Saturday, 14 January 2012

Can you drink and scuba dive????


If your going to have a drink then don’t get behind the wheel. Equally important should be the message to everyone with a PADI qualification off on scuba diving holidays to lay of the juice before they head below the waves: An obvious message but one that sometimes is not taken seriously.
However, if part of your holiday by the sea involves scuba diving then you have to take responsibility over your condition before you go swimming with the fishes, or you may find yourself down there for good…For many, the whole concept of a holiday is to go somewhere hot on the coast and pass the time either in the water or at the bar – looking out the window onto a drizzly, cold, grey European winter, who came blame them.
Having any level of alcohol in your system in an alien environment, such as being 50 metres under the sea scuba diving in Malta obviously has some danger. Reaction times are slowed, concentration levels are reduced, the ability to process information correctly, the ability to execute physical tasks and tracking of your own performance are all impaired. Not to mention the fact that your perception, already changed by the alien environment, is seriously altered.
We are not just talking about drinks on the shore or on the boat directly before you get in the water. A heavy night in the discothèque can leave you over the limit and dehydrated the morning after.
Dehydration is considered to be one of the prime causes of decompression illness and alcohol has a direct effect on the kidneys, causing a loss of body fluids. This is especially important on deep dives where problems are much more intensified. It is estimated that 50% of all accidents of people of a drinking age are caused in at least part by excessive alcohol.

Drinking may make the colours of the fish and coral more vivid but your senses, reactions and physical capabilities are all severely lessened putting you – and others – in danger.It is not just your own health that you must consider. On scuba diving holidays your diving is a social sport, and your dive buddy is relying on you for their safety, just as much as you are relying on them for yours. If he is your drinking as well well as dive buddy then maybe have a chat and think about the risks you could be both by running.
So, if you are heading out to into the ocean this winter – or anytime – then firstly I’m very jealous and secondly…
…Don’t Drink and Dive!

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