This blog often focuses on the pool, but let’s dive a bit deeper. Deep under the sea, that is. Today we are taking a close look at serious scuba safety.
Scuba Safety Starts with EducationSnorkeling can be a lot of fun, but if you really want to explore the ocean’s mysteries, scuba diving is the way to go. Scuba is the short way of saying “Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.” In scuba, the equipment you’ll be using allows you to breathe safely when you are deep under the water’s surface. It’s a thrilling adventure and it is estimated that as many as four million people participate in recreational diving. Of course, all of that gear and a sense of adventure doesn’t come without risks. The risk of drowning danger is always present. It pays to stay vigilant and, as always, be prepared.
Learning is the First StepBeyond swimming lessons, there is much more to learn about this potentially dangerous activity. To start, a scuba diver must be confident and understand all of the equipment. For instance, you’ll need to have specific knowledge about the air you’ll be breathing. Depending on the pressure and depth where you are diving, maintaining a constant air supply could require some on-the-go maintenance. A very specific mix will keep you supplied with oxygen and keep you out of harm’s way. Plus, those tanks can be heavy, and knowing how to clear your mask underwater can be tricky. All of this knowledge requires proper training and certification. Don’t hop into the water without being certified. In fact, be very wary of any resort or outfit who does not insist on certification first. That is a significant red flag that scuba safety is not very important to this team. Knowing how to react in a dangerous situation can save you or another diver’s life. Therefore, the first step toward scuba safety begins with proper certification. To learn more about a training course, the official page of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors can help.
Avoiding the BendsRunning out of air isn’t the only hazard that scuba divers face. Without proper preparation, a diver could suffer from decompression sickness, or “the bends.” This ailment acts by obstructing blood flow or oxygen to the body. The bends can be very painful and sometimes fatal. decompression sickness occurs when a diver moves too quickly from a high pressure water to low pressure area. Believe it or not, this sickness doesn’t only occur when you are in the water. It could quite easily happen when you are in an airplane, on your way home from a faraway diving adventure. But let’s just discuss it in relation to diving. Decompression sickness can be quite complicated but, put simply, the risk increases the deeper a person dives. This means that divers should make absolutely sure they are fully acclimated and decompressed. This typically means pausing the assent to the surface of the water in order to avoid shocking your body.
According to Healthline, some divers are at greater risk for decompression sickness if they:
- have a heart defect,
- are dehydrated,
- take a flight after diving,
- have overexerted themselves,
- are fatigued,
- have obesity,
- are elderly,
- or dive in cold water.