For the past 12 months most divers have not been able to dive as much as they would like, and many haven’t dived at all. Now that the rollout of the Coronavirus vaccine program has commenced, and the weather improving, it seems that various COVID-19 regional lockdowns are beginning to ease, and scuba diving activities should begin to resume in several Northern Hemisphere countries.
If you’ve been out of the water for a while, it’s essential to take time planning your safe return to diving. DAN
While the most exotic of these potentially dangerous organisms are fairly well known, the more mundane sometimes cause uncertainty. Know what’s most likely to cause an injury on your next dive so you can relax and enjoy making bubbles.
In part one of this two-part series we’ll refresh your knowledge of wound care and treating common marine stings; next month we’ll cover injuries that involve scrapes, bites and penetrating wounds.
A recent big-data study performed by a DAN Europe research team used modern statistical analysis techniques to dig into a sample of nearly 40,000 open-circuit recreation dives and look for patterns and clues about DCS risk factors in real-world cases. Some of what they’ve found confirms our previous knowledge and opens entirely new avenues for research into the factors that contribute to DCS risk. Here’s what we’ve learned.
The more difficult a wreck is to get to, the more rewarding its discovery, but also the more likely it is that you’ll run into trouble during or after your dive. Challenges become hazards quickly, and many offshore adventures are rife with risk factors that make it more likely that you’ll surface from your dive without a boat in sight.
Whether your charter sprung a leak and became a new dive site or drifted off in search of another diver here’s what you need to know to survive.
Checking your air a few times during a dive and coming up as the gauge nears zero is not dive planning. Before you hit the water this summer, brush up on the basics of gas management — this will help keep you safe and might even extend your bottom time.
Whether you have the skills and training to care for a diver yourself or you want to be prepared to help until a more experienced caregiver is available, learn the basics of assessing post-dive symptoms.
Articles like this one are no replacement for training, but they are a good way to refresh or build your awareness of the importance of emergency-response skills.
Sources of contamination include hydrocarbons from compressor lubricants, carbon monoxide (CO) from engine exhaust (or overheated compressor oil) and impurities from the surrounding environment such as methane and carbon dioxide (CO2). Dust particles in breathing gas can also be hazardous, potentially impairing respiratory function or damaging diving equipment. Excessive moisture can cause corrosion in scuba cylinders and other dive gear and may cause regulators to freeze due to adiabatic cooling (heat loss following increased gas volume).
Diving is not without risk—there is always a chance of death. There is always a latent or potential lethality within the “system”—where system is defined as the equipment, people and the physical, social or cultural environment. We cannot make diving 100 percent safe despite what anyone tells you. We can make things safer, but we cannot make diving safe.
You are chatting with a diving friend and the conversation turns to mutual acquaintances. “Do you know Bob and Carol?” your friend asks. “Oh yes, good divers!” you reply. We will usually refer to someone as a good diver when they are not around. We will rarely say it to their face. And it is something that we all rather hope people say about us behind our backs.