What is the worst diving accident

Diving Risks: How Dangerous is the Sport?

Anyone who underestimates the risks involved in diving can, in the worst case, endanger their lives. It is therefore important to be instructed by an experienced diving instructor before the first dive in order to know the most important safety rules underwater.

Diving Risks: What Can Happen?

Most beginners suspect risks when diving ascent and descent. Rightly so: the deeper you dive, the more the ambient pressure increases, or more precisely the water pressure. This shrinks the volume of your lungs. Air also has a smaller volume at depth than above water. So if you breathe in underwater and then climb up without exhaling, the air you breathe in expands, but not your lung volume. The result can be an overstretched lungs. This is noticeable in severe pain and can lead to paralysis or even death, explains the science magazine "Planet Wissen" of the broadcasting stations WDR, SWR and BR-alpha in a report on the subject.

Decompression sickness: ascend slowly

Scuba divers should avoid this danger by inhaling and exhaling regularly as they descend and ascend. The same tip also applies to prevent the risk of decompression sickness: If you ascend too quickly, the gases that the body has absorbed during the descent cannot be broken down quickly enough. So gas bubbles from dissolved nitrogen can arise in the blood vessels, which lead to insufficient blood flow and gas embolism and can even result in paraplegia and strokes, reports "Planet Wissen" further. Diving instructor Mathias Landeck from the Association of German Sports Divers (VDST) recommends diving from the maximum depth to ten meters with an ascent speed of ten meters per minute. The last ten meters should then be reduced to five meters per minute.

What are the dangers underwater?

Other risks associated with diving are also closely related to water pressure. What many people know as a slight feeling of pressure or pulsation in the ear when an aircraft takes off and lands, increases many times over after just a few meters under water. If you do not equalize the pressure on the eardrum, you will quickly feel a painful stinging in the ear while diving and hear a whistle. Therefore, after every meter you should equalize the pressure - otherwise there is a risk of tearing your eardrum.

At great depths, from around 40 meters, there are additional risks involved in this extreme sport. Because the body absorbs more nitrogen in order to withstand the ambient pressure, judgment, coordination and the realistic assessment of dangers dwindle - similar to an intoxication with alcohol. Anyone who notices that their perception is worsening underwater or even fears that they will lose consciousness must inform their diving partner in order to terminate the dive quickly but in a controlled manner.

Aside from the dangers of carelessness, marine life also poses risks when diving. To protect yourself from injuries caused by poisonous fish and other underwater animals, the following rule applies underwater: Do not touch anything. However, this also includes harmless animals and plants that should not be disturbed or damaged in their environment.

This is how you prevent accidents and injuries

Despite the risks involved in diving, those interested should not shy away from testing their skills underwater. The most important measure to prevent hazards: a medical examination carried out by a doctor or a certified diving school. Contact the Association of German Sport Divers (VDST) or the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). Both organizations can also educate you about other risks associated with diving.

As the diving doctor Dr. Markus Klingenberg explains in an interview with the specialist portal "Netzathleten" that there are no health hazards on a professionally conducted dive in which the diver is always alert and focused: "According to the current state of knowledge, no long-term damage is to be expected with recreational divers." However, due to the high stress caused by pressure differences, it is important to take it easy for at least 24 hours after diving. If you are on a diving holiday, plan a day's break before your return flight. Beginners should also not undertake multiple dives on consecutive days.

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.