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Featured Author // November 7, 2018

Is Scuba Diving Safe?

by Megan Denny

 

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Scuba diving is enjoyed by thousands of people around the world every day and is considered a low-risk activity compared to many other outdoor and sporting activities – even such widespread activities as swimming, jogging and all-terrain vehicle riding have higher reported fatality rates than diving.

How likely are you to be injured while diving?

The most common medical issues associated with scuba diving are sunburn, seasickness and dehydration (all of which are preventable). There are actually few injuries requiring any sort of medical attention associated with diving. On average, there are only 1092 scuba-related emergency room admissions in the US each year.

Compared to other popular sporting activities, average annual ER admissions in the US are:

Diving – 1,092/year

Snowboarding – 4,438/year

Bowling – 19,802/year

Volleyball – 57,303/year

Fishing – 170,216/year

Source: NCBI

What about sharks?

Dogs, snakes, crocodiles and even hippos kill more people every year than sharks. Just in Australia there are 20 horse-related deaths each year compared to 1.7 shark-related fatalities: Horse Week, anyone? Most divers love sharks and are ambassadors for this greatly misunderstood animal.

Will I run out of air?

Your dive gear includes a display that tells you how much air you have in your cylinder — think of it like the gas gauge on your car. You’ll learn to check this gauge regularly, so it’s unlikely you’ll run out of air while scuba diving. If you do run out for some reason, your buddy has an extra mouthpiece (regulator) so you can share your buddy’s air while you swim to the surface. Some divers also choose to dive with a small backup supply of air.

Do people die scuba diving?

Unfortunately, yes. Like any activity in the natural environment, there are inherent risks in diving that can never be fully eliminated. However, with proper training and when following sound diving practices, the likelihood of a fatal accident is low – in the US there were only 50 diver fatalities reported in 2014 (the last year for which data are available). With a diver population estimated at 3 million, the diver fatality study for 2014, as published by Divers Alert Network (DAN), reported an approximate 2 per 100,000 participants fatality rate, which “appears to be relatively stable over time.” This compares favorably with other common sports:

-Jogging (13 per 100,000 participants)

– Swimming (6 per 100,000 participants)

– Horseback riding (est. 128 deaths per 100,000 participants)

Considering diving fatalities further, about 45 percent of dive fatalities are precipitated by a health-related event, and about 25 percent are associated with a cardiac event, mostly in older divers. DAN’s most recent Annual Diving Report* states, “Older, heavier divers with pre-existing heart or blood-pressure conditions are at elevated risk of dying while scuba diving, compared with younger, healthier divers. Fifty-three percent of male and 54 percent of female victims were 50 years old or more.”

* Divers Alert Network® (DAN) publishes the DAN Annual Diving Report each year. It includes data and analysis on dive incidents, injuries and fatalities for a given year.

 

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Photo: Tod Warren

Proper Training and Following the Rules are Key

The majority of scuba diving injuries and deaths are the result of diver error. So it’s important to get proper training and always follow the rules and procedures you learned in class.

In the PADI Open Water Diver course, you’ll learn important skills and safety concepts and practice them in a pool (or pool-like environment) before moving on to the ocean, lake or other large body of water. If you’re not sure if an open water certification is for you, ask your local PADI Dive Center or Resort about a Discover Scuba Diving experience. You’ll get a chance to try on scuba gear, breathe off a scuba tank, have some fun with friends and find out if scuba diving is for you.

PADI Instructors are held to diving’s highest standards. All PADI programs fall under strict educational standards monitored for worldwide consistency and quality. PADI randomly surveys PADI Divers to confirm their courses meet PADI’s high standards as well as the divers’ expectations. No other diver training organization works to maintain this level of professional reliability and integrity.

We hope this article has helped put your mind at ease about scuba diving. If you have additional questions, contact your local PADI Dive Center or Resort, or reach out to our community of divers on Facebook.

Source: https://www2.padi.com/blog/2017/07/17/scuba-diving-safe/ 

 

Featured Author // October 1, 2018

What I’ll Never Forget About Learning to Dive

By blogger, Lisa from Fjords and Beaches

Learning-to-dive-OK

Learning to dive is an amazing experience, and I almost wish I could experience it again! The nervousness when trying to remember the theory of it, the shock when I realised that the gear was quite heavy (not sure what I was imagining), and the feeling of letting myself descent for the first time. These are all things I can barely explain to someone who is yet to try diving.

These are some of the things I’ll never forget about my PADI Open Water Diver course

The sound underwater

One of my favourite things about learning to dive was realising how quiet it is under the surface. It is such a relaxing experience, and a part of me would like to argue that diving and meditation has its similarities.

My first breath underwater

I’m sure this is a given, but there is truth to the cliché. The first time I drew a breath underwater I was standing on my knees, face to face with my instructor, just off a beach in the Maldives. We did nothing but breathe for several minutes, so that I would get used to the sensation. It was absolutely magical.

Learning-to-Dive-Black-tip-reef-shark

Seeing a shark during my Confined Water Tests

Not long after my first breath underwater it was time to start with some of the Confined Water Tests. As I was out in the ocean, there were plenty of oceanic life around us, including a blacktip reef shark! It swam past us without a care in the world, and all though it was only about 1 meter long, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I’ll never forget that sight!

Being completely weightless

I mean, it’s only in space and under water you can truly experience this. I have no plans of becoming an astronaut in the near future, so diving is my best shot. The first time I managed to control my buoyancy and simply float was an incredible experience. I think I spent the entire dive swimming in corkscrew circles around myself (you know, like Ariel?) instead of actually looking at the fish my instructor kept pointing out.

So there you have some of my most unforgettable memories from learning to dive. If you have the opportunity to experience this for yourself, grab it!

Source: https://www2.padi.com/blog/2017/11/08/ill-never-forget-learning-dive/


Featured Author // September 11, 2018

What’s the Difference Between PADI Open Water Diver and Advanced Open Water?

Posted by Andrew Jenkins

 

Underwater Navigation


You may have heard your instructor or dive shop mention the PADI Advanced Open Water (AOW) Diver course. You may have even thought about enrolling in the course. But are you still wondering how the AOW course differs from the PADI Open Water Diver (OWD) course, and what new things you will learn and experience? If so, keep reading.


The PADI Open Water Diver course: Learning to dive
What happens in the course?
You learn the fundamental skills needed for diving. During the course, you read, watch videos, take quizzes, and demonstrate mastery of basic scuba diving skills.


Parts of the course:
The PADI Open Water Diver course consists of 3 main portions: Knowledge Development, Confined Water Dives and Open Water Dives. You can choose one of three ways to complete your Open Water Diver Knowledge Development.

Why take the course?
The underwater world holds some of life’s most incredible experiences. We’ve listed 10 Reasons to Become a Scuba Diver, but essentially the OWD course will allow you to become a certified diver.

The Advanced Open Water Diver course: Go on dive adventures

What happens in the course?
The AOW Diver course is comprised of five different Adventure Dives. An Adventure Dive concentrates on a particular activity or skill within the realm of scuba – it is the first dive of a Specialty Diver course. There are 26 PADI Adventure Dives to choose from.

While you’re doing your AOW dives, you’ll be accompanied by a PADI Professional. They are there to answer questions and help you fine-tune your technique and learn new skills.

The dives in the AOW Diver course are very different from those in your OWD course. The Adventure Dives are similar to a regular dive, except that you focus on a particular diving specialty. The Deep Adventure Dive of the course involves diving deeper, between 18-30 metres / 60-100 feet. During the Underwater Navigation Adventure Dive you practice navigation skills underwater while diving.

Parts of the course:
Of the five training dives you complete, the Deep Adventure Dive and Underwater Navigation Adventure Dive are both mandatory. As for the other three dives, you get to choose what interests you the most. Students in the AOW Diver course have very little classroom time and no written exams.

Why take the course?
You’ll gain more experience diving while under the supervision of an instructor. It’s an opportunity to try a sampling of different specialties to see what interests you the most.

 

Source: https://www2.padi.com/blog/2015/08/11/whats-the-difference-between-padi-open-water-diver-and-advanced-open-water/

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