Scuba diving was started in 1950's and gained momentum during the 1960's and since then this adventure sport has gained many followers. Many have taken it up professionally while some have made a business out of this evolving sector. This activity has opened up a new world and given us an opportunity to explore our past. Be it for a scientific motive, or for pleasure the ground rules for safety remain the same for diving.
- SLOW ASCENT RULE
A very common problem faced by deep sea divers is decompression sickness. When a diver transcends the depths of a sea or an ocean there is an accumulation of nitrogen in his blood stream and tissues. Nitrogen gets dissolved into the blood, tissues, and organs as the pressure increases with depth. It is liberated when the pressure is lifted. Now, if the diver was to emerge rapidly out of the water all the accumulated nitrogen bubbles will escape rapidly thereby causing damage to the organs involved. Decompression sickness can lead to rashes, joint pain, and in severe cases paralysis and death.
To avoid major harm from bends is to plan your ascent very slowly. The rule set by diving agencies is 30ft/min. You should not rise before the smallest bubble that is exhaled.
It is crucial during your resurfacing to make a safety stop. It is usually at a depth of 15ft where you take a break for 3-5 minutes and exhale slowly. The rest of the distance to the surface should also be completed very slowly.
- GET TRAINING
First off, you should be a very good swimmer. It is very important to be at least well acquainted with the basics of scuba diving and should have the know-how of the diving apparatus. There are organizations like PADI (The Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and NAUI (The National Association of Underwater Instructors) that certify you ability as a diver.
You should never test unknown waters by going to overhead environments like caves, cavers, or wrecks unless you have training or experience. As first set your timers limit at 30ft for adjustment to this new world.
- DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH
While down under, breathe slowly and in a relaxed manner. Inhale fully and exhale slowly, expelling out all the air from your lungs. Never take shallow breaths and under no circumstance hold your breath. It can result in severe lung injury.
- GOOD PHYSICAL HEALTH
Get a check up done to make sure you are fit physically and physiologically. The stress of being underwater is more than meets the eye. 1/4th of diving fatalities occur due to lax heart and/or circulatory conditions.
- NEVER DIVE ALONE
Until and unless you have a certificate from recognized organization stating you to be well experienced to dive alone, never ever should you go under alone. It's always a good call to have someone watching your back and vice-versa.
Plan out everything with your partner well in advance. The depth of your dive, time of your dive, hand signals for communication, etc. should be clear to you and your partner. Make sure that your safety equipments are in sublime condition because there is no scope for an accident underwater. Check the regulator and the pipe properly, you don't want them to snap off underwater. Always plant a dive flag to let boats and ferries know that there are divers in that area.
Worst case scenario, if some unforeseen mishap does take place you need to relax. Yes, it's easier said than acted upon but in situations like these you need to keep a cool mind. STOP. BREATHE. THINK. ACT.
Do not panic and propel yourself towards the surface. It will hinder your thought process which will create difficulties in swimming and also lead to decompression sickness.
There are golf resorts, 3-4 star hotels and small lodges at Murudeshwar. Resorts and hotels in Goa also run dive shops with certified divers at reasonable rates, which include all the diving equipment and the boat ride to and fro Netrani Island.
A strong waterproof bagpack, your swimming apparel, sunscreen, medicines, energy drinks, original identification proof, etc. are some things which you should carry.
Always get clearance by the Navy before going forth with your plan. In case a green signal is not given don't get unreasonable with the dive coordinator or the resort. It's for your own safety that you are being denied the opportunity to explore the underwater treasures.