Scuba diving causes hundreds of injuries and other incidents every year. They can occur because of equipment issues or poor pre-dive checks, among other issues such as diver error.
So how do you prevent these diving emergencies? What can you do to make sure you and your fellow divers are safe when underwater?
Read on to learn about the common types of diving accidents and the steps you can take to make sure you’re always safe underwater.
Diving Emergency Background
Diving emergencies are commonly experienced by scuba divers. It’s a crucial part of scuba safety and has a lot to do with how gases move relative to a liquid.
Boyle’s Law states that gas volume is inversely proportional to pressure. Think about how a balloon expands due to pressure when ascending. Divers feel the same compression and expansion of air when underwater.
Air is also made thinner when the pressure is lower according to Dalton’s Law. This is why athletes have a harder time performing in places like Denver where the pressure is lower.
Finally, Henry’s Law states that increased pressure will force gas into a liquid while decreased pressure will force gas to be released from liquids. When diving, gas is forced into and released from your tissue. Normally this is not an issue. However, ascending at an unsafe (fast) rate can cause decompression sickness.
What Are Common Types of Diving Emergencies?
But what do diving emergencies actually look like? To be able to prevent scuba accidents, you first need to know what to look for.
Start of Dive
A diver’s body immediately responds to a change in temperature. Initial immersion might lead to a gasp for air, which can then cause hyperventilation.
Most divers wear equipment and take other measures to keep themselves warm. With that said, heat loss still occurs.
A scuba diver that dives multiple times a day is susceptible to constant heat loss and gain. This can lead to hypothermia or dehydration.
Similar to how you feel pain in your ears when you take off on a plane, the change in pressure while diving can cause harm to your ears and sinuses. Ear injuries are surprisingly common for divers.
How to Prevent Diving Emergencies
So how do you prevent these diving emergencies? Here are some quick steps to keep you and your fellow divers safe.
Consider ABCs of Diving
Airway, breathing, and clearing are your ABCs. Divers have trouble keeping their eyes, ears, nose, and mouth from touching the water. Have your snorkel and regulator on you at all times and always keep your airway clear.
Don’t Force Equalization
Sometimes you’ll have trouble equalizing your ears. Don’t try to push too hard by pushing too much pressure. You can always equalize by ascending to shallower depths.
Get a Good Mask
A foggy mask often leads to accidents and a leaky one is even worse. Constantly check your mask strap to make sure there are no leaks.
Create a Routine
Set your equipment up the same way every time. This allows you to pick up on any potential issues or emergencies before you dive.
Whether it’s your mask strap, fins, or compass, ensure they’re in working order before going out on a dive. This is especially crucial if you’re renting gear.
Leverage Scuba Safety Protocols Today
Diving emergencies are preventable if you know the right steps to take. Use this article to make sure you and your peers are always diving safely.
Want more informative articles on scuba diving? Check out the rest of our blog! If you are looking for proper instruction, information on scuba diving, learning how to dive and being able to feel confident in your local diving, we have covered at Scuba Guru.