How to avoid a life threatening decompression condition while diving at depths exceeding 15,000 feet can be hard, but not impossible.
The National Safety Council recommends divers take their diving safety seriously, but a new study has found that the same amount of training could prevent a diver from becoming seriously decompressed during a life raft dive.
The study, conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard and conducted in conjunction with the American Society of Lifeguards, found that divers who had a dive rating of at least 75 percent experienced at least one decompression-related decompression during a rescue.
The study, which examined the dive history of 3,906 divers, was published in the August issue of the Journal of Emergency Medical Services.
The American Society for Lifeguards does not recommend divers receive this level of training.
In the study, a group of 15 men and women were given a dive history that included a dive assessment, decompression assessment, and decompression rate and a dive performance rating of 25 percent.
The divers were also asked how often they had experienced decompression, decompressive shock, and/or decompression failure.
After the dive, the researchers collected the dive data and a medical history to examine the diver’s underlying heart condition, history of trauma, and other diving related conditions.
The results of the study were clear: Diver’s dive history, decompressing rate, and a decompression performance rating were significantly associated with a dive-related death or serious decompression.
The researchers found that for a dive with a rating of 75 percent or greater, a diver who had experienced at most one decompressive event, decompressor, or decompression event in a year had a 50 percent chance of becoming decompressed at depths above 15,600 feet.
This risk was much higher for divers who did not receive any training.
For those divers who took their diving to the maximum dive depth, the risk was even higher.
A 25 percent chance was associated with the maximum diving depth of 15,700 feet.
The findings suggest that diving safety should be taught as a whole, and the Coast Guard should consider diver training as a part of its safety education for all members of the public.
For the safety of divers and the public, divers should receive a minimum of 75% training, including the dive assessment and decompressing event rating.
For dive instructors, this level is required for all instructors and requires a minimum dive rating.