenating their body. It is very important that you give yourself enough time to gather your breath before diving back under water.

Should a SAMBA set in on your diver partner while free diving or spearfishing, dive down, bring them to the surface immediately, keep their head above surface at all times and remove their mask. CPR shouldn’t be necessary.



So now that you know what a SAMBA is, you’ll be more alert and knowledgeable when free diving or spearfishing. Spearfishing and free diving are fun and enjoyable however, they can pose certain risks. So to ensure the best possible experience when spearfishing or free diving, ensure your dive partner reads this blog or watches our visual walkthrough below.