April 2023 – Dry Dive

Report by George Mitchell

A number of us had the pleasure of a visit to the Whipps Cross Hyperbaric Chamber today 23rd April 2023. First of all many thanks to Paul C for organising an interesting and very instructive day. We were briefed then did a dry dive to 40m with a perfectly uniform descent rate and ascent rate to 10m for a few minutes then to 6m. Interestingly both deco stops were on pure oxygen so initially quite a high PO2. We experience the increase in temperature as we descended and the reduction in temperature as we ascended – adiabatic thermodynamic effect. After changing out of the scrubs we were obliged to wear for the dive we then had a fairly long lecture from Wayne, our instructor who was in the chamber with us. Wayne’s presentation style could be described as enthusiastic and knowledgeable, though liberally peppered with expletives. Whilst they served to emphasise certain points my personal view is that they were overdone. Nevertheless he did give us a lot of useful information including the following.

The chamber can be activated in about 1 hour

Divers can call their emergency number at any time – 07999 292 999

There are some very useful books he mentioned some of which are:

The DDRC Underwater Diving Accident Manual

Drs Edmond, McKenzie and Thomas – Diving Medicine for Scuba Divers

And…..something that in book form is £160 odd but there are supposed to be free pdf versions – I have to say this evening I have struggled to find a version that I can easily download. Will do more research tomorrow. Some of the versions are 30 years old and I think that is rather out of date. The title is: Physiology and Medicine of Diving by Bennet and Elliot. I may end up buying the actual up to date book in which case I will happily lend it out.

I think there were several people with cameras there so perhaps we shall see some pictures.

There were numerous important points he raised about how to avoid being a client in the chamber…..but we know these don’t we yet sometimes people are casual about them.

Make sure you are well hydrated – that means no excessive alcohol the night before

No alcohol after diving

Do NOT smoke!

Do not do excessive exercise in the hour before diving

After a dive – rest before doing vigorous exercise – be careful about lugging kit around too much.

Avoid being overweight – apart from the additional load on your heart adipose tissue absorbs more nitrogen that some other tissues though not necessarily at a fast rate – the two aspects should not be confused.

Keep fit! OK yes I am banging on about this AGAIN. Consider the physical effort of lugging kit, getting into your kit, doing the dive coupled with the fact that your body has to deal with the ongassing and offgassing, the work done during the dive and the fact that you are breathing in an environment you never evolved to deal with.

He raised many more good points which I shall come back to – but they essentially pointed to fact that as sports divers we do NOT practice emergency procedures nearly enough.  I tend to agree with that sentiment…..

Looking forward to the pics….

Finally for those who have not done this dry dive its interesting fun and instructive.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial