Thailand is blessed with amazing marine life and crystal-clear waters, making it one of the best places in the world to go scuba diving. As much fun as it is, diving carries certain risks, which is why Bangkok Hospital Siriroj has a Hyperbaric Chamber Facility. Here are some tips to stay safe when you take the plunge.
- Make sure all of your gear is in top condition.
All it takes is one busted air tank or leaky wetsuit to turn an ordinary dive into a life-threatening situation. Avoid unnecessary risk by double- and triple-checking all of your equipment.
- Never ascend too quickly.
If you swim to the surface too quickly, the nitrogen in your bloodstream can form bubbles, resulting in decompression sickness. This condition can be serious and extremely painful.
- Always take the time to receive proper certification from a reputable certified company.
As tempting as it might be to want to get into the water as quickly as possible, there’s a good reason the law forces you to undergo certification. While most dive companies in Thailand are trustworthy, be careful to steer clear of questionable operators promising to let you dive to great depths before you are ready.
- Don’t hold your breath underwater.
This might seem counterintuitive, but it’s critical to never, ever hold your breath when you dive. As you ascend and descend, the air in your lungs expands and contracts, which can cause permanent damage. Known as pulmonary barotrauma, this condition is dangerous, but easy to avoid. Just remember to breathe.
- Dive with a buddy.
No matter what, always make sure you dive in the company of another experienced diver. Most of the serious accidents that occur happen when someone is diving solo. It never hurts to make sure someone has your back.
- Stay in excellent physical condition.
There are many reasons to stay physically fit; consider diving just one more. Strong swimmers are better equipped to handle sudden currents and other dangerous situations. If you are planning to embark on a diving expedition in the near future, this is another incentive to hit the gym in advance.
- Don’t dive if you don’t feel up to it.
Did you drink a bit too much last night? Have you been feeling like you might be coming down with a cold? Are you exhausted from jetlag? Stay out of the water. Accidents occur when divers’ defenses are down.
- When in doubt, seek help.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Stay within your comfort zone.