Because DCS isn’t the most straightforward diving injury, myths and misconceptions about it tend to arise. DAN is committed to continually educating divers about it, and we’ve decided to clarify a few of the most common misconceptions about it to ensure that all divers are better able to recognize DCS, respond to it and get the treatment they need in time.
Interest among researchers has existed for a few decades, but it has increased in recent years as studies by such organizations as Duke University the University of South Florida have yielded intriguing results.
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.
Almost all experts in dive medicine agree that divers should ascend slowly following dives, whether they’re recreational, working or technical. The reality is that very little direct evidence exists about what ascent rate is safest. Most of the recommendations come from observational studies of bubble grade found using Doppler ultrasound or are based on anecdotal or theoretical concerns.
However you define your expedition it is important to recognize that once you begin planning it you have crossed out of the realm of normal recreational or technical and entered a world that requires serious oversight, preparation, and risk mitigation. Expedition diving does not have to be technical or extreme – a recreational diving trip to a destination like Truk Lagoon could put you hours or days away from the nearest medical help and require expedition level preparations for medical treatment and evacuation.
Hold the regulator second stage loosely in your mouth, allowing excess air to escape. If possible, angle your head slightly to avoid bubbles in front of your eyes.
I started cave diving in Italy in 1990. At that time, the rules were very clear, codified and related to the kind of caves that were encountered in my region. Very often, they were resurgences with current (sometimes strong) or sumps inside caves, with water ranging from crystal clear to the color of coffee and variable visibility, depending on the rains.