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Advanced Open Water
Advanced Open Water
INDEX Introduction Equipment Physics The tables Diving limits The mixtures Search and recovery Underwater navigation Night dive or limited visibility dive Deep dive Rescue Diver page page page page page page page page page page page 3 7 25 35 45 51 55 63 75 81 87
Dive tables (images)
Advanced Open Water Diver Manual December 2000 © IDEA Europe
Via Mulino di Pile 3 - 67100 L’Aquila (Italy) Phone +39 0862 318499 - Fax +39 0862 318542 www.idea-europe.com - www.idea-europe.org Written by Gaetano Occhiuzzi, President of IDEA Europe. Translated by Angela Lee. Photo by Fabio Bontempi, Walter Nicolini, Antonio Trogu. Pictures by Lorella Rossi. Special thanks to Francesca Ottolenghi and Sarah Lovari. Duplication and reproduction, even partially, of this manual is prohibited unless with written authorization. 2
Advanced Open Water
Advanced Open Water IDEA 4 .
you will be able to carry out your underwater activity even in these conditions although always accompanied by an instructor. The Advanced Open Water Course. as such. emphasising that they are not specialised course manuals. based on search and recovery. thus enriching their personal knowledge and experience. know and experience different situations from those undertaken in the simple Open Water Diver Certificate Course. but that they simply illustrate experience. deep dives and rescue. on the whole people who have a degree of familiarity with the sea. the basic course assumes the person is a new diver and. therefore he is introduced to this new sport so that he may operate in simple and safe environmental conditions. At the end of the course you will have tried to dive in conditions different from those experienced in the Open Water Diver Course. Obviously the aim of this manual is to give introductory notes to these types of exercises.ID EA Advanced Open Water INTRODUCTION The IDEA Advanced Open Water Course is aimed at introducing the student to a new diving experience different from those of the basic Open Water Diver Course. natural navigation and compass navigation technique. must therefore. who have already been diving. techniques used in limited visibility or night dives. and indeed. on the other hand. Gaetano Occhiuzzi President of IDEA Europe 5 . is aimed at students already in possession of the basic certificate. has never had diving experience. in particular. o the whole you will be a more complete diver. In fact. This in fact is the case of the IDEA Advanced Open Water Diver Course: a series of dives. Your knowledge of theory will be furthered. more “advanced”. These divers want to. and that clearly everything should be integrated with an explanation by a trained instructor. of different exercises together with a furthering of theoretical knowledge. you will have had an introduction to the various specific areas. without the excessive commitment required for specialised courses. so that you may understand if one of these areas is of particular interest to you and you may therefore attend the specialised course. The scheduled exercises are.
0 0:10 0:36 0:37 1:06 1:07 1:41 1:42 2:23 2:24 3:20 3:21 4:49 4:50 7:59 8:00 12:0 0:10 0:33 0:34 0:59 1:00 1:29 1:30 2:02 2:03 2:44 2:45 3:43 3:44 5:12 5:13 8:21 8:22 12:0 A 7 6 5 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 B 17 13 11 9 8 7 7 6 6 6 C 25 21 17 15 13 11 10 10 9 8 D 37 29 24 20 18 16 14 13 12 11 E 49 38 30 26 23 20 18 16 15 13 F 61 47 36 31 28 24 22 20 18 16 G 73 56 44 37 32 29 26 24 21 19 H 87 66 52 43 38 33 30 27 25 22 I 101 76 61 50 43 38 34 31 28 25 J 116 87 70 57 48 43 38 34 32 28 K GR 138 99 79 64 54 47 43 38 35 31 6 .Advanced Open Water IDEA MT 12 5 15 18 21 24 27 30 33 36 39 GR A K J I H G F E D C B A MT 12 15 18 21 24 27 30 33 36 39 0:10 2:10 0:10 2:11 12:0 12:0 0:10 1:39 1:40 2:49 2:50 12:0 0:10 1:09 1:10 2:38 2:39 5:48 5:49 12:0 15 10 10 5 5 5 5 B 25 15 15 10 10 10 7 5 5 5 C 30 25 20 15 15 12 10 10 10 D DIVE TIME 40 50 70 30 40 50 25 30 40 20 30 35 20 25 30 15 20 25 15 20 13 15 80 100 110 130 60 70 50 40 E F G H I J 0:10 0:31 0:32 0:54 0:55 1:19 1:20 1:47 1:48 2:20 2:21 3:04 3:05 4:02 4:03 5:40 5:41 8:40 8:41 12:0 K 0:10 0:28 0:29 0:49 0:50 1:11 1:12 1:35 1:36 2:03 2:04 2:38 2:39 3:21 3:22 4:19 4:20 5:48 5:49 8:58 8:59 12:0 GR 0:10 0:54 0:55 1:57 1:58 3:22 3:23 6:32 6:33 12:0 0:10 0:45 0:46 1:29 1:30 2:28 2:29 3:57 3:58 7:05 7:06 12:0 0:10 0:40 0:41 1:15 1:16 1:59 2:00 2:58 2:59 4:25 4:26 7:35 7:36 12.
ID EA Advanced Open Water 7 .
Advanced Open Water IDEA 8 .
ID EA Advanced Open Water EQUIPMENT In the theory lessons of the basic course you learned that in order to dive. but not as regards its validity since it is both complicated and awkward to use. At least for now. as you well remember. the importance of the mask is not to be underestimated. Continuing our examination. without it we would not have perfect vision during dives and so we would not be able to see the beauties of the underwater world. Let’s go over the most important points again. some specific equipment is necessary. it has made no progress from the basic principle on which it is based. We reply that this is true as far as cost is concerned. Taking a look at this piece of equipment from a technical point of view. Some of this is also used in skin diving. other pieces are completely different and are only used for scuba diving. due to the different refraction values between air and water. this is easy to deduce due to the presence of the letter T or the word ‘tempered’ written on the glass. so our vision is blurred. MASK AND SNORKEL The first piece of equipment we need when diving is the mask. we can see that the mask is made of a rubber part (generally silicon rubber) acting as a grip when worn. Adding the strap and the buckles we have mentioned all the parts of the mask. that is to create an air cushion in front of our eyes. Some may object to this statement saying that recreational scuba diving has witnessed progress in the form of the full face mask which marked a step forwards. Therefore. were this not the case then apart from the obvious problem of misting. on direct contact with water our eyes cannot focus the light rays onto the retina exactly. which though having made progress in terms of the materials used . there 9 . and a rigid plastic part which contains one or two glass pieces which allow vision but avoid water penetration. we must remember that the glass must be tempered. since.
A snorkel is always with the mask. this is ascertained by placing the mask on your face and then breathing in through the nose. With an air tank.Advanced Open Water IDEA could also be the problem of breakage due to pressure when diving. BCD. if air leaks in. therefore only by using a motor is it possible to move without using excessive effort. Another point to remember should the glass need to be replaced. Once the correct mask has been found other secondary factors. such as colour and shape. then the mask will not press against the face and therefore is not suited to the shape of your face. Before buying a mask you must be absolutely certain of the grip. The snorkel must be about 30 cm in length with an easy attachment to the strap. This is exactly what fins are used for: they increase the amount of water moved and consequently the speed and 10 . we obviously cannot dream of moving forwards using only our hands and feet. A nice colourful mask which does not grip is of no use at all. even if we have a regulator this precious piece should not be forgotten since it allows us to swim on the surface with our head under water without using up air from the tanks. may be considered. for example by prescription lenses. FINS AND DIVE BOOTS Fins are essential to give us the necessary propulsion when in water. it is best to use models which are not fanciful (release valves etc) because the more complex it is the greater the possibilities are of getting caught up in something or it becoming annoying . Our penetration coefficient in water is comparable to a train in the air. regulators. it is necessary to choose the two-lens model since it is practically impossible to substitute the single-glass model with prescription lenses. pressure gauges.
SUIT The suit. So. they could choose a 5 mm. is developing and branching out comprising even more models. due to thermal heat dispersion (cooling by conduction). is perhaps one of the pieces of equipment which has enjoyed a greater progress in recent years. therefore of average length and rigid enough. otherwise they would flex too much and not be able to propel the diver. a 5 mm one-piece for average temperature seas and a nice 7 mm wet suit or better still a dry suit for the winter would be the ideal solution. the suit comes in such a variety that beginners become confused! Obviously. It is enough to think of entering the water barefoot from a stony each wearing all the necessary equipment or even wearing the soft neoprene socks to understand the necessity of such socks with a reinforced sole. One-piece. because they are easier to put on and take off. having a 3 mm suit for warm seas. (in fact the first suits were air-/water tight) it has improved in time. also for retailers! Not being able to have all of these. BCD etc are unadvisable since the ski diver has an optimum hydrodynamic coefficient. moving only a little water. guaranteeing direct heat. two-piece. one or 11 . Also to be remembered is the use of open heel fins and not the closed type. Having started off based on the concept of avoiding contact with water. whose main purpose is to prevent our body from getting cold. wet suit. For those who waive aside the idea of winter diving or diving in cold waters like lakes for example.ID EA Advanced Open Water power of our movement. you must consider the use you are going to make of the suit and in particular what kind of diving you are most likely going to do. thanks to the invention of neoprene which. Due to the mass they have to propel forward they have to be pretty resistant. but these fins are useless to a scuba diver weighed down with all his equipment. long. and the use of dive socks make it easier to walk when wearing equipment since they are almost like shoes. flexible fins used by skin divers who do not carry air tanks. padded with heat conserving water-tight materials.
the increase in positive buoyancy. will offset the pros with the cons. The same goes for the 3 mm suit. beginners tend to buy a 3 mm suit.Advanced Open Water IDEA two-piece. particularly the 7mm suits. However. but if the dives in warm seas is secondary compared to the Mediterranean. otherwise they would be dry suits. in which a 3 mm is more appropriate. It is better to be sure and choose the suit based on the use for which it was designed. but it is not true that they don not let water in. they then realise that the advice given against using a 3 mm in our seas was correct after all. fleeced etc) does not conserve much more heat than an ordinary suit. It is better not to be tempted by the heat offered by these types of suits if they subsequently will not be used in the conditions for which they have been specifically designed. stress deriving from excessive heat in the summer. On the first dive. since the 5mm if not made of a particular type of neoprene (titanium. At this point the question arises: what about the wet suits which enjoy such popularity and do not permit water penetration but conserve heat? The answer is simple: they are excellent suits. in the colder months this type of suit is necessary. the 7mm has the drawback of being more complicated to use. Indeed they conserve more heat. Sometimes on the basis of experience gained while skin diving. given that even in the Red Sea which is a popular destination for Italian and other European scuba divers. because it is more difficult to put on and requires heavier weights than the 5mm. Concerning the awkwardness. leaving the 7 mm fleeced wet suit to those who prefer winter diving. which is tempered and not warm) then a 3 mm is sufficient. if anything they limit water penetration but not completely. when they begin to feel cold after about a quarter of an hour. If all the dives occur in warm seas (not the Mediterranean. then a 5 mm is the preferred choice. 12 .
