Scuba Diving Surface Marker Buoy

When it comes to scuba diving, safety should always be the top priority. One essential piece of equipment that every diver should have is a surface marker buoy (SMB). This brightly coloured inflatable buoy is a marker of a diver’s location on the surface of the water. This makes it easier for boats and other divers to spot them.

On this page we will explore the importance of surface marker buoys and why every scuba diver should have one.

What is a Surface Marker Buoy?

A surface marker buoy is a buoyant device that divers deploy on the surface of the water. It is typically brightly coloured, such as orange or yellow. It attaches to a line that connects to the diver’s gear.

The buoy is inflates using the diver’s regulator or an oral inflator. It remains on the surface of the water throughout the dive.

Why Use a Scuba Diving Diving Buoy


The primary purpose of a surface marker buoy is safety. In the event of an emergency, such as a diver losing their group or running low on air. The buoy can deploy to signal for help.

The bright colour and height of the buoy make it easily visible from a distance. This allows boats and other divers to locate the diver in need of assistance.


Surface marker buoys are also useful for navigation. When diving in open water, it can be easy to lose track of your location, especially if there is a current. By deploying a surface marker buoy, you can mark your starting point and easily find your way back to it. This is especially important for drift dives, where the current can carry you away from your intended exit point.


In addition to safety and navigation, surface marker buoys work as a communication device. Divers can attach a slate or other signalling device to the line of the buoy to communicate with their dive buddy or boat. This can be especially helpful in situations where verbal communication is not possible, such as in rough waters.

Required in Some Locations

Some dive sites and countries require the use of a surface marker buoy. This is often due to safety concerns, as the buoy can help prevent divers losing their group. It is important to research the regulations of your dive destination. Ensure you have a surface marker buoy if your diving location says so.

Need Help Finding a Scuba Diving Surface Marker Buoy

In conclusion, surface marker buoys are an essential piece of equipment for any scuba diver. View our full range of surface Scuba Diving Surface Marker Buoys here get in touch for more support.