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Diving Safely

As well as the standard health and illness issues addressed as part of the dive medical, the following safety issues should be heeded by all divers:

General Fitness: Divers should have a reasonable level of physical fitness to cope with the environmental stresses of being underwater. The environmental factors that place a physiological strain on the diver include:

  • Exertion required for propulsion through the surrounding water
  • Heat loss to water that is generally colder than body temperature
  • Breathing gas of compressed density
  • Changes in the cardiorespiratory system from using underwater breathing gear
  • Changes in the gas volume and pressure within air spaces in the body eg; ears, stomach, etc
  • Introduction into the body of gases that can have toxic, narcotic, stimulatory or gas solubility effects on bodily functions.

The human body, in reasonable condition and without injury or illness, can deal with the effects of most of these factors.

Flying After Diving: The pressure of diving causes nitrogen to go into solution in the blood, and it is the decrease in pressure as the diver returns to the surface that causes this nitrogen to come back out of solution over time and to bubble. A rapid ascent to the surface can cause complications as it represents too fast a transition across a pressure gradient for the body to effectively compensate for. Ascending to a high altitude after the dive is simply a continuation of your post-dive ascent to the surface and can also lead to decompression sickness.

It's recommended that you should wait at least 12 hours after a single dive, or 24 hours after multiday, repetitive diving, within the no-decompression limits before you travel to more than 300m (or 1,000 feet) above sea level. Bear in mind that driving over a mountain range would also put you over this suggested altitude limit.

Click here for more information about flying after diving.

Alcohol: Drinking alcohol before and during diving trips endangers not only yourself but your diving buddy. Alcohol reduces the ability of the individual to process information and impairs their ability in terms of:

  • Reaction time
  • Visual tracking performance
  • Concentrated attention
  • Ability to process information in divided attention tasks
  • Perception (Judgment)
  • The execution of psychomotor tasks.

Alcohol also cause dehydration which is considered to be one of the prime causes of decompression illness.

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Diving Cairns

Diving Cairns - Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia | Phone: (07) 4041 7536 | E-mail: [email protected]
Diving Cairns - The ultimate guide to a diving holiday on North Queensland's Great Barrier Reef