The negative aspect of the dry suit is the greater complexity of control when diving. that is the person who dives as a hobby and not only available to the professional diver who dives in cold or polluted waters. it is better to choose the wet suit if using it the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. the greater stiffness of the material and the limited elasticity compared to a neoprene suit make movements more difficult. Evaluate well if the addition of extra weights causes you problems. Now the price of this type of suit is only a little higher than that of a good wet suit. 13 . it is necessary to fill and empty the suit with air. like thinsulate) stops any possible small leakages and perspiration from wetting the diver and keeps the heat both before and after the dive. in the case of harsh temperatures you can walk about in the underwear suit rather than having to change clothes (maybe when it is windy) putting on tracksuits. since some people need more than 10 kilos to obtain negative balance. sweatshirts or sweaters. It requires a more specialised training. the special underwear suit (especially if good quality. but in effect the advantages of the dry suits are numerous and not to be underestimated by those who often dive in winter or in cold waters.ID EA Advanced Open Water In conclusion then. which thanks to the drop in price and the distinct improvement in the material used are more readily available to the recreational diver. Let’s talk about the dry suits. and if it is used many times as permitted by the temperature. in order that it does not squeeze against you on descent and does not expand too quickly on ascent. Heavy weights cause stress and too much weight on the back so this aspect should be taken into account. Moreover. given by the IDEA Dry Suit Course in addition to a certain period of practise in order to perfect its use. There are numerous points in favour of a dry suit: you do not get wet (apart from your head). because apart from the BCD. that is in winter or when diving in lakes.
even if purely theoretical. generally at a pressure of around 220 bar. lakes) buying everything available. with the air tank. is perhaps not the wisest way to spend money. it is necessary to see if the advantages of the dry suit outweigh the disadvantages and if it is used often enough for the type of dives for which it was designed. these being situations in which we can easily come upon if calculations are wrong. which we have already mentioned when discussing the use of fins. which is filled with air by means of a compressor. then dividing the amount of air contained in the tank by the consumption at that depth. it is necessary to evaluate what kind of dives you are most likely to do and then decide how to spend your money wisely. TANKS The air tank is essential when diving. only if you have no financial restrictions and you want to have a different suit for every occasion (summer. remembering what we have already studied in the basic course. our stay under water is lengthened because we have an air reserve with us. warm seas. Instead. since without the air it contains our permanence under water would be limited to our lung capacity. This formula should be applied to the letter because the consumption of 20 litres a minute increases to 120/170 litres a minute in conditions of notable physical effort or lack of breath. the amount of air it contains can be determined by multiplying tank capacity (in litres) by the loading pressure (in bars). Buying a suit and attending a specialised course only to carry out two or three dives a year in winter or in lakes. winter. that is 20 litres of air a minute. The air tank is a container for compressed air which is then inhaled by means of a regulator. by the pressure present at the desired depth. by multiplying the average consumption of air of a man who is carrying out moderate physical activity. 14 . because it is from the extremities that great heat loss occurs and therefore they should be adequately protected.Advanced Open Water IDEA Once again. It must be remembered that together with the suit it is necessary to buy socks. If we want we can also calculate the dive time available in an air tank at a given depth. To conclude. gloves.
that is which allows the attachment of only one regulator. For example.ID EA Advanced Open Water Getting back to the air tank. but rust easily if not maintained well. whose aim is to contain air at high pressure. it must be remembered that at the standard pressure load of 220 bar. the tank walls must bear a pressure of 220 kg on each square centimetre. excessive size and weight which limit maximum capacity to 12 litres if worn without causing problems. this makes its construction more difficult. The tank has a valve system. however the necessity to have them checked with the same regularity as the steel tanks. have better buoyancy in water. makes their use more infrequent in our country. In fact. aluminium tanks are the best solution. allowing for the attachment of two completely autonomous regulators. so much so that when a tank explodes whoever is near usually loses his life. which if it were in aluminium would be too big and heavy for the diver who wants to have fun and not lift weights. it is not a pressure to be underestimated. do not have such good buoyancy in water. the most widespread tank used in Italy is the 15 litre. 15 . This valve system can be a one-attachment. or it can be a two-valve attachment. In practice. which apart from opening and closing the air flow. The construction materials are steel or aluminium. Let’s look into this more in detail talking about the alternative air source. is also for attaching the regulator making this easier due to the two most common types: INT in Italy and in many other nations. DIN in Germany and in other north European countries. aluminium tanks are larger. The advantages and disadvantages of both types are well known: steel tanks are smaller. but are free from corrosion of any kind so much so that in some countries their use is obligatory for professional use. even if slightly larger and with more positive buoyancy.
The action of 220kg of pressure against the cylinder walls should really make us reflect and lead us to the conclusion that the utmost care should be taken when dealing with this particular piece of equipment. Nowadays. regarding the inside it is absolutely necessary to have the cylinder visually inspected yearly to check for corrosion. especially at the top where there is the valve system and it is a tricky part to clean. It has a dual function: it lowers the pressure of the air in the tank making it breathable and it limits the release of this air to the inhaling phase. The first stage.Advanced Open Water IDEA When talking about tank maintenance we must say that this is of extreme importance since the pressure which the cylinder walls must bear makes maintenance essential in order not to have problems. Sanding is carried out with extreme care. apart from being neces16 . therefore the purchase of a cylinder is only useful if dives are carried out independent of diving centres. the second stage. with a two valve attachment if you have two autonomous regulators. Great attention should be paid to purchase rather than choice of the cylinder. In fact the presence of rust inside the cylinder requires sanding since corrosion could lead to a decrease in the thickness of the cylinder walls with consequent decrease in the capacity of the cylinder walls to withstand the necessary pressure. it is more opportune to entrust this test to a specialised facility. almost all diving centres include a full tank and weight belts in the cost of a dive. It is made up of two elements: the first stage which may be a flow through piston or a diaphragm and this is the part which is attached to the tank valves. Should you decide to buy one. avoiding unnecessary air loss which would only compromise the duration of the dive. which is placed in the mouth in order to breathe. for our dives the choice of a 15 litre cylinder is practically obligatory. Even if this may be carried out by the scuba diver certified in Equipment Specialist. each little pitting of the protective surface must immediately be sanded and then revarnished to avoid rusting or any type of corrosion. Concerning the outside of the cylinder. REGULATOR If the tank carries air under water to enable breathing then the regulator is the piece of equipment which enables us to breathe that air.
variable depending on the design specifics of the tank. really do demand perfection. If it is a balanced regulator. that is. the lever is pushed back to its initial position by a spring thus returning the membrane to its initial position too. that is only when the diver inhales. the diaphragm type being associated with a balanced regulator and the piston with an unbalanced one.ID EA Advanced Open Water sary to attach the regulator to the tank. the materials of which the first stages are made and the strict EEC norms to which the regulators must adhere in order to be sold. In fact. usually ranging from 7 to 10 bar. Air supply is released on demand. As soon as inhaling stops. allowing him to breathe easily. For this reason the difference between the two types of construction. In modern regulators this decrease in flow is so limited that it is only perceptible when the tank is almost empty and at depths of 30m. lowering a lever which opens the release valve. has been overcome by modern technology which has achieved perfection in both systems so that the finals results are practically the same. From this second stage. we come to the second stage. this intermediate pressure will not be effected by the decrease in filling pressure. that is piston or diaphragm. the air inhaled is expelled thus completing the breathing cycle. 17 . since inside the second stage there is a membrane which during this phase flexes back. by means of one-way valve openings called ‘moustaches’ in scuba jargon. which provides air at environment pressure. decreasing it to an intermediate pressure. its release pressure varies according to the depth the diver is at. carries out the reduction in air pressure in the tank. instead if it is an unbalanced regulator the intermediate pressure will decrease as the loading pressure decreases therefore the air flow released from the first stage will be slightly decreased. Analysing the regulator again. therefore it will remain unchanged and air supply released from the first stage will remain constant.
and in this way deterMOUTH PIECE mining the capacity of the regulator. opening the release valve. there is also a command in the second stage which regulates air flow release but a point should be made about this. This function does not regulate pressure but rather the push of the spring which acts on the release valves varies. In practice at the second stage the air flow is not regulated but rather the inhaling force. This only varies the raising of the lever which lowers during the inhaling phase due to the action of the membrane. is the nut which is located in the inner space of the second stage near the entrance point of the whip. Currently. making it lighter or stiffer. Another element which as nothing to do with regulating pressure. therefore live. that is at the end of the season. Another determining factor in the purchase of a regulator is the availability of spare parts and the number of technical assistance centres. In some models. Since there is the sale of regulators which are not EC approved. all the SPRING regulating of the DOWN STREAM DIAPHRAGH regulator takes VALVE place in the first INTERMEDIARE PRESSURE AIR AT AMBIENT stage. one of the most important is that it must conform to EC norms. this lever should normal only slightly touch the membrane in order not to have continuous air release. which is FROM FIRST PRESSURE STAGE the one that carries out the first reduction in pressure. it is necessary to remember some essential points in order to make the correct choice. Having gone over the basic concepts of the regulator. and as such it is not advisable trying to save money on this piece.Advanced Open Water IDEA As may be unPURGE BUTTON derstood from WATER AT LEVER AMBIENT PRESSURE above. this may be seen by the markings E and C on the tank. 18 . since the regulator is a delicate instrument and needs maintenance at least once a year. we should remember that this is the piece of equipment which lets us breathe.
It is important to join two compatible stages with intermediate pressure from the first stage. this is really simple since the same manufacturers produce an extra second stage which is yellow and has a longer hose to be used when assembling the octopus. To conclude.ID EA Advanced Open Water So finding oneself without a spare part or some specialised centre to fix it means that you have not spent your money well. In any case. it really should be considered excessive since it is practically impossible for a modern day regulator to malfunction. it lessens the weight to be carried eliminating one of the two stages. 19 . not only necessary to make up for blocks in his regulator which is a rather remote possibility. notably the heaviest piece of the regulator . It is the most economic and often. especially in diving centres abroad. ALTERNATIVE AIR SOURCE Since the scuba diver is trained and conscientious he must never dive without an alternative air source. The solution of an octopus is therefore the best. even worse if it is a foreign make. even if theoretically the use of two complete regulators is the best solution. and this is called an octopus. but rather to assist a buddy in case of difficulty.a ttachm ent tanks which do not allow for the use of two autonomous regulators. it is obligatory since these centres usually use only on e . since it would permit assistance to another person without air and to make up for some malfunction of the regulator. The simplest solution is to have two second stages attached to a first stage. all the features mentioned are generally present in the more famous makes of regulators which should be preferred to the special price unknown makes. and also permits saving on the purchase.
