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Old 06-04-2007, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Jake View Post
Like kiting, safety is paramount in free diving. About 20 years ago I read an article about shallow water blackout which made me rethink about diving alone. Free diving with a buddy on top while you are down is strongly recommended. Shallow water blackout is caused by the partial pressure of oxygen in the lungs dropping when you are surfacing. Your body is starved for oxygen and you black out near the surface. Your buddy should watch out for you and if he notices you stop on your ascent, he should bring you to the surface within 30 seconds or less and keep your mouth and nose out of the water. Upon regaining consciousness you will instinctively take a deep breath and if you are underwater that means filling up your lungs with water.

Kite safe and dive safe.

Jake
Good points. I think most divers would benefit from Martin's course just for improved routine free diving. I never knew it was a bad idea to submerge with a snorkel in your mouth. This despite studying breathhold diving since I was just a young spud.

As you point out someone that loses consciousness due to shallow water blackout may be restored (with limited stimulation on the surface) AS LONG AS they don't have water in their lungs. That alone could cause death otherwise. The snorkel apparently maintains an open pathway that defeats the closing off of the breathing way that usually happens automatically without a snorkel in place.

The course goes into shallow water blackout symptoms, signs, detailed techniques for avoidance, emergency retrieval, restoring procedures, etc.. Lots of good content derived from accident experiences in competitive free diving. It takes a lot of the randomness out of free diving particularly diving with a buddy with similar training who knows what to look for and how to react.
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