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High Altitude Diving

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High Altitude Diving

Δημοσίευση  lkarapa Την / Το Πεμ Ιαν 29, 2009 8:28 am

Qualification required: Advanced.

A lesser explored area in the scuba arena is Altitude Diving. If the idea of being submerged in a pristine mountain lake in the Rockies or an icy stream in the Alps looking for rarely spotted underwater life appeals to you then Altitude diving is worth investigating.

Being a sport that depends of various aspects of pressure in physics and learning how this in turn affects the body altitude, divers must be aware of facing two specific physiological conditions: Hypoxia and Hypothermia. Since prevention is better than cure, the more preparation a diver makes the more rewarding the experience.
Physiology of Altitude diving.

Hypoxia

The cardinal rule at altitude is oxygen ratios are much lower than at sea level. Hypoxia translates to insufficient oxygen and thus the symptoms that result. The bodies of those who live at high altitudes adapt, therefore making them less susceptible. It's important to be mindful that the walk to the dive spot, energy exerted on carrying equipment etc uses oxygen precious to the lungs at the specific altitude.

* The signs: Exhaustion and fatigue
* Light headedness, faintness
* Shortness of breath
* Any feelings of over-exertion.

* Hypoxia can set in suddenly post-diving. Use these preventative measures: Take it really easy, set aside lots of time to prepare, make more trips carrying less.
* At the first inkling of a symptom stop, rest and regain full normal breathing.
* In the event of hypoxia setting in while you are underwater, regain composure before surfacing in order to conserve as much energy as possible.


Hypothermia

Exposure to cold water for periods extending beyond the body's ability to maintain critical core temperature, will result in hypothermia. Water bodies at altitudes tend to be cold, so this potentially life threatening symptom needs awareness.

* The signs: Numbness , shivering and skin turning blue
* At later stages confusion can set in and coordination will begin to suffer
* The body becomes increasingly weak after which unconsciousness can set and in if left unattended and death may follow.

* Preventing Hypothermia: For multiple dives use a dry suit – remember this does not extend downtime, the body core temperature will fluctuate regardless.
* Aside from the appropriate suit thickness, ensure that you stabilize your temperate between dives.
* Shivering is the first red flag. Pay attention, end the dive and do what it takes to warm up, immediately.

Appropriate equipment includes depth gauges and computers to monitor altitude. Certain gauges may distort to read higher or lower than the actual depth due to atmospheric pressure. Ensure that research is done and that appropriate cross referencing is applied to monitoring depth with a number of methods and references. Digital, Bourdon tube (shallower readings) and capillary depth gauges, (for deeper readings).

Altitude buoyancy differs from salt water, ask your guide for the easiest adaptation method. This usually involves adding 2kgs to your tank due to the displacement caused during oxygen consumption.

http://www.divetime.com/articles/Scuba_Diving_Information/High_Altitude_Diving_154.html
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lkarapa
elite diver

Αριθμός μηνυμάτων : 1933
Ηλικία : 47
Τόπος : Άγιοι Ανάργυροι
Registration date : 22/11/2008

Επισκόπηση του προφίλ των χρηστών http://www.diverscorner.gr

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