Initially the BCD used was a horse collar style which was inflated “by mouth” then improved by the use of an inflating system using a little tank and then the attachment to the first stage of the regulator. both from the point of view of comfort and expense. they are not very useful in our area since the extra air they contain is limited. This piece of equipment based on the simple concept of varying buoyancy using a closed pocket into which air is breathed or it can be emptied by pulling the release tube upwards. however they are usually very small to avoid being bulky. is enjoying a period of fast development it is more comfortable. consequently they have a second stage diaphragm limited in size. BCD This is an essential piece of equipment since it gives perfect buoyancy in water. making up together with the regulator and the pressure gauge what is known as ARA (Auto Respiratore Aria) or in English SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus).Advanced Open Water IDEA Apart from this solution there are also second stages which are part of the command part of the BCD. 20 . the choice of the octopus is currently the only advisable one. indeed called “jacket” which also has the function of holding the tank. which although valid on the USA market given the limited depths of the dives by local divers. and breathing is not so effortless since they are rather stiff. avoiding a continuous effort by the diver to remain under water and avoids tiring fin movements in order not to sink. In conclusion. The next development was the transformation to a more comfortable jacket style. easier to use and even more suited to its function. Another alternative solution are the small tanks which have the regulator incorporated.
However. it should be taken into account that it is not necessary to have all the weights in the pockets of the BCD. In these types the air chamber had been modified taking the shape of a horseshoe and moved to the back of the diver to reduce frontal impact on the water. but did not receive the merit it deserved. It must however be said that the idea of moving the air pocket to the rear of the jacket had previously been thought of by some Italian manufacturers. Rather 21 . improving the load and release of the air while only improving marginally on other aspects such as shape. Perhaps the best intuition of the designers was to go back to the old system of the double pocket .ID EA Advanced Open Water For a given time the BCD remained unchanged in its jacket form. Even more interesting is the integrated weight system. with elastic material (or applying suitable elastics) to reduce the size of the air chamber when deflated. probably only because keeping the size limited the positive push was limited too. it really is a godsend for the “older” divers who have some back problems. These were initially defined as very technical but they were soon available to everyone. but creating the pocket containing the air chamber on the outside. our situation is different from the American one since they go diving in warm water with limited weights. in special weight pockets with a quick release device in order to drop weights in case of emergency. all of them or some. until new ones arrived from the USA. while at the same time the elastics stretch when it is inflated allowing for great quantities of air to be introduced and therefore have a positive push. At the same time the weights had been inserted. material. straps. which apart from facilitating weight distribution which no longer presses against the hips or below the tank. Therefore there was a decisive change that improved the BCD and partially solved the problem of the position of the weights which was one of the annoying aspects for the diver.
Having said this the traditional BCD is not finished. however we must also weigh up the generally high cost and some little problem of floating on the surface given that if the weights are not well distributed then you tend to lean forward. without excessive accessories (clips. measuring some parameters which are absolutely necessary to be able to carry out our activity. elastics etc. a technical BCD for everyone? If by technical BCD we mean an improved version of the traditional one. INSTRUMENTS Instruments are essential to a correct dive.) which “crowd” the technical BCD. full of accessories which are useless on standard dives since they are designed for specific types of dives such as speleology or dives using gas mixtures. Also for the BCD you must look for the EEC marking and consider the availability of spare parts. keeping for the most part their jacket shape.Advanced Open Water IDEA than putting 10 kilos in your pockets and then risking not being able to put on your SCUBA jacket or that it sinks under water it is better to divide the weights between the BCD and the traditional weight-belt so as to take advantage of the integrated weights without going into exceeding weight and then cancelling the advantages this system can offer. even if a little bulky allows for easier positions on the surface for example in a moment of fatigue you can let yourself float to recuperate some energy without problems. without it we would not know how much is left. then okay. These models have also drawn advantages from the more technical ones. and we would not be able to plan the dive and therefore risk meeting up with difficulties. on the contrary. which indicates the time elapsed during the dive. The second instrument not to be forgotten is the depth gauge. You should plan a yearly test at the specialised assistance centres since there are many valves and the salt water can cause problems. Well then. Highly technical BCDs are not advisable. such as the integrated weight system. since as learned in the first course it is essential to know how much time has passed during the dive in order to remain within the safety curves. 22 . The first instrument is the pressure gauge which measures the air available in the tanks. springs.
the computer. if digital models are available and are to be preferred to the analogic models due to their better precision and performance (for example. if chosen (as they should be) from among the bettermakes has an inclusive cost equal to. and air pressure within the tank if it also has the pressure gauge. given the notable drop in price. if not higher than. In conclusion the performance offered by this pre23 . the computer can calculate the air used. the digital depth gauges mark excessive velocity on ascent). In fact. rarely do you reach the bottom and remain all that time at maximum depth. However it is decidedly superior to the traditional instruments. for example. In fact the computer carries out the functions of the various instruments. it calculates multi-level dives which tend to be the majority of dives. to substitute it with a modern computer which also has the function of controlling air within the tank. there is also the possibility. it indicates depth and dive time. since it can calculate the residual time in the safety curve based on the various depths reached and permanence there. but using the tables even a minute over. it must be added that the performance of a computer is much better. that is. Given that the purchase of the three separate instruments. at 30m obliges us to consider the dive as having been carried out at that depth. eventual effort or situations of breat h les s nes s. immediately reelaborating the maximum dive time on the basis of this data. If the pressure gauge is also included in the final calculations.ID EA Advanced Open Water Concerning the choice of these instruments.
All these should. Sometimes a little thing like a missing o-ring or a broken fin strap can prevent a dive taking place. 24 . the torch and chemical lights use particularly on night dives. If you want to improve your knowledge of equipment. the writing slate to communicate with your buddy. fit into a large. but the organised diver will never be caught unprepared and risk ruining his day. we must mention the knife or other cutting instruments used to free ourselves from ropes or nets (so make sure they are sharp!). therefore it is best to buy it.Advanced Open Water IDEA cious instrument greatly facilitate the diver making the dive safer. a whistle to attract attention on the surface. ACCESSORIES There are many accessories for the diver and they are often used in particular situations. avoiding old models or those fed on old batteries for which replacements are almost impossible to find. scissors multi-purpose instruments are advisable. or even poor technical assistance once the purchase has been made. not only learning how it functions but also how to do some maintenance and carry out simple repairs. participate in the Equipment Specialist course which is really interesting and useful. etc) extra o-rings. straps for masks and fns. glue and finally some grease or vaseline. resistant bag in which it would be wise to put an emergency kit containing some tools (screwdriver. Leaving out the more specific which are useless in most dives. together with the standard equipment. the buoy or flag to indicate the diver’s presence.
ID EA Advanced Open Water 25 .
Advanced Open Water IDEA 26 .
therefore the upward thrust cannot sustain the immerged body. positive neutral buoyancy. The second situation occurs when the result of the above mentioned equation is zero. 27 . when immerged body weight is greater than the weight of water moved. the weight of water moved equals the immerged body weight. that is. This occurs when the result of the equation “water weight minus immerged body weight” is positive. which occurs when the weight of water moved is greater than the weight of the immerged body.ID EA Advanced Open Water PHYSICS There are many laws of physics which affect man’s activity in water and their effects are different from those experienced out of water. or rather. The third situation. occurs when the result of the equation is negative. therefore the upward thrust prevails and the object floats. which will then sink. even furthering our knowledge of them. The first is a situation of floating. It is necessary to remember these principles. because knowledge forms the basis of a proper execution of our activity. or better. which in scuba jargon is identified as neutral buoyancy. therefore none of the forces prevail and the immerged body remains mid-water as if weightless. defined as negative neutral buoyancy. BUOYANCY The principle of Archimedes is very important since it determines the three situations which are the basis of immersion of the human body in water.
All this cannot be achieved without a mechanical device which. indicate that the diver should be slightly negative at the beginning of the dive in order to sink. In a normal situation. and due to the different refraction coefficient compared to air cannot focus perfectly. This device is the BCD. Let’s begin with vision. our weight will remain practically unchanged and so we can manage the neutral buoyancy as we require. HEAT LOSS. allows us. our normal life conditions. air has a lesser mass than water. Both situations can be easily managed by adding more air when descending and releasing excess air when ascending. afterwards he should assume neutral buoyancy in order to circulate weightless under water. by inflating or deflating. VISION. HEARING. finally he should be slightly positive to ascend effortlessly. remembering that when speaking about the mask in water. are deviated (refracted) since they have to pass through water which is much denser than air. it has been said that its function is to allow us perfect vision in water. and when we are in water. are notably affected by the different existing situations when in air. to vary the volume of the liquid moved. since our eye on direct contact with water. when penetrating the water. the human eye has contact with air. to always have the situation under control. increasing or decreasing the volume of liquid moved. put into practice when diving. since inside the eye there is a perfectly 28 . therefore there is much more distance between the molecules compared to those in water. The consequence of the light rays. places us in the various buoyancy situations at the right time.Advanced Open Water IDEA These three situations. since air has a very low specific weight. in fact. Our senses. in a situation different from the one we are used to. which attached to our body. An important point to consider is the variation in air volume on ascent and descent. essential to perceive our environment. The difference of the refraction value is determined by the greater molecular consistence of water compared to air. since due to the increase or decrease of water pressure on the BCD (and consequently on the air contained therein) there will be a decrease or an expansion of the volume of this air with the relevant variations in buoyancy.
