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What Depths Can SCUBA Divers Dive Safely?

by
author image Christa Miller
Christa Miller is a writing professional with expertise in massage therapy and health. Miller attended San Francisco State University to earn a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing with a minor in journalism and went on to earn an Arizona massage therapy license.
What Depths Can SCUBA Divers Dive Safely?
Novice divers should avoid diving deeper than about 60 feet. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Scuba gear allows humans to breathe underwater through a mouthpiece attached to a tank of air. As a result, it gives divers an opportunity to take deep plunges into water without needing to come back up for air right away. Being able to breathe underwater makes underwater exploration simpler for humans, but it doesn’t strip away all limitations. A variety of factors, including the type of scuba gear you have, determine how deep you can dive.

Recreational Depth Limits

Beginners may not be allowed to dive deeper than about 60 feet until they get more experience, but this doesn’t mean they will be forced to endure boring dives. The water tends to be warmer and the colors tend to be more vibrant within the 40-foot range. As soon as you have proper training and experience, your depth limit is about 130 feet when you’re a recreational scuba diver, according to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. The British Sub-Aqua Club extends this limit to 165 feet.

Risks of Deeper Diving

Recreational divers who go past their diving depth limits are at risk of breathing in too much carbon dioxide which can build up in your breathing apparatus. Being exposed to a toxic supply for too long could be fatal, according to the British Sub-Aqua Club. Another great risk for divers who go beyond the recommended depth is nitrogen narcosis. It produces a state of consciousness similar to intoxication by alcohol, and it can lead a diver to become confused and have trouble monitoring time and depth and making other crucial decisions.

Specialized Suit Depths

Divers who used specialized pieces of scuba equipment are able to overcome deep-diving problems such as oxygen toxicity and nitrogen narcosis. Breathing in a combination of gases such as helium and oxygen reduces the nitrogen narcosis risk, and using equipment called closed circuit rebreathers allows divers to go about 700 feet down. Another type of suit, called an atmospheric diving suit, or newt suit, is like a miniature submarine to be worn by one diver. It allows commercial divers to go as far down as 1,000 feet.

Safety Tips

Consult your doctor before you take a scuba diving course or attempt to dive into great depths. Additionally, never scuba dive by yourself or go on a dive that makes you feel uncomfortable. Panicking underwater can increase your risk of further complications, so try to relax and get help from a dive partner if you begin to worry. Finally, check your gear to make sure it’s safe before a dive, always plan your dive in advance and precisely stick to your plan once you’re in the water.

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