Monday, February 13, 2006

Don't Panic Underwater

I had a conversation with a friend over dinner last night regarding the dangers of scuba diving. I'm a PADI Advanced Open Water diver (or whatever they call it now) and have been diving on and off for about 15 years. I submitted that most injuries and fatalities occur as a result of diver panic. Having been in a couple panic situations myself, I have realized how important it is to keep calm during a diving emergency. If you get over anxious, even a minor situation like a flooded mask can have dire consequences. Just today, Divester posted a story regarding a diver who died just a couple of feet below the surface when he apparently panicked while cleaning the underside of his boat.

The Divers' Alert Network (DAN) compiles statistics on diver injuries and deaths, and apparently does a good job doing so. I'm not a member, so I can't quote anything specific from the report here, but scuba is a relatively safe sport if you know what you're doing.

On that note, here are a couple more useful links from Divester addressing how to minimize anxiety and maximize safety underwater. Some of them are pretty obvious, but they're good things to keep in mind nonetheless:

Don't Panic Underwater
Don't Panic Underwater, Part II



Blogger Gabriel Villa said...

I know this is an old post, but just recently I found your blog.

Have you read the Hitchhickers Guide to the Galaxy? It´s a great read, and I´m sure you´ll like it.
"DON'T PANIC." - Words inscribed in large, friendly letters on front cover of The Hitchhiker's Guide.
You just added water...
I´m also a diver, and every now and then we feel tempted to panic a bit. the thing to do (for me) is take a deep breath and stop whatever I´m doing to regain focus.
Obviously, if it´s a shark coming my way it´s a little bit more difficult. hehe.
Next year I´m going to Galapagos, probably will have this kind of problem (hopefully)

Fri Aug 25, 10:37:00 AM PDT  
Blogger brad77 said...

If only the answer were 42, Gabriel.

I agree with your method to avoid panic, except I'm sure that you mean the "take a deep breath" bit figuratively. Whenever I take a deep breath underwater I run into buoyancy problems. ;)

It's funny what you say about the shark. I had the same thing happen to me in Cozumel. No big deal, but I did experience a moment of sheer terror.

Have a great time in the Galapagos!

Fri Aug 25, 11:41:00 AM PDT  

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