When diving in chilly conditions, You need to pay attention to...
Sep 27, 2022
Some divers enter a "hibernation" period as the weather slowly gets colder, while some heavier divers continue to dive. Since diving in cold conditions carries a high risk of hypothermia, today we'll look at how to avoid it. Technical diving is not the only type where hypothermia can occur; tropical diving also.
Everyone has a chance of developing diving hypothermia since prolonged water submersion causes significant body heat loss. The habitats in which we dive range from hot, tropical rainforests to 20 below-freezing, deep-water ice and snow situations. Decompression sickness risk is significantly increased by hypothermia and the alterations it causes to the body's gas exchange and circulation.
Due to environmental factors, cold is unavoidable. Thus we must learn how to dive more effectively in cold weather.
However, anyone who has regularly scuba dived in South East Asia knows that the water is not as warm as we would like it to be. The temperature of the water gradually drops with increasing depth. Many believe hypothermia is mainly associated with diving in the colder northern regions. As the invisible stream drains your body heat throughout the dive, you will gradually become colder and maybe cramp. At this point, you could develop hypothermia.
If you have not been exposed to hypothermia, it may be difficult to recognize it at first. A reduction in the body's core temperature leads to hypothermia. When our bodies are exposed to cold temperatures for an extended amount of time, hypothermia develops.
A healthy adult keeps their core temperature between 36 and 37.5 degrees Celsius, a little higher in women than in males. A diver's body will lose some function when its core temperature falls below 35 degrees Celsius.
The first signs of hypothermia are typically shivering, nausea, dizziness, and a sense of hunger. At 30 degrees Celsius, most people cease shaking, and their pupils will enlarge if their core temperature continues to drop. At 27 degrees Celsius, the muscles become rigid, and a heart attack is more likely.
People who are determined to be hypothermic should be transported to a medical facility as soon as possible because these symptoms will get worse as the core temperature drops. The danger of medical consequences greatly rises once hypothermia symptoms start to show.
However, many hypothermic people do not recognize themselves or start here into hypothermia until others observe them. The confusion brought on by the illness can drive divers to make poor decisions or employ poor judgment. In most cases, treatment goes beyond mild rewarming. Cases like this are more prevalent in climbing accidents, where climbers experience "paradoxical undressing" because they misjudge the appropriate heat sensation and take off their clothes in scalding Arctic conditions, frequently resulting in damage or death.
Before you dive, pay attention to how your body feels. If you or a dive partner starts to shiver before or during the dive, always end the dive fast.
For divers who must decompress for extended periods or at high depths, the increased decompression pressure brought on by hypothermia is extremely dangerous.
No matter where you dive, be especially cautious when it gets frigid.
Before diving, it is essential to consider the choice of a diving suit for the cold and the dive strategy to deal with the potential for hypothermia.