Starting from the basic concept. does not succeed and so we have blurred vision. orange. 29 .ID EA Advanced Open Water transparent liquid (aqueous humour). again this is due to the greater consistence of molecules of water compared to air. this being why our vision is enlarged and closer when using the mask. the light rays when passing from air to the eye encounter this liquid which slightly deviates them. so they cannot reach beyond a certain depth. which functioning as a converging variable lense. warm colours (red. For example. air. they meet up with the lense. passing from air to aqueous humour. yellow) have a wave length which does not permit a high level of water penetration. In this situation the first refraction. focuses them exactly onto the retina. yellow reaches more than 20m and so on. glass. orange a little deeper. These primary colours are light radiation and have different wave lengths. However all these phases of refraction among liquids. which when mixed give white light ( think of the rainbow). no longer occurs. we have one liquid (water) practically in contact with another (aqueous humour). Another problem connected to vision in diving is the different levels of penetration in water of colours which make up the light spectrum. Wearing a mask we create the normal situation in which our eye functions in contact with air therefore we focus perfectly. Thereafter. that tells us that light is composed of primary colours. To be precise we see things about 25% (1/4) closer and approximately 33% (1/3) larger. red radiation hardly reaches 6/8m. and consequently the light ray carries straight on and the lense although trying its utmost to converge the light rays on to the retina. In the case of the eye in contact with water. eye produce a magnifying effect.
it can be understood what happens during diving and why you need to carry a torch to see the splendid colours of the underwater world. Still to be considered is the problem connected with scarce visibility due to turbid water. this should make it easier to understand. while as we approach the sound source we can hear the complete sound. and we think of listening to music at a distance we can only make out the base sounds. in fact the water surface. if not black. reflects a part of the sun rays upwards.20 body of that colour seems dark or black. which further limits vision because of the particles suspended in the water causing an effect similar to fog 30 . and only by turning on a light its true colour returns. the more rays reflected the lesser the visibility. that is when the sun is low in the sky and the rays shine obliquely.Advanced Open Water IDEA until reaching 40m where everything assumes a single colour which is a shade between blue and greenish. and that the object or the . because equally the light rays able to penetrate the water are less. The concept may seem complicated. which is also a wave.10 eye produces the sight of a certain colour. . .30 This may also seem a strange concept.50 even more so when darkness descends. the resulting lack of a chro0 matic component when perceived by the human . acting as a large mirror. particularly so in early morning and late afternoon. Returning to our discussion on vision. Another factor which decreases visibility when diving is reflection. Clearly. but if . This is the reason why it is said that the best hours of light are those during the central part of the day. when for example a red object appears dark brown.40 we think that the same thing happens at dusk. but if we compare colour to sound.
This ability derives from the fact that sound. It seems almost impossible and yet our brain perceives this very slight delay and thus understanding which ear has been reached first and consequently from which direction the sound came. sounds coming from a notable distance can be perceived. listen to sounds. sound is transmitted much more quickly and reaches further. that is speaking. Moreover. the sense which permits us to communicate. Now let’s examine hearing. Con31 . though travelling quickly. for example the noise of a boat which is not yet visible. A problem which is created when diving is the impossibility to communicate as we normally would. because the vocal chords are designed to vibrate in air and not in water. This situation of scarce visibility is certainly not the best way to enjoy to a dive to the full and observe the underwater world so similar conditions should be avoided. therefore our brain is forced to work in a situation different from the one to which it is accustomed. Since water molecules are closer to each other than those of air. this is not the case on night dives on which the use of the torch or lights solves the problem allowing the diving activity even in this particular condition.ID EA Advanced Open Water and this cannot be solved using a torch. noises of the surrounding world but it also permits us to identify the direction these sounds are coming from and their source. is much more limited compared to that in air. it no longer distinguishes which ear has been the first to perceive the sound and cannot identify the direction the sound is coming from. The consequence is that the time lapse from the moment the sound wave reaches one ear and then passes to the next . since sound waves travel much further under water than in air. does have a speed therefore when the sound wave reaches us it reaches one ear and a fraction of a second later the other one.
talking about heat loss. only by protecting ourselves with a suitable suit will we be able to limit heat loss and so increase the duration of our dive. Consequently we have compression of the ears and the mask. which being a gas may be compressed and the volume halved each time pressure doubles. it must be remembered that also the ability of our body to react to heat and cold is altered when diving. when diving our body loses heat much more quickly through conduction. as well prove by the Boyle and Mariotte law. compression of the sinus if they are closed due to a cold or inflammation would cause pain and would ruin the dive.Advanced Open Water IDEA sequently. In fact. due to the different temperatures of air and water. Finally. PRESSURE INCREASE Since water is heavier than air. every 10 metres the pressure increases by 1 bar. compression of the 32 . this fact should be taken into account when trying to adapt oneself to the increase in pressure. that is we experience a pressure measured in bars (measures in atmosphere is by now abandoned. the more up-to-date is Pascal. which may be solved using the compensating manoeuvre. on descending we find ourselves in a condition of absolute pressure. but we continue to use bars since it is more convenient) which is notably greater than the one accustomed to. In fact. you need to use a sign system. the white board or the international hand signals in order to make yourself understood. The first effect is compression produced by the decrease of air volume. which has been mentioned in the part relative to exposure suits.
approximating to excess and eliminating secondary gases. Henry’s law. When we are in a normal pressure condition we have a stable amount of nitrogen absorbed in our tissues and so we are in a balanced condition. which says that a gas on contact with a liquid (and our body is mainly made up of liquid) and if under pressure. Decreasing the pressure will have the opposite effect. that is. when the air introduced in the lungs or BCD decreases in pressure as it increases in volume. dissolves into the liquid when the saturation stage is reached.ID EA Advanced Open Water stomach and intestinal gases. Applying this law to the case of the diver. defined as saturation. 20% oxygen and 80% nitrogen. The opposite process occurs on ascent. the reason for which you must never hold in breath when diving to avoid pulmonary overextension nor should you release air from the BCD to avoid a too rapid ascent. the compression of air trapped in dental holes and badly treated will prevent the diver from descending beyond a certain depth. This state is produced by the effect of a law of physics. the compression of equipment (in particular the BCD and the suit) will cause notable variations in buoyancy when diving. it does not enter the metabolic processes. we find that the nitrogen not used in breathing and undergoing an increase in pressure begins to dissolve into the body tissues trying to reach a new stage of saturation. The higher the pressure the longer the squeezing action will 33 . NITROGEN ABSORPTION As you will remember the air we breathe is composed of . Nitrogen is an inert gas . who experiences an increase in pressure on descent. that is the gas in its liquid state will become gas again. therefore the amount inhaled is the same as the amount exhaled.
34 . while those in the slow tissues will be eliminated without problems during the hours following the dive.Advanced Open Water IDEA last. Should the correct ascending speed not be respected. which are too large. the greater the quantity of nitrogen which dissolves. cannot be easily eliminated thus causing even serious consequences. that is forming bubbles and. or worse if you go beyond the safety curve limit omitting the stop stages for decompression. Normally 12 hours are necessary to totally eliminate nitrogen but some tissue still release nitrogen even 24 hours after diving. you run the risk of decompression diseases. If the correct speed on ascent is carried out (10/12 metres a minute) a part of the bubble will be immediately eliminated through normal respiration. The opposite process will occur when pressure is decreased. since the nitrogen bubbles. the faster the decrease in pressure the larger they will be.
ID EA Advanced Open Water 35 .
Advanced Open Water IDEA 36 .
the tables should be studied. both to learn the theory on which computers are based and to know how to manage a dive then a computer is not available. surely offers greater possibility of permanence and greater safety compared to diving tables. 12 5 15 25 30 40 50 70 80 100 110 130 IDEA AND US NAVY TABLES 15 10 15 25 30 40 50 60 70 10 15 20 25 30 40 50 18 There are two kinds of diving tables: 21 5 10 15 20 30 35 40 24 5 10 15 20 25 30 US Navy and IDEA Doppler. apart from showing the vari39 5 GR A B C D E F G H I J K GR ous curve limits at various levels K they indicate the stops at various J I stages and permanence times. in H G case you go over the safety curve F E limit. depth gauges or watches. a factor which could take us beyond the safety curve. if used with care. The latter also indicate safety D curve limits and not decompression C B stages and times. preventing direct ascent at the end of the dive. which. 0:10 2:10 0:10 2:11 12:0 12:0 0:10 1:39 1:40 2:49 2:50 12:0 0:10 1:09 1:10 2:38 2:39 5:48 5:49 12:0 0:10 0:54 0:55 1:57 1:58 3:22 3:23 6:32 6:33 12:0 0:10 0:45 0:46 1:29 1:30 2:28 2:29 3:57 3:58 7:05 7:06 12:0 0:10 0:40 0:41 1:15 1:16 1:59 2:00 2:58 2:59 4:25 4:26 7:35 7:36 12. there are diving tables. 33 3 6 10 13 16 20 24 27 31 34 38 36 3 6 9 12 15 18 21 25 28 32 35 The IDEA Doppler tables also indi39 3 6 8 11 13 16 19 22 25 28 31 cate the groups of residual nitrogen ad the surface intervals necessary when having to plan several dives in a 12 hour period. ADVICE IDEA vehemently warns against going beyond the safety curve limits. The 27 5 10 12 15 20 25 30 5 7 10 15 20 former are decompression tables. and moreover we emphasise the importance of a using a good quality underwater computer. this is because A MT A B C D E F G H I J K GR the Doppler are conservative tables 12 7 17 25 37 49 61 73 87 101 116 138 15 6 13 21 29 38 47 56 66 76 87 99 normally used for recreational dives 18 5 11 17 24 30 36 44 52 61 70 79 21 4 9 15 20 26 31 37 43 50 57 64 and the recreational diver does not 24 4 8 13 18 23 28 32 38 43 48 54 27 3 7 11 16 20 24 29 33 38 43 47 have to carry out dives requiring de30 3 7 10 14 18 22 26 30 34 38 43 compression. 33 5 10 13 15 36 5 10 that s. Nevertheless.ID EA Advanced Open Water THE TABLES To calculate time/depth limits and therefore to avoid absorbing too much nitrogen.0 0:10 0:36 0:37 1:06 1:07 1:41 1:42 2:23 2:24 3:20 3:21 4:49 4:50 7:59 8:00 12:0 0:10 0:33 0:34 0:59 1:00 1:29 1:30 2:02 2:03 2:44 2:45 3:43 3:44 5:12 5:13 8:21 8:22 12:0 0:10 0:31 0:32 0:54 0:55 1:19 1:20 1:47 1:48 2:20 2:21 3:04 3:05 4:02 4:03 5:40 5:41 8:40 8:41 12:0 0:10 0:28 0:29 0:49 0:50 1:11 1:12 1:35 1:36 2:03 2:04 2:38 2:39 3:21 3:22 4:19 4:20 5:48 5:49 8:58 8:59 12:0 MT DIVE TIME RESIDUAL NITROGEN GROUP 37 . They are divided into two types: diving tables which indicate time and depth limits and decompression tables which also indicate the obligatory stops should the diver go beyond the safety curve limit.
