Scuba Diving TECHNICAL
The Scuba Doctor is the leading source for equipment for advanced and technical divers. We have supplied thousands of experienced tech and rebreather divers worldwide with quality scuba diving equipment from the finest manufacturers.
Every year experienced divers die in diving related avoidable accidents that should not have happened because the victim was "always so careful". One of the more common examples is a failure to analyse gas before diving, but there are many different types of avoidable accidents. The usual explanation put forward is a lapse in following their training, typically as a result of complacency. The victim is blamed for becoming complacent, the dive community is again reminded to be vigilant against complacency, and then another avoidable accident occurs. Perhaps a different way of explaining the cause of these predictable accidents could help effect a change in this unfortunate cycle.
The concept of Normalisation of Deviance has been used to describe the cause of NASA's flawed decisions that led to the Challenger space shuttle disaster. Normalisation of deviance from dive safety begins when the diver has a lapse in one or more safety protocols (often as a result of time and/or financial pressures) and nothing bad happens. The lapse reoccurs without incident and slowly the diver grows more accustomed to the deviant behaviour. Eventually the diver becomes so accustomed to a deviation from dive safety standards that they consider their unsafe behaviour to be acceptably normal. Ultimately one or more safety protocols are permanently deleted from their routine; enabling the diver have a serious, perhaps fatal, accident. To other divers, the accident is bewildering because the behaviour seems obviously unsafe and the victim had enough training and certainly enough experience to "know better".
It's clearly not productive to keep blaming the victim for these avoidable accidents. We can't solve this complex problem in a Tech Tip but a step to addressing this dive safety issue is to begin a discussion within the dive training community. Do we need a different educational approach that formally recognises and addresses normalisation of deviance as an underlying cause of many avoidable accidents among experienced divers? If you are an experienced diver, or dive professional, The Scuba Doctor urges you to raise awareness of this issue among your peers.
What is Technical Diving?
Technical Diving allows experienced divers to dive deeper, enter overhead environments such as a wreck or caves or dive for longer bottom times with specialised equipment after gaining expert training.
Technical or deep dives are defined as dives deeper than the standard recreational limits of between 30-40m. This is due to the fact that breathing regular air while experiencing depths below 30m causes an increasing amount of impairment due to nitrogen narcosis.
Technical Diving is also described as dives that are long enough to require mandatory decompression stops which can be performed using nitrox or pure oxygen. Decompression diving carries higher risks as it is no longer safe to make a direct ascent to the surface when underwater problems occur. That's why obtaining the necessary technical training is essential before you consider this type of diving.
If you wish to undertake Technical Diving courses in Melbourne or on the Mornington Peninsula, please Contact Us for more information.