The accepted general maximum depth for recreational divers is 40 metres. There are some jobs that require divers to go down further than this limit – sometimes as low as 60 or 70 metres. This is known as deep sea diving and, as with scuba diving, there are risks associated with this activity. Keep reading to find out more about staying safe whilst deep sea diving.
What is deep sea diving?
Deep sea diving is carried out by professional divers and describes any dives below 30 metres in depth. This would include divers who work for the gas and oil industry, or divers in the Royal Navy. Because these divers often have to go to quite extreme depths, they require a special suit that can withstand the extreme pressure at these depths. In addition, they often do not use a SCUBA apparatus; instead, oxygen is pumped through a line from above. For this reason the diver cannot swim freely and is lowered down and raised back up from above.
Diving is considered a high-risk occupation and, according to the Health and Safety Executive, the eight-year period leading up to 2004 saw 24 fatal accidents in the industry. The risks associated with deep sea diving can be significantly reduced by adhering to the regulations governing the industry and by adopting the established good practice.
Tips for staying safe whilst deep sea diving
Special precautions need to be taken when deep sea diving, mainly because of the body’s reaction to external water pressure. These risks, and tips for dealing with them, include the following:
- The higher the pressure, the more oxygen the diver requires – make sure there is sufficient oxygen for the planned dive.
- Long, deep dives carry a higher risk of nitrogen narcosis – because of the pressure at such depths, ascent will need to be done slowly with multiple compression stops along the way.
- Tidal currents can move divers away from their starting point – make sure that you are anchored properly, especially if your ascent is being controlled from above.
- The risk of oxygen and carbon dioxide toxicity is higher in deeper dives – proper training and controlled breathing can help to prevent this.
While deep sea diving carries a greater risk than shallow dives, a healthy and well-trained diver with functioning equipment is less likely to be involved in a deep sea diving accident.
What do I do if I have been involved in a deep sea diving accident?
If you have been injured in a deep sea diving accident that was not your fault, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim. Call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 now and discuss your case with one of our legal advisors. They will be able to give you an honest assessment of your claim’s chances of success and refer you to the best solicitor for your case.
All our solicitors work on a 100% no-win, no-fee* basis; therefore, starting your claim will not cost you anything. Call us now – you have nothing to lose.