If the time or depth corresponding to the planned dive cannot be found. Ascend at a speed of 10 to 12 metres per minute and always carry out the 3 minute safety stop at a depth of . Find the letter relevant to the 38 . Then move along to the left until you reach the letter indicating residual nitrogen reached at the end of the surface interval. identify the maximum depth you intend to MT DIVE TIME reach. Go to the bottom of half of the table.Advanced Open Water IDEA USE OF THE IDEA DIVE TABLES A) General guidelines The tables should always be used conservatively. Having established the residual nitrogen group. then go down the table until you reach the letter relevant to the nitrogen group. after a dive of 40 minutes at 21 metres the residual nitrogen group is H. the time or depth slightly higher should be considered. In the illustrated example the group has changed from H initially to C. the 0:10 0:28 NDL value at 21 metres is 40 minutes. the first dive should always be the deeper than the second. In the illusK GR GR A B C D E F G H I J trated example. Following the illustrated example. carry on along the line to the right until you find the time spent on the dive. or the time you intend to spend on the surface between the two dives. fid the maximum depth reached. C) Identifying the Residual Nitrogen Group Go to the beginning of the table. go down the table until you find the surface interval time. Repeated dives with a surface interval of less than 10 minutes is considered a single dive. B) Calculation of no decompression limit (NDL) Go to the beginning of the table (at the top). This num27 5 10 12 15 20 25 ber is the maximum 30 5 7 10 15 20 n decompression 33 5 10 13 15 limit (NDL) shown in 36 5 10 39 5 minutes. D) Calculating time limit of a second dive.5 and -3 metres. In the case of repeated dives. continue 12 5 15 25 30 40 50 70 80 100 110 130 along the line to15 10 15 25 30 40 50 60 70 wards the right until 10 15 20 25 30 40 50 18 21 5 10 15 20 30 35 40 you find the last 24 5 10 15 20 25 30 number.4.
so it is necessary to sum the effective time spent on the repeated dive (ABT=Actual Bottom Time). it would be necessary to sum to this time the 17 minutes of RNT. and not the ABT. 0:54 1:29 1:59 2:23 2:44 3:04 3:21 0:10 0:55 1:30 2:00 2:24 2:45 3:05 3:22 D 1:09 1:57 2:28 2:58 3:20 3:43 4:02 4:19 In this intersected box. 0:10 1:10 1:58 2:29 2:59 3:21 3:44 4:03 4:20 C 1:39 2:38 3:22 3:57 4:25 4:49 5:12 5:40 5:48 there will be a number. the Residual Nitrogen Time (RNT). if the second dive. for exF 0:45 1:15 1:41 2:02 2:20 2:38 0:10 0:46 1:16 1:42 2:03 2:21 2:39 E ample 18 metres. in the illustrated MT A B C D E F G H I J K GR 12 7 17 25 37 49 61 73 87 101 116 138 example the equivalent of 15 6 13 21 29 38 47 56 66 76 87 99 17 minutes) which shall be 18 5 11 17 24 30 36 44 52 61 70 79 21 4 9 15 20 26 31 37 43 50 57 64 subtracted from the curve 24 4 8 13 18 23 28 32 38 43 48 54 limit time for this depth 27 3 7 11 16 20 24 29 33 38 43 47 (NDL at 18 metres equal to 30 3 7 10 14 18 22 26 30 34 38 43 33 3 6 10 13 16 20 24 27 31 34 38 50 minutes) indicated in 36 3 6 9 12 15 18 21 25 28 32 35 the top part of the table. In practice. which will be the figure we will have to consider to identify the residual nitrogen group at the end of the repeated dive. as programmed above. Therefore. As said I 39 . Going back t the illustrated example. so 39 3 6 8 11 13 16 19 22 25 28 31 as to get the time limit suited to no decompression. If more than two dives are to be planned over a 12 hour period t is not possible only to calculate NDL – RNT. so as to have a total dive time (TBT=Total Bottom Time) which takes into account the residual nitrogen of the previous dives as yet not completely eliminated. that is 33 minutes. the TBT will be the value based on which we must identify the residual nitrogen group. the 0:10 1:40 2:39 3:23 3:58 4:26 4:50 5:13 5:41 5:49 B 2:10 2:49 5:48 6:32 7:05 7:35 7:59 8:21 8:40 8:58 number is residual nitrogen 2:11 2:50 5:49 6:33 7:06 7:36 8:00 8:22 8:41 8:59 A 0:10 12:0 12:0 12:0 12:0 12:0 12:0 12. were indeed carried out with a total permanence time of 30 minutes at 18 metres. E) Calculating multiple dives. starting calculations from 17 minutes and not from zero. This example is therefore the result of the subtraction NDL-RNT which in the illustrated example corresponds to 50 (NDL) – 17 (RNT).0 12:0 12:0 12:0 12:0 time (RNT. it is as if the duration of our dive had been 47 minutes.ID EA 39 5 Advanced Open Water residual nitrogen and conGR A B C D E F G H I J K GR 0:10 tinue downwards until you K 0:28 0:10 0:29 J intersect the line which cor0:31 0:49 0:10 0:32 0:50 I 0:33 0:54 1:11 responds to maximum 0:10 0:34 0:55 1:12 H 0:36 0:59 1:19 1:35 depth you intend to reach 0:10 0:37 1:00 1:20 1:36 G 0:40 1:06 1:29 1:47 2:03 0:10 0:41 1:07 1:30 1:48 2:04 on the second dive. thus obtaining 47 minutes.
interval. ABT (30 min. This system. we calculate the depth just above (15 metres) we will have a RNT of 21 minutes but a NDL of 40 . . with all the relevant calculations.C H .20 min.) NDL adapted 160-25=135 Time and depth third dive 10 m. at 18 metres the curve limit (NDL) is 50 minutes. there is no 16 metres indicated in the table. (18 metres) we will have a RNT of 17 minutes. if at least 12 hours have not passed between the two dives the nitrogen absorbed in our tissue will not be completely eliminated. therefore it will be necessary to keep this in mind.) If. second dive Nitrogen Nitrogen 15 m.3 hours . 12 m. calculating the minutes this nitrogen corresponds to as a “penalty time”. Who is wrong? Probably neither school of thought. groups groups NDL = 70 min.3 hours . Infact there are those who maintain that in the case of multiple dives the depth immediately below should be considered since it has a greater RNT. .60 min.)= TBT (67 min. it is best to use a simple scheme representing the various dives. Here is a simple example to understand better. but it is also true that calculating the depth just above there is a lesser NDL and so in both cases you have a safe calculation.Advanced Open Water IDEA the previous chapter. . therefore the NDL adapted is 33 minutes. NDL adapted 130-37=93 G . which graphically indicates the situation in which a diver carries out his first dive at 15 metres for 60 minutes.)+ RNT (25 min. also advised by other teaching organisations.30 min. such as the illustrated example give below. If. instead. then we have to calculate the depth immediately after. has created a longstanding diatribe with other schools which think otherwise. since it is true that considering he depth just below there is a greater RNT.)= TBT (45 min. when making these calculation the exact depth is not found IDEA always advises considering the depth immediately above. the second 3 hours later at 12 metres for 30 minutes and finally a third dive 3 hours later at 10 metres for 20 minutes. If we are in group C and we want to do a second dive at 16 metres.D Time and Surface Surface First Dive depth interval. ABT (20 min.)+ RNT (37 min. In order not to miscalculate.
a NDL of 18 metres equal to 50 minutes. therefore a time limit of 29 minutes for the second dive. Taking as an example a dive of 15 metres. US NAVY TABLES The use of the US Navy Tables is similar that of IDEA . Considering that the IDEA tables are very conservative. Not reaching dive limits will be an added safety factor which will avoid the questions relative to one theory or the other. a NT of group C at 15 metres equal to 21 minutes. Now remembering that the US Navy table should not be used for recreational diving and that the dives requiring decompression stages should be avoided. Also using the S Navy table the opposite calculation is possible. let’s see how we calculate these decompression stops. the only difference being the graphics since these tables also indicate the various obligatory stops to be carried out should the safety curve limit be exceeded (remember: the US Navy table is a decompression table) and so t is arranged differently. 41 . obtaining. in the case in question. while if a number is indicated then we are over the curve since that time shown corresponds to the first decompression obligatory stop to be carried out on ascent. if the first square to the right is empty or shows zero. In fact the times are shown in different sections and to the right of each time there are various squares. because if someone is not mentally trained he may have difficulty in remembering when to calculate the level just above and when to calculate the one just below. consequently the time limit (NDL adapted) will be 49 minutes which is a greater result compared to that obtained using the other system of calculation. that is always calculate the depth or time just above when the exact time or depth is not indicated in the tables.ID EA Advanced Open Water 70 minutes. I these cases there is also the possibility of calculating the depth just above to identify the NDL and the depth just below to identify the RNT. that is checking to see if dive time at a give depth is in or over the curve limit by identifying I the specific section if the square immediately to the right for that time shows zero or an obligatory decompression stop. the time is within the safety curve. we prefer to leave the standard system. However at this point we risk total confusion.
Advanced Open Water
where the curve limit is 100 minutes, the step 30 D 40 E after (120 minutes) we 50 F find that the square to 70 G 80 H the right indicates the 12 100 I number 5; going up110 J 130 K wards we find the num150 L 170 M ber –3; this means that 200 N having reached 120 210 2 N minutes of diving time at 15 metres, before surfacing you must stop for 5 minutes at –3 metres. At depths greater than 18 metres the squares with the stops shown are two, since permanence under water over certain limits requires two decompression stops, one at –3 metres and the other at –6 metres. Over 39 metres, I D EA I D EA depth not indicated in International Diving Educators Association © I D EA Eur ope the IDEA tables, there are three obligatory stops, apart from the ones at –3 and –6 there is one at –9 metres. Another example: 110 minutes of diving reaching 21 metres; two stops, the first at –6 for two minutes and the second at –3 for 41 minutes! Certainly 110 minutes of diving is difficult to achieve with only one 15 litre tank, therefore it is not easy to go over the curve at limited depth, but increasing depth the times shorten notably, so much so that reaching 33 metres in a 40 minute dive (normal time for a trained diver) two more stops would be necessary: the first for 2 minutes a –6 and the second for 21 minutes at –3 metres, for a total time of 63 minutes, which is difficult to achieve after having gone around at a depth of more than 4 bars, when at each breath a quantity of air four times normal is consumed. As
Advanced Open Water
you have noticed it is easy to get confused, since with a 15 litre tank you can carry out a 40 minute dive reaching 33 metres but the same tank will not contain enough to allow you the 23 minute for decompression stops. OTHER TYPES OF TABLES Obviously other tables exist apart from those of the US Navy and IDEA. Many experts have dedicated their time to studying the problems connected to the body’s exposure to hyper-baric pressures, often coming up with different solutions but all aimed at avoiding diving accidents. The first studies were carried out at the beginning of the century by Haldane who witnessed the problems suffered by those who worked in pressurized environments these generally being great containers used at that time to carry out underwater digging and bridge and tunnel construction. These workers breathed air under pressure (thereby finding themselves in the same situation as a diver) and they were often affected by decompression disease (MDD) when they resurfaced rapidly. From their particular way of walking, that is bent over by pain, the term ”bends” was coined and it is still used to this day. Haldane started to elaborate an initial decompression table which proposed ascending stops every 3 metres. The algorithm (the formula used) for the calculation was certainly excellent but at that time there were no other studies available and since the system assured a drop in the number of accidents, the table was adopted by the British and American Navy. Only several years later the US navy, based on new (for that time) studies based on those of Haldane but integrated with practical data from observing the effects of the various types pf dives carried out by military divers, the US Navy tables in use today were drawn up. The limit of these tables however apart from the backwardness of some concepts on which the algorithm calculations are based, lies in the fact that they are based on dives by male military divers, perfectly trained and physically fit, this sis not the case of the typical recreational diver who wants t explore the underwater world for his own enjoyment.
