Speargun accidents happen, and they’re pretty much always preventable. The sport is great fun, and it’s an awesome way to catch your own dinner, but done incorrectly it’s extremely dangerous. Most of these rules make perfect sense, but there’s a few things in here that really change the game.

Starting off really simple, never walk around with a loaded gun. It sounds obvious but this is unbelievably common. The only place you should have your speargun loaded is in the water while you are hunting and targeting a fish. All spearguns have a safety switch, which should absolutely be used during all other times, but this cannot be relied on as our sole defence. Unload your gun whenever you are not hunting or out the water… and also turn your safety on. It’s also a great idea to use a rubber shaft protector on land.

This next one is probably the most common cause of accidents that I’ve witnessed, and that’s having poor quality trigger mechanisms. Trigger mechanisms are expensive and difficult to make, and a lot of spearguns on the market use plastic parts or cheaper metal compounds that eventually rust, or weaken with use. Essentially meaning that you’re holding a loaded gun, with a faulty trigger, and this is a huge concern. When purchasing spearguns it’s important that you ensure you are buying a good quality mechanism. Have a close look at the trigger mech and ensure that it is 100% made out of stainless steel, and that it does not have reports of failure online. Decent quality mechanisms usually come with lifetime warranties. You should also regularly wash your mechanism, and maintain it.

When your speargun is not in use, or is being transported you should also store your speargun in a protective bag. These are typically just neoprene bags, which do the job, but if you’re after a good quality bag that really keeps everything safe and protected it’s worth considering grabbing an armoured bag.

While in the water you should also tow a safety coloured float, which you’re going to need anyways, with a flag to alert boats and other watercraft that you’re in the area. Boats are a huge threat, and it’s important that they can see us.

Also follow all the safety procedures we’ve previously covered for freediving, such as diving with a buddy and knowing how to deal with a shallow water blackout, and it goes without saying, but never point your gun at anyone, loaded or not.