Fulfilling a career in deep-sea diving can be an adrenaline fuelled life-time experience that allows you to explore the world’s deep and unexplained oceans. The same goes for those seeking to push their limits by adventuring down to the depths below for recreation. Certainly a fascinating place, given we know more about the surface of the moon, Venus, and Mars than we do our own oceans, if you have a bucket list of places you want to explore or are interested in pursuing a career as a saturation diver, then it’s worth noting that they come with innate dangers.
Although diving is a fun and incredibly amazing experience, there are some dangers that need to be considered when doing so. Those who plunge the Earth’s perilous waters must respect the rules put in place to save lives besides making sure your diving equipment and piston seals are airtight. Here, we’ll discuss the top rules to safely deep-sea dive, including knowing your limits, practising safe ascents, and looking after your teeth.
1. Take Your Time, Don’t Beat Your Bubbles
Whether you’re in the water or the air, the fluctuating pressures your body experiences when driving can cause it to be injured if you don’t give it time to adjust to these pressures. Slowly ascending is as important as breathing constantly — if you ascend too early, the nitrogen in your body from the deep sea won’t have time to exit the body through the lungs and will expand at such a rate that would subsequently lead to a range of dangerous problems.
When the tissues that have pockets of air in your body become damaged, this is called Barotrauma. Air pockets can be in places such as your ears, lungs, dental roots and your sinuses. If these ruptures occur, then it can make it difficult to breathe. As you ascend, water pressure decreases and vice versa — when ascending, follow the bubbles you breathe out. Don’t ascend faster than your bubbles or things will get sticky.
Premature ascension can cause decompression sickness. Nitrogen forming bubbles can occur due to the pressure your body is experiencing, ultimately causing nerve and tissue damage that an end up being fatal and could lead to paralysis.
Similarly to when you’ve drunken alcoholic substances, nitrogen narcosis is when too much nitrogen builds up in the brain and can make you feel delirious, ultimately leading to bad decisions being made. For example, you could end up removing your regulator because you think you can breathe underwater or end up being unable to read your gauges and instruments.
Maintaining a steady ascending pace of no more than 30 feet per minute is considered to be the recommended amount.
2. Don’t Push Yourself Too Much, Know Your Limits
When caught up in the moment of adventure, obvious and basic rules may be forgotten about. The most important thing to remember is that diving should be fun, not competitive. Dive within your limits. If you think that you might feel uncomfortable or if the conditions don’t seem safe, don’t be scared to cancel or rearrange at a different site or day. Never attempt something that you know you’re not mentally or physically prepared for because this puts you at risk before you’ve even started.
Assess your claustrophobia limits if you’re planning on beginning a career in saturation diving. You’ll be kept in an underwater compression chamber for roughly a month, where you won’t be heading back up to the surface until your time is up. Don’t overestimate your abilities because you could end up in a really uncomfortable situation!
3. Look After Your Teeth
Although the thought is rather disturbing, it is possible for crowns and fillings in your teeth to blow out of your gums. Saturation diver David Beckett commented: “After a couple of hours of being in the chamber, one of my fillings blew off. Thankfully for me, when it blew off there was no pain, just a hole left where the filling used to sit.
“Others aren’t so lucky. I’ve seen one guy have a crown blow off, taking part of the tooth and gum with it. Painful stuff to have to endure for the next three days.”
A recent survey found that 41 percent of recreational divers experienced intense toothache as a result of fluctuations in water pressure that lead to air pockets building up in the roots of their teeth – its not sharks and barracudas you have to worry about. This is often made worse by divers who are inexperienced and clench their teeth or if they have underlying dental conditions, cavities, fractures, or poor fillings.
So, to ensure you don’t damage your teeth when diving, book a trip to the dentist first.
There is plenty of exploring to do in the deep blue see and it can be an exhilarating must-do experience. However, just remember to stay safe when doing so and avoid any potential problems that could occur.