Advanced Open Water
In fact, based on other studies, aimed at recreational diving, it was discovered that many decompression illnesses came about for inexplicable reasons since they occurred even when respecting the US Navy tables. The obvious conclusion was that these tables did not guarantee safety margins for the recreational diver. As a result, the BSAC tables were created followed by those of Rogers and Powell, then Buhlmann, the Canadian DCIEM tables, then the Doppler tables used by IDEA which consider the studies carried out using the equipment of the same name, hence the term Doppler. This instrument allowed the observation of the gas micro-bubbles which are not normally perceivable but which could cause problems for some divers unless the curve limits of this tables are not followed and there is a rapid ascent of 10 – 12 metres per minute. In conclusion, the only certain thing is that the studies are based on mathematical models, which even if at the basis of modern equipment such as the underwater computer, always refer to standard situations often not really pertinent to the real situations of divers or to particular conditions such as tiredness, lack of breath. Anyway, you can never be careful enough, therefore the only solution is to keep well within the safety curve and resurface if something is not going to plan.
ID EA Advanced Open Water 45 .
Advanced Open Water IDEA 46 .
laughter or nervousness for no apparent reason. the onset is sudden with the most varied symptoms. to go over the safety curve limits. or to dive to great depths. over 40 metres almost everyone has a slowing down of normal activity. which over the 30m limit. inability to distinguish directions. I these situations the problem may be easily solved by bringing your buddy up immediately or taking him to a lesser depth. Let’s go over these points again because only by fully understanding certain problems can they be avoided. others at 40 metres.ID EA Advanced Open Water DIVING LIMITS As you will remember from the Open Water Diver Course. POSSIBLE ACCIDENTS The sneakiest of diving dangers is nitrogen narcosis. Be careful not to disregard nitrogen narcosis. begins to come to the fore. Statistics show that some divers already experience problems at 30 metres. because eve if you do not feel it at a certain depth it is already working on you. at some point you must have witnessed a person staggering or incoherent after having had a couple of drinks! Surely if you ask him if he is drunk r even tipsy. difficulty with co-ordination or in carrying out simple tasks. he will undoubtedly say no. can cause accidents. such as removing the mask or trying to give the regulator to passing fish. Comparing the symptoms to those of drunkenness caused by alcohol is quite true. in general similar to those associated with drunkenness: irrational behaviour. the fact is that he does not realise. which could be a setback should an emergency situation arise. It is difficult to set a precise time to the probable onset of nitrogen narcosis. or indeed recognise in time the tell-tale signs which are common to all. 47 .
the deeper you go. a phenomenon due to holding your breath on ascent and thereby causing lacerations to the pulmonary alveolae. In the Open Water Course you will most certainly have studied embolism. or if the obligatory decompression stages are omitted. the more nitrogen absorbs into the tissues according to Henry’s law. mediastinal emphysema if they locate within the heart cavity. but mainly in its gaseous arterial gaseous embolism mediastinal emphysema or traumatic form. I the case of decompression disease the embolism (or rather the embolisms since there will surely be more than one) are due to the sudden emission of nitrogen absorbed by the tissues caused by ascending far too quickly or not carrying out the decompression stops which are necessary if you have gone outwith the safety curve limits. the longer the dive.Advanced Open Water IDEA Another problem connected with deep dives is embolism or otherwise known as decompression d i s e as e (MDD). the same principle applies when ascending. the bubbles grow to such a size that our organism cannot expel them and so they 48 . as said before. given the expansion of air volume contained in the lungs. pneumothoracic if they concentrate in the pleura thus leading to collapsing of the lung. due to the fall in pressure. from the pulmonary alveolae. In this case bubbles subcutaneous emphysema pneumo-thoracic form (embolisms) which may cause arterial embolism if they enter the bloodstream. In all these cases the embolisms are due to air which has escaped. subcutaneous emphysema if they gather under the skin. As you no doubt remember. the nitrogen changes from liquid to gaseous form and if the correct speed is not carried out.
in the second case they will be of nitrogen due to an all too quick leakage of gas from our tissues. such as a Divemaster or an Instructor. both gaseous embolism and MDD are considered embolic in nature. due to decompression effect (Boyle and Mariotte law ) this increases to 40 litres per minute at a depth of 10 metres. Moreover. but only if accompanied by experts. unless the diver is an expert and well trained. This is not a limit but a choice. this is not the case for gaseous embolism. that is caused by the formation of a bubble within our organism. Another problem is the amount of air inhaled. although they should be avoided if you are not psychologically or physically prepared. particularly for those who have Advanced Open Water Diver certificate. For example. which were previously saturated (totally or partially depending on the tissue in question) during the deep dive.. therefore it is necessary to take this into account when planning the dive. PREVENTION It is also necessary to underline that everything said so far is not aimed at frightening you in any way from diving to more than 18 metres but rather to point out that certain types of activities should be carried out with the utmost preparation. it is wise not to go over 30 metres. because the further down you go the more air is consumed. knowledge and training. Symptoms of MDD may occur after leaving the water or indeed many hours after a dive. Considering that the average man during light physical activity uses. depending on the type of tissue (slow or fast) in which the bubbles located. Summarizing. if the bubble if located in the spine where many muscle receptors originate or pass through. 20 litres of air per minute. Therefore air consumption increases notably and for example a 30 metre dive cannot be carried out using a 10 litre tank. regardless of depth or permanence. paralysis or renal failure may occur.ID EA Advanced Open Water damage the area in which they locate. 49 . it is extremely important to use a 15 litre tank for such dives. at sea level. because normally the Divemaster or the Instructors dive with the group in all the diving centers. which enables you to carry out dives similar to those done during training. to 60 litres per minute at a depth of 30 metres and to 100 litres per minute at a depth of 40 metres (5 bars of absolute pressure). in the first case the bubble will be of air and caused by the expansion of the air on ascending.
If you memorize these simple rules. preparation. 50 . a well programmed dive. a reliable buddy. the advice for a safe. good quality equipment. when under water you will only need to worry about appreciating the world around you. quiet and pleasant dive are always the same. relaxing and achieving that beautiful sensation of “flying” weightlessly in the water. respect for your own level of certification. Respect for time and depth limits. by now repeated to the point of boredom.Advanced Open Water IDEA CONCLUSION In conclusion.
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it has its pros and cons. since 1. It would seem to be the perfect solution.6 divided by 3. instead it is only air in which the percentage of nitrogen. has been used for military purposes for decades. Thinking of the air we breathe. NITROX For a certain number of years.ID EA Advanced Open Water THE MIXTURES Very often we hear of technical. Introducing this mixture to recreational diving was an initiative aiming at reducing the risk of MDD while at the same time increasing the duration f the dive. the ratio of the gases may vary.6 bars (8 bars x 0. normally around 80% has been reduced and the percentage of oxygen. 53 . the limit comes even closer. that is bar 8 of absolute pressure since it is at this point partial pressure of oxygen is by now 1.6 gives 4. which has an approximately 20% Oxygen the limit is around 70 metres. specialised dives using a mixture. that is 40 metres. This topic was not in the basic course you attended but now as an “advanced” scuba diver you must begin to learn this too to avoid misinterpretation.6 bars. that is around 33 metres. given that the percentage of nitrogen is decreased and that of oxygen increased. since it comes close to the point where oxygen reaches the partial pressure of 1. The advantage is longer dive time at a given depth compared to using air.44. increased. has become part of the scuba divers language. this mixture. the number after the initials corresponds to the percentage of oxygen. Let’s make this point clearer. is the limit beyond which there is an almost certain risk of hyper-oxygen. the disadvantage is the maximum depth limit which decreases in proportion to the increase of oxygen in the mixture. enriched air. It almost seemed a revolution. Using Nitrox EAN 32.20). but as everything. Using Nitrox EAN36. also defined as EAN in Italy. usually around 20%. This mixture. which as we well know. that is 32%) we have 5 absolute bars.
such as deep sea divers. helium and nitrogen. not by IDEA. MIXTURES There are other mixtures used in diving. since it involves other problems. but they are completely out with the realms of recreational diving. but the IDEA view is that Nitrox is a specialised course. the conclusion is that this is not a experience to be avoided. at least for Nitrox EAN 36. since recreational divers rarely reach such depths as to merit their use. such as ELIOX. Recently it has become fashionable to propose specialised courses on Nitrox EAN 32. It is therefore obvious that the use of Nitrox in recreational diving may be useful at limited depths and in warm seas where temperature factor is irrelevant. Specialised courses are also held in these mixtures. the difficulty in managing a diving accident in which the diver has not inhaled air. but by organisations which deal with diving beyond the limits of recreational training. oil-free compressors. but neither is it a solution to al the problems related to nitrogen absorption. the opportunity. it is a serious course and to do it you should at the very least be an Advanced Open Water Diver or the equivalent of other agencies. the cost of it all. they are exclusive to professional diving. Our only consideration is that we prefer to have fun under water.Advanced Open Water IDEA In our areas this depth is often exceeded. not complicate things with deep sea diving equipment. in which nitrogen is replaced by helium. Is it really worth it ? 54 . besides the dive is often limited due to cold which is felt after a certain permanence. If we add to this. a mixture of oxygen. Due to the expense and the need for extremely complex re-fill equipment. TRIMIX. of specific equipment.
