Scuba diving started off in the 1950’s and has been taken up as a sport by many. In the 1960’s and 70’s is when it gained popularity and people were willing to try it out. However, it is considerably a young sport. In the 90’s is when technology was brought in, and with it came changes in the sport.
If you have been diving for a while, or you have tried it out at some point, you know how much fun it can be. If you haven’t, you can always visit a scuba diving site and try it out.
Considering that scuba diving involves you being under water for a while, there are rules that you are required to abide by. Some of them have evolved over time, and you should take the changes into account. Below are some of the rules that have evolved with time.
1. A Reverse Dive Profile is Okay
Initially, divers were instructed to go as deep as they could then come up in a stair-step pattern. They were also told to the first dive of the day should be the deepest. However, thanks to technology, you can take a deeper dive with the second dive and the first dive of the day does not necessary have to be the first one. You can keep tabs on your Nitrogen exposure since the computers are accurate in tracking your depth and time continuously.
2. Minimum Age
Previously, the minimum age requirement for junior scuba certification was 12 years, and it was mandatory that a certified mature adult gave such certification. SSI, the body currently in charge of certification of junior scuba divers lowered their minimum age to 10 years old. 8-year-olds also have their own training program that is done in a pool that is not more than 6 feet deep.
For you to be certified, you were required to have done all class work, pool work and open water training with one agency. If you want to have your dives in the warm tropics, and you did your pool training and class work in a different region, it was required that you look for the same agency in the warm water region. However, for the sake of convenience, this was changed, and you can have all these trainings with different agencies. They only requirement is that each agency recognises the standards of the other.
4. Reduced Ascend Rate
At first, the accent rate was set at 60 feet per minute. Later on, the U.S. Navy started going at 30 feet per minute, and this was set to be the new rate with one foot per 2 seconds. Research has shown that when you go at a slower pace, the absorbed nitrogen can be flushed out of your body in time before it forms bubbles unlike when you at a high ascending rate.
5. Introduction of Safety Pauses
When ascending to the surface, it was not necessary for you to stop. However, it is now recommended that before you get to the surface, when you are approximately 15 feet away, you should take a safety stop of about 3 to 5 minutes. This will give your body time to get rid of any nitrogen.
6. Neutral Buoyancy while Ascending
The old rule required that you dump all air so you are negative before beginning your ascent. You were then to fin upwards against negative buoyancy. With the amendment of the rule, you are required to be neutrally buoyant prior to starting your ascent. This neutral buoyancy should be maintained throughout as well. This will eliminate the strain you get from finning against negative buoyancy.
Author: Araluen Centre
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