Yesterday I've lost my diving mask when I jumped into a gravel pond. The diving mask is yellow and easy to see, but I immediately lost sight of it because the water is / was very cloudy and it sunk very quickly. The pond is about 5 meters deep at this point.

Would I increase my view further under water when diving with a (waterproof) flashlight for the mask, or would I just light up the floating particles and thus see less far?

  • Do not know that a flashlight would work or not, but my thoughts would be to use a black light (ultraviolet) as it would not illuminate just everything and concentrate on what is in front of you.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 22:35
  • If you search for snorkel "cloudy" water flashlight you'll see some hits that claim improved visibility under those conditions. Some come from flashlight manufacturers though. Do be careful, maybe enlist a friend to watch over you while you dive and consider that maybe the mask might not be worth it. 5m is not a huge depth but surfacing from a deep dive can be a bit tricky because your lungs compress and you lose buoyancy. Obviously people do just fine with practice, but it's a bit of an odd feeling when you first encounter it as you need to push yourself up a bit. Worse in fresh water. Commented Jul 12, 2020 at 5:27
  • Thank you very much for your comments!
    – BogisW
    Commented Jul 12, 2020 at 11:27
  • 1
    I would also strongly advise against trying to dive for your mask in a 5m deep pond with very low visibility. If you have very low visibility it can actually be quite easy to lose your bearing underwater (even knowing where up is), and that can quickly lead to scary situations.
    – fgysin
    Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 5:39

2 Answers 2


As a diver of 30 years now I doubt you will derive much benefit from using a run of the mill torch in cloudy water. Using a torch means giving up one of your hands so when it comes time to feel around on the bottom you will be very restricted and clumsy doing it with one hand and you will get unbalanced. You won't forget where the surface is, as you will naturally float upwards, but you may find yourself under an obstruction that may very well cause you to panic and drown


Depends on how dark it is down there and how cloudy the water is. Sediment in the water column attenuates the light, so you need to bring your own lighting.

Obviously if the sediment is soup like, such as if someone's fin has kicked up the bottom sediment, there's not much that a torch can help with.

If it's just a bit mucky, e.g. following a storm or an algal bloom, then a torch will help cut through the sediment. You will find that a bright and tightly focussed torch beam (say 6 degrees) will be much better than a wide beam which creates a lot of back-scatter. Also a bit of an angle between you and the beam can help too, holding the torch out to the side.

If the sediment's been kicked up you may find some better visibility if you gently ascend a little.

A "Goodman Handle" on the torch helps to hold it whilst leaving your fingers free to grip things, such as a reel which you may use to 'line off' off the shot line/anchor.

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