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LIMITS OF SEARCH AD RECOVERY Always remember that we are recreational divers. one or more buoys (even the standard diver identification buoy). do not continue. It should be quite clear what s meant by search: that s. whose position is un57 . Since recovery techniques will be dealt with later on. To know how to search for.ID EA Advanced Open Water SEARCH AND RECOVERY The general concept of search and recovery. let us examine the two easiest and readily available techniques: spiral search and cross search: In both cases minimum equipment s required and may be easily found or already resent in the diver’s existing equipment: some rope. at an amateur level. then transport to shore small objects which have been lost (or in some cases found) in the sea. inflatable lifting balloons. looking for a lost object on the sea-bed. Whenever this activity may endanger your safety. carry to the surface. PURPOSE OF SEARCH AND RECOVERY As mentioned above: to search for small objects in simple recovery areas. basic Search & Recovery and Advanced Search and Recovery. is very simple. SEARCH TECHNIQUES Again bearing in mind that the notions set out in this manual are a simple introduction to the subject matter. It is better to lose a anchor ad buy another one than attempt a search in deep water and incur the relevant risks. people who dive for pleasure and not as a profession. Obviously the indications herein contained constitute a broad outline of what will be practised at sea in the Advanced Open Water Diver Course. Besides the necessity to complete knowledge on techniques of search and recovery by attending the specialised courses mentioned above. let’s leave them aside and begin by examining those problems connected to the search. not only personal safety but psychological well-being too. possibly a compass and for the recovery part. since there are other specialised courses available to further your knowledge in this particular field for example. the main objective is your safety.
To begin the search you should know approximately where the object may be. Once the approximate area has been identified and cordoned off. if. thus you cordon off the area using buoys in order to have precise reference points of where to start looking and where to stop. A) Circular or spiral search This is quite a simple search system which may be applies in quite limited areas. the position is known and the object has been located. otherwise you risk operating in an undefined area and wandering aimlessly without achieving any measure of success. Anchor the buoy to the sea-bed (with a weight. 58 . If it is not the correct search area. Then start to swim around the anchored point always keeping the taut rope as a guide. on the other hand.The system is extremely easy: holding the free end of the rope. especially if the sea-bed is flat and consequently lacking in any natural reference points. the rope should become entangled in the object. the anchored point should be moved beyond the explored area and the operation repeated until the object is (hopefully) found. n this way you risk carrying out the search repeatedly in the same area without realising and so obtaining poor results. If the object to be found is quite big it should stick out from the sea-bed and f the search area is correct.Advanced Open Water IDEA known. as already mentioned. an anchor etc) at the approximate point where the object could be situated. spiral or cross search. Remember it is easy to get confused. a second rope should be tied to the anchored buoy which will be used by the diver carrying out the search . start to move away from the anchored point until the rope is taut to about ten centimetres above the sea-bed. it is now time to consider which of the simpler techniques available would be the best to adopt. with practically hardly any equipment: a piece of rope. the position s then marked using a buoy and recovery procedures begin. thus locating it. approximately 10 metres in length and a buoy.
so 59 . thus starting visual exploration again while making for the opposite end. At least four buoys are needed. and shorten it on each subsequent round so as to visually scan the area around the anchored point. thus cordoning off the area he will explore visually by making his way back along the free rope. and a free rope equipped with spring clips at both ends. To do this always complete the first round with the taut rope.ID EA Advanced Open Water If the object to be located s small. If the search has not been successful. b) Cross Search This is a slightly more complicated system in that t requires more equipment. hooks the free rope (called crossing-rope) to the top of one of the two longerons and then swims to the other buoy where the other longeron is situated. or does not stick out from the seabed. the anchor point is moved beyond the explored area and the operation is recommenced until the object is found. He then clips the hook attached to the end of the free rope to the longeron to render it taut. or the sea-bed s uneven and the rope become entangled in rocks you must apply the system and look for the object using vision. To carry out this type of search the four buoys are anchored in the search area so as to form a rectangle (or a square) and then the pairs of buoys are in turn tied to the sea-bed using two ropes called longerons. Upon reaching the other end he will then move the clip forwards going beyond the area he has just explored. other ropes to tie them to the sea-bed and to then tie them together in pairs. The diver starts his search from one of the buoys.
If you are not sure you are going to make it. if the object is not too large (nor particularly small. firstly making sure to tie this to the rope used during the search and then go and get the buoy holding the end of the rope in your hand. If you do not have an inflatable buoy. then do not try it!! On the whole. because if it is a ring it may be slipped into a pocket) lifting balloons are necessary to carry it up to the surface. Once the exact recovery location has been marked you should proceed to recovery if possible wit the usual means and if there is no danger. for example holding on the object and inflating the 60 . plastic sacks open at one end which need to be inflated using the regulator and pushing the continual flow button. In this way he will explore the complete cordoned off area until he reaches the final buoys. you can use one of the ones already in use moving it onto the object. if the object is small. and so successfully completing the search. so that you have a guiding rope on the way back. leaving the other fixed so as to slowly sift the area where the object should be.Advanced Open Water IDEA proceeding in a zig-zag motion between the two longerons. not be able to find them again and so have to start all over. it is extremely easy to lose one’s way or reference points. These should not seem excessive precautions. RECOVERY TECHNIQUES Once the object has been located the first thing to do is to tie it with a rope and mark it with a buoy on the surface. search is within everyone’s capabilities while recovery often needs to be carried out using the appropriate means and by sufficiently trained experts. Do not get strange ideas. they are. However. or the sea is not limpid it is surprisingly easy to lose again. because the object is large or because you do not have the correct means. if not he will move one longeron forwards. If it is the correct area the lost object should be identified.
there are many cables and consequently as many chances of getting entangled in them. attend the appropriate specialised course. the larger they are the more air they contain and so lift heavier objects. because the force exerted on the ropes is strong even for moderately sized objects. in case something unfortunate occurs. if the knot loosens the balloon will rush to the surface and the object will drop to the sea-bed endangering the operators. In case of emergency and lack of equipment the “homemade substitutes” may be used: plastic shopping bags may be secured by their handles to the object. be careful when using two balloons. Therefore. Once the balloon has been tied.ID EA Advanced Open Water jacket. Nor is it advisable to use the first regulator to inflate the balloon. Do not follow behind the object because it will ascend too quickly and do not remain directly underneath it either. although these are more difficult to use. two being used if the object is large or not of even dimensions. The lifting balloons come in various sizes and are of various capacity. it should then be inflated until it begins to lift just off the sea-bed. therefore always keep this regulator in your mouth. It may not be the maximum but it works! The balloon should be attached to a centrally balanced point on the object. Keep within the correct limits and if this subject interests you. Always use your spare regulator to inflate the balloon. position it just to the side of the opening (not directly inside) and slowly inflate until the object begins to come up off the sea-bed. Be careful to use good quality knots when tying. Move off 61 . for example the balloons could become detached and you could have problems if you are positioned too near or even directly below the sea-bed. this is extremely dangerous. which expands due to diminishing pressure on ascent. they should both be inflated simultaneously to avoid one balloon ascending before the other. allowing all the air to escape from the top and the object would sink back down to the sea-bed. At this point everything has been done. The better types of lifting balloons are equipped with an automatic release valve since it allows the air inside. the expansion of the air will do the rest. to be released from above and not laterally. move off to one side and let the balloon go. Should the air be released laterally then the balloon will turn over.
TRANSPORT TO SHORE This is a task for others.Advanced Open Water IDEA to one side and ascend slowly. 62 . since the diver will need more time to surface (unless the water is shallow) and really should not exert himself after the dive. The best transport system. Avoid dragging the object along while still on the sea-bed or mid-water since this is both dangerous for the object and for the divers. Remember never to work alone or do anything which could endanger your safety. These notions f the Advanced open Water Course only provide an introduction to the subject which should be further developed in specialised courses. maintaining a safe distance. and proceed slowly. Pay attention. hook it to the boat and take it to shore rowing or using the engine. otherwise the pull of the water could break the tow rope and the object be lost. It will now be up to whoever is assisting you above water to hook up and recover the object when it surfaces. if the object cannot be hoisted onto the boat. is to keep it floating on the surface using buoys. when towing with engine powered boats.
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the ancient Greeks established a further four intermediate points corresponding to the winds blowing from the Mediterranean. Besides the four cardinal points. navigation regards all types of movement any type of means carries out: Have you ever thought why the rally pilot’s assistant is called a navigator? Divers and swimmers navigate too. because often our sense of orientation cannot find fixed and sure reference points. 65 . defining the path it takes as a “route”. called the north-easterly wind blowing in from Greece the “Grecale”. The winds were then named by the Venetians. “Scirocco” the south-easterly wind blowing in from Syria and “Libeccio” the south-westerly one blowing in from Libya. so instead of wandering aimlessly you want to reach one or two fixed points or when at the end of a dive you look for the shortest route back to the boat. “Mistral” the name given to the north-westerly wind blowing in from Venice (known as the Mistress). Therefore navigation is an extremely important element to the success of a dive. ORIENTATION Orienting oneself (literally turning towards the East) means picking out reference points given b what the ancient civilisations called the four cornerstones of the world (cardinal points) to determine our position in relation to our surroundings and to establish the correct direction to take. who. It is not exactly like this. Navigation is necessary both on the surface and under water.ID EA Advanced Open Water UNDERWATER NAVIGATION Under water it is really difficult to swim in the correct direction or identify an exact route. taking the Ionian Sea as a central point. The ability to navigate and orientate oneself underwater are also natural gifts. since they move in a certain direction in water towards a given point. NAVIGATION Often the concept of navigation only refers to the movement of a boat. they can however be perfected and strengthened with practice.
Therefore. It is useful to learn early on in this study that 90° correspond to East. North. 66 . The Azimuth is the angle formed by the northward facing observer and the direction of the object being observed measured in degrees and fractions of degrees commencing in a clockwise direction from the North. All directions indicating the four cardinal points together with the main winds is called the Compass Rose. South. Reference is not made to the cardinal points or to the intermediate ones. that is from austral countries. South. agitation and temperature. 135° to South-East and so on. the third between South and West and the fourth between West and North. East and West are all 90° equidistant and are marked by two perpendicular lines which form four squares: the first square is the one between North and East. they would not be enough to determine the exact position of a point o the Equator. since. East and West are identified by their initial letters. E. CALCULATING DISTANCES The ability to calculate distances underwater is very useful when looking for a particular site and in measuring dimensions and areas. thus bringing the total number of bearings to date. S. apart from their names being too complicated. try to imagine the horizon as a circle divided into 360° and calculate the topographical coordinates. North. 270° to West and 0° is North. “Auster” or “Mezzogiorno” is the wind blowing in from the South. 180° to South. to thirty-two. this is displayed on the pressure gauge. and W. and that 45° correspond to the bearing North-East.Advanced Open Water IDEA Also those winds blowing from north to south were given particular names: “Tramontana” is the north wind blowing in over the mountains. The quantity of air is subdivided by the number of stages along the route and you change direction when a certain pressure is reached. the second is between East and South. Sixteen other bearings were added. Internationally. A common way of doing this is calculating air-tank pressure. and depends on the level of training. It is not the most reliable of methods since it is based on the amount of air used which is varies from diver to diver. N. The distance is the linear measure between the northward facing observer who is always at the centre of the visible horizon and the object being observed. bearing (azimuth) and its distance.
forwards and at the same time taking the forward positioned arm back behind the body.ID EA Advanced Open Water Another way of calculating distance is to count the number of fin movements. few reference points. By repeating this movement the distance may be calculated with relative precision. For the moment let’s look at the diving techniques which will help us identify our position under water with regard to a specific point ( departure or arrival point). Therefore it is possible to measure the distance covered. however you can navigate with a certain amount of precision. Given that it is rather uncomfortable this system is best used for short distances. then moving the body forwards while shifting the arm. 67 . eve without instruments. The procedure consists in stretching one arm out in front and the other behind. moving from one part to the next without reference points. If a diver. the arms may also be used to calculate distance. initially positioned behind. swims aimlessly. dulled senses all contribute to making orientation difficult. by using these simple observations. Later we will study the use of the compass: the procedures for natural navigation and compass navigation are very similar. During dives when visibility is reduced or when exact measurements are required. Divers usually travel one metre per fin movement. a distance of approximately one metre will have been covered. he cannot have a precise idea of his position. NATURAL NAVIGATION Poor visibility under water. one upward movement followed by one downward movement) first with one leg then with the other. One complete fin movement corresponds to two full leg movements. just under two metres and for women about one and a half metres (depending on the height of the individual). the distance between one outstretched arm and the other is for men. this means that after having carried out one vertical fin movement (that is.
