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The Dangers of Diving

People with a hunger for excitement are often taking on one adventure or other. Be it rock climbing or shooting down the rapids in a canoe along some river, they constantly seek out physically demanding activities and even danger. Most of the potential dangers may be averted through adequate preparation and training.

One of the most alluring and potentially frightening activities sought out by many is underwater diving. This can take the form of scuba diving or snorkeling, each of which requires its own set of equipment and instructions. Scuba diving can take top-notch swimmers into the depths of the sea by equipping them with oxygen tanks and a wet suit. Snorkeling allows competent swimmers to explore more shallow areas, such as a reef. In either case, extreme caution is required.

The sudden loss of oxygen is probably the biggest threat. Should the diver's tank suddenly lose pressure, get damaged, or even become lost, they must immediately surface or risk drowning. It is also possible for a snorkeler to be suddenly cut off from their oxygen supply and necessesitate a mad dash to the boat or shore. It is essential for the diver to check the tank prior to going underwater to see that it is functioning properly and then to keep tabs on it while diving. A simple kink in the line could spell disaster when down below.

Another danger to be careful of for divers is the bends. Submerging or surfacing too rapidly are the cause of this condition in which higher-than-normal levels of oxygen enter into the bloodstream and wreak havoc on the circulatory system. The bends can be deadly if they are not properly tended to immediately. Always bring a diving buddy along and it would also be a good idea to keep someone in the boat above while diving so they can get help in the event of an emergency.

Great Whites and other sharks are considered by many divers to be the greatest danger, both mental and physical. Great Whites can reach lengths exceeding 20 feet. They have shown a propensity to attack, dismember, and even kill people. Clearly, it is a good idea to give these animals as much space as they need so check before heading out and avoid all known feeding grounds. The stings of both eels and jellyfish are also known to be dangers best avoided when diving.

Zak Breezer is a certified diver and proprietor and owner of BS Diving His website is a must visit site for all your diving needs. Please go to: to review his site and articles.

Letter to the Editor

Dear Mr Horowitz,

I am writing in regards to the page that you have up about scuba diving:

I just wanted to let you know that it is highly inaccurate. For example, the bends, Decompression Sickness, is caused by nitrogen, not oxygen, occurs when nitrogen that is disolved in the body's tissues forms bubbles due to decompression of super-saturated tissues (usually if you exceed the safety limits as defined by dive tables or computers), or sudden decompression caused by a rapid ascent to the surface. There are many other inaccuracies in the article. If you need information for correcting it, visit There are many resources on the site that you might find useful, and also many helpful people that you can contact within PADI with specific questions. I'm sure they would be glad to help you. I would hate for anyone to be frightened off from this amazing and relatively safe sport (provided it is undertaken with proper training, equipment, and planning), or worse for someone to be injured by attempting to dive without proper training. Hope you will find this helpful.

Morgan Lafferty, Instructor, PADI Professional Member

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