Training

DCS Risk Factors

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.

Divers Adrift - Surviving Being Lost at Sea

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.

Neurological DCS for Divers

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.

Rising to the Occasion — Ascent Rates for Experienced Divers

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.

Safety in Expedition Diving

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.

Full Cave Navigation Protocols in Mexico

Guide line in Cenote Chac Mool, Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. Photo by Larry Cohen.

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.