Ever since technical diving started, the game has carried a status of being deep, darkish, and harmful. However what are the dangers of technical diving? Is it actually that harmful for tech divers? Right here we’ll take a more in-depth look.
What’s technical diving — actually?
Contemplating the potential dangers of technical diving is not possible with out defining what technical diving really is. Typically, divers distinguish between leisure and technical diving however, strictly talking, a lot technical diving is completed for recreation — for enjoyable. It might be a extra severe or advanced type of recreation, however it’s nonetheless recreation.
So, the place can we draw the road? For this publish, we’ll think about deliberate diving past no-stop limits as technical diving. This contains each open-ocean diving and overhead-environment diving, akin to cave or wreck penetration. Most frequently, the kind of diving dictates the necessity for added gear, probably together with a spread of nitrox or trimix gases. All of those are included in our definition of technical diving.
It’s additionally price analyzing the anatomy of a technical dive. Merely put, it falls into two elements: the underside time and the decompression obligation. When an issue happens will decide its severity: one thing going mistaken at first of the underside time typically carries fewer penalties than an issue that happens in the direction of the top of the underside time when a diver has incurred the total decompression obligation.
Dangers of technical diving
First issues first — any dive that doesn’t enable a diver to return on to the floor at any level carries extra danger. From the start of their open-water certification course, divers be taught that they need to full a security cease on the finish of every dive, however strictly talking this isn’t a compulsory decompression cease. Obligatory decompression stops are simply that — a diver should carry them out to return to the floor safely.
Lacking necessary decompression stops virtually definitely results in decompression illness. In an open-ocean surroundings, we discuss a ‘digital ceiling.’ Whereas there isn’t a bodily barrier separating the tech diver from the floor, necessary stops create a digital barrier. In overhead environments, divers have a ‘onerous ceiling.’ This can be the highest of a cave, one of many decks of a wreck on a penetration dive, or part of a mine, for instance.
Subsequently, technical divers in an overhead surroundings should know precisely the place and the way far-off they’re from the closest exit. Even in open ocean or freshwater environments, the straightforward undeniable fact that technical diving usually includes being additional away from the floor means that there’s elevated danger.
Technical divers perceive and settle for these dangers, however extra importantly, they work onerous to mitigate and decrease them. As danger is part of tech-diving life, so too is mitigation.
Threat evaluation and mitigation
Threat evaluation and mitigation begin on the primary day of a technical diving course or probably even earlier than, when college students immerse themselves within the research of the idea a part of their chosen course. Understanding which dangers are concerned in any given dive and methods to handle them is essential to minimization.
Figuring out the dangers of a dive usually begins with an trustworthy evaluation — of the person diver, of their workforce, of the situations anticipated on the dive, and of potential hazards. Figuring out these in addition to doable, divers can begin enthusiastic about potential options.
Usually, these options will contain carrying extra gear. Redundancy is a key idea of technical diving, and principally implies that divers ought to carry no less than two of every piece of life-support gear. Then, there’s the fuel provide. With open-circuit technical dives, a diver carries a minimal of one-third of his fuel provide in reserve. In overhead environments it’s usually considerably extra. On CCR rebreather dives, open-circuit bailout fuel is calculated based mostly on an gear failure on the very finish of the underside time.
Essential diver expertise
Aside from gear and fuel, maybe probably the most essential aspect of danger mitigation lies with divers’ expertise which, on this case, refers to each technical and non-technical expertise. Technical expertise are these we typically think about diving expertise — buoyancy management, trim, coping with gear failures, dealing with a number of gases, and following a dive plan are only a few of them.
Non-technical expertise are typically known as tender expertise. Nonetheless, they’re simply as essential, if not much more so. These embody the power to work as a workforce underwater. Whereas technical divers are skilled to be largely self-sufficient, team-oriented diving practices will go far towards minimizing dangers and coping with antagonistic conditions.
Then there are communications. Whether or not by way of hand indicators, moist notes or ‘speaking’ to one another via the respiration loop of a rebreather, advanced dives usually require extra advanced communications. Advanced doesn’t essentially imply sophisticated. Nonetheless, discussing and agreeing on an adjustment to the dive plan, for instance, does require a collection of hand indicators relatively than one or two.
Above all, danger mitigation in technical diving is just not one thing that divers be taught in a course as soon as after which by no means evaluation. It’s an ongoing course of, which includes common expertise observe, each technical and non-technical, thorough dive briefings, gear upkeep, and the boldness to speak about issues that weren’t very best on any given dive. However that may be a subject for an additional publish after which some.
Technical divers perceive and settle for that diving past no-stop limits carries extra dangers. In addition they analyze, practice, plan, and observe to mitigate and decrease these dangers for every dive. With all that in thoughts, it’s completely nice to resolve that you’re not comfy taking these dangers, whether or not which means sitting out one explicit dive or by no means making an attempt technical diving in any respect.