Although you are new to diving, as a beginner or novice cave diver there are a few hand signals you should familiarize yourself with before you take the plunge. And, with the right dive light in place, not only is it easy to let your diving buddy or group know you are okay, but also to inform them of potential danger, emergencies, or other concerns. So, these are a few of the basic signaling cave dive light maneuvers which are known by divers that should get you ready for your first few dives.


Making a circular motion with your dive light is typically a sign that everything is clear and okay up ahead. Simply make a circle in front of your body, and other divers will respond with the same signal/direction, informing you they got the message and everything is okay with them as well. This signal always requires a response, so make sure you wait for it when diving with others.


If there are issues or potential danger, using your dive light make a continuous back and forth motion in a rapid manner (or up and down motion). Whether it’s a low tank or other immediate danger looming, this signals to your dive partners there are issues awaiting you on the dive that require immediate attention. With this signal, a response is always required as well.


If you need to get your diving buddy or group’s attention, you will do the same up and down (or back and forth motion) as with an emergency, however it won’t be a rapid motion, but done slowly. Again, this is only to gain the attention of other divers, and it always requires a response.

As is the case with most dive light signals, a response is typically required. Over time you will learn other signals, but these are the basics every new diver needs to know when cave diving.