SCUBA Divers Better Be Prepared . . . Or Else!

Posted on: 18 August 2017

In the movie A Little Mermaid,  a small crab sings a song praising the wonders of life "Under the Sea." Thanks to the invention of Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) people have been able to dive down and experience these wonders, too. But specialized equipment is not the only thing necessary to make diving successful. It is critical that divers be properly trained in order to safely participate.  

There is a saying that Mother Nature ( Mother Ocean in this case) is wonderful, but if you make her mad, she will kill you. The best way to make sure not to make Mother Nature mad is to properly learn the dangers involved in a particular activity and be prepared to avoid them.  In the case of scuba diving there are a few dangers that a diver needs to be aware of.

  • Animal Life - In addition to the obvious sharks there are a variety of different underwater animals that can present danger to a diver.  Eels, stingrays and jellyfish can bite, sting or puncture an unwary diver.  Even some innocent and beautiful creatures such as puffer fish and lion fish can present a very deadly sting just by being touched.  A well trained diver needs to know which of the inhabitants of the deep present a serious danger to them.
  • Embolism and Decompression Sickness - This is caused by a diver surfacing too quickly. A bubble of air can escape the lungs and enter into the bloodstream or nitrogen bubbles can form in muscle tissue. As a bubble travels through a blood vessel it can become lodged and block blood flow and therefore oxygen to a particular part of the body. If it happens to be in the artery to the brain, loss of consciousness, seizure and stroke can result. A blocked coronary artery can lead to a heart attack and a blocked blood vessel to the lungs or pulmonary embolism can cause serious damage to the lungs.  Any of these conditions can be potentially fatal.  With proper training a diver can know the best techniques to avoid this condition.
  • Equipment Failure - Whether from improper planning such as insufficient oxygen or improper maintenance, scuba equipment failure can become a very serious danger to the diver. Again as part of certification training, a diver can learn the best way to care for their equipment as well as how to properly calculate needed supplies prior to the dive 

Even though the ocean and other water will still present many dangers,scuba diving certification through a reputable trainer will help to teach a diver to properly mitigate these risks. Acknowledging that dangers exist and preparing for it will make the sport safer and much more enjoyable.