The best way to make these 90° turns. is to lie on the sea-bed. Before diving it is wise to study the diving-off area well. a diver should turn around during descent he may not remember which direction to take before setting off. change direction making decided turns (preferably 90°) and keep in mind where these turns lead him with regard to his arrival point. Once on the seabed it is usual to wait a few moments to take note of the depth and the surrounding area before setting off. descend into the water and arrive on the sea-bed in the same position without having turned around. Having kept in mind many reference points concerning underwater navigation. The principle is quite simple. stretch the arms out in front. it becomes easier to follow a direction or complete a route. It is necessary to pay attention to all infor68 . once having reached the point where we want to make a turn. To begin descending. the idea being to familiarize yourself with the area.Advanced Open Water IDEA Only if the diver follows a straight line and comes back the same way would he be able to identify his position. If the formations are stratified then they will be so underwater too. NATURAL REFERENCE POINTS By following an underwater route and calculating distances you can navigate fairly precisely when using reference points. both divers should position themselves face to face on the surface. in a unfamiliar location. It is important to begin a dive knowing your exact position. His help initial orientation. turn the body the straight arm comes around and then set off in this new direction. but the correct application of it requires a little practice. but if. It seems a difficult manoeuvre but it is more difficult to explain than to carry out. The more attentive you are to the surrounding area the better you succeed in navigation. The key to the use of natural reference points is an eye for detail. This does seem rather obvious. The only thing the diver has to do is follow a general line. now pivot on the hand of the arm you moved. and so on. The shape of the sea-bed or sea-wall is usually just a underwater extension of what is visible above water. then open an arm towards the direction you wish to turn until it is at a 90° angle compared to the other arm. but this is only theoretical since such a dive would not be very interesting. looking out for all the reference points which could prove useful during the dive.
The principle of a compass is quite simple. they were the first to create such an instrument. This characteristic had already been discovered by the Chinese in 2. This flows perpendicular to the shore and is a reliable reference point. thanks to terrestrial magnetism. we shall only take note of this out of curiosity. THE COMPASS The earth acts as an enormous magnet. After having completed an on-the-spot investigation of the area. which does not take too long. Waves in shallow water cause what is called the ebb. It is a magnet which is suspended thus allowing it to move freely and indicate the magnetic North Pole of the Earth. There are various types of compass. in a North to South direction. since we follow shorter routes of only a couple of hundred metres. changes in water movement are another reference point. This instrument is called a compass. Any kind of design or odd conformation on a sandy sea-bed or peculiar rock formations are useful guides too. its position differs by 2240 km and lies in the Canadian Arctic archipelago at 74° latitude north and 100° longitude west.ID EA Advanced Open Water mation that can be easily memorized during a dive. choose an object as a focal point and move in that direction. you can set off on the underwater route. Repeating this procedure several times makes it possible to keep to the correct route. in fact. Underwater currents may be used to determine relative direction. but the main features of a good compass are the following: 69 . This difference is important and is corrected when you have to follow long routes. In fact. we may say that the magnetic North Pole does not correspond to its geographical counterpart.5000 BC. just like an iron bar attracting ferrous metals. Always begin against the current and keep this in mind to avoid emerging beyond the desired point. It is always useful to look ahead. basically made up of a magnetized needle positioned in such a way as to move freely and to direct itself. Just as extra information. Light and shadow are reference points.
It is difficult to follow a certain bearing if the needle is continually moving. 70 . it is best to rinse the compass carefully in fresh water after use. 3) When the diver is moving eastwards. 2) When the needle is aligned with the guiding line. USE OF THE COMPASS 1) The needle of the compass always indicates the magnetic North. but should be carried out efficiently to keep the compass in prime condition. the diver is proceeding due North. 3) A reference line which passes through the centre of the compass is essential.Advanced Open Water IDEA 1) It must contain liquid (usually a mixture of water. if the needle becomes stuck because the compass is not in a horizontal position then it is easy to take the wrong direction. 5) It is important that the compass has a rotating outer ring upon which two parallel lines are etched which allow the diver to memorize a given direction. South is opposite North. NE. Care should be taken to avoid damaging or dropping it since it is a delicate instrument. Care and maintenance of an underwater compass is not complicated. the presence of the liquid stops the pressure from destroying the compass and it slows down the movement of the needle. The compass should not be placed near any heat source since this would cause the liquid inside to expand and leak out. 2) The needle has to turn freely and be precise even when the compass is not in a horizontal position under water. alcohol and glycerine). he could lose his focal point. the guiding line will indicate 90°. As with all diving equipment. the guiding line indicates the direction to follow relative to the North (azimuth). This is called the guiding line and is used to take the bearing and follow directions. S. 6) The outer part of the compass should display bearings in degrees and not in cardinal points (N. etc). 4) When one bearing is opposite the one previously taken. 4) It is best to have the guiding line to the side of the compass because if the diver looks at the compass directly from above. it is called the opposite direction.
for example. the most common method is to stretch one arm out I front. Having this as a reference point. you should position the guiding line in the desired direction and then memorize your route. you can then vary directions relative to the initial one and still know your own position.ID EA Advanced Open Water It is important to set off in the direction relative to the starting point of the dive. The most common method is pointing the guiding line in the desired direction and turning the rotating outer ting until the magnetic arrow is positioned over the directional arrow. If the compass does not have the appropriate notches or the directional line. Point the needle compass At this in the guiding line stage we reference will have memorized our direcTrip direction tion on the outer ring and this will act as a memo on returning. thus creating aright angle and having the compass on the wrist of the folded arm and directly at eye level. The reference direction must be known before descending. or it until it lies bet w e e n these two Align the notches. This means taking into account the actual direction compared to a given point. the shore or the position of the boat. A n o t h e r method is used when a more precise navigation is 71 . fold the other arm across to grip the extended arm just above the elbow. Here are various ways to hold the compass properly.
A 72 . and also remember to take reference points from your surroundings while you are checking the direction. When the compass is installed on a console. instinct is more likely to be wrong. Given that the needle is magnetic. cameras etc. repeat the exercise. it is positioned in front of the diver as in the abovementioned method. it is attracted to metallic objects which may be present in the surrounding area. You should choose a focal point to fix and navigate towards it.Advanced Open Water IDEA required. regulators. A distance of at least 30cm should be kept between the compass and the equipment to avoid interference. and upon reaching that fixed point. Remember to look directly down on to the compass. when following 120° the compass to the letter it may happen that it is not clear whether if you are to the right 60° or to the left of a given point. Both arms are extended forwards and the compass is held between the hands. To summarize: firstly use the compass to determine the direction then use the 60° 60° natural navigation reference points to keep to the route. Sometimes. INSTRUMENT NAVIGATION Navigation using instruments is surely different from using natural reference points. the main culprits of which are airtanks. allowing the diver to clearly see where he is heading and the route will surely be more precise. This will allow you to keep to your route without constantly having to check the compass. In this situation the use of natural navigational techniques explained earlier is helpful. not at an angle. Always trust the direction indicated on the compass even if instinct sometimes dictates otherwise.
allows you to get around the obstacle while keeping to exactly the same route. Sometimes you think that a 60° turn would be enough to complete the route. You can go round an obstacle and proceed in the same direction as before. you should be more precise: 90° turns should be carried out using the techniques already learned. an underwater writing slate is also necessary in order to record the various reference points and the variations in the route. if this s not possible. this is wrong. I is advisable to practise on land before attempting this underwater.ID EA Advanced Open Water triangular route can lead to serious mistakes. In conclusion. apart from the usual compass. 120° turns should be carried out to close off the triangle. complex techniques and mathematical calculations may be used but they are not necessary for recreational dives. making do with the general route . if you are intent on a given route. if carried out correctly. This method satisfies the majority of situations underwater and is perfected with practice. if you want to keep to the same direction. you must learn how to use it correctly and the diver must fully understand all the natural and instrument aid relevant to navigation. the diver’s behaviour is dictated by the necessity to keep to a more or less exact route. For precise navigation. This manoeuvre. In this last case. During instrument navigation divers worry about possible diversion of the route caused by currents. go around it. As far as we are concerned. the length of the diversion should be measured. 73 . There are two ways to overcome an obstacle: the first is to pass over it. Moreover. a compass is a precision instrument which increases safety limits and enjoyment. it is enough to bear in mind the direction and intensity of the currents and then make the necessary modifications.
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wide beam and narrow beam. ac compass and a torch are necessary for these types of dives. This creates light and lets us see just how different the marine world appears at night. this is frequently the case during night dives since fishermen cast nets and lines at night. as a rule.ID EA Advanced Open Water NIGHT DIVE OR LIMITED VISIBILITY DIVE (POOR VISIBILITY) Night dives and diving in conditions of poor visibility both resent difficulties of limited visibility and lack f precise reference points and. There are various types of torches. operating on normal or re77 . are not familiar situations for divers. Apart from the usual equipment. A sharp knife may be useful since the diver may easily become entangled in nets r tackle. Equipment should be easily accessible and location should also be familiar to the diving partner. However. that is when the water is turbid. Another important accessory on a night dive is a whistle. therefore it is better to have this small and extremely cheap accessory The compass. since it may be used to attract the attention of the crews or other companions. EQUIPMENT All divers need to be completely equipped when diving at night or in conditions of poor visibility. while the man accessory on a night dive is a torch. A good knife. Sometimes conditions are windy and shouting s not enough. both provide valuable experience since they complement the diver’s experience and constitute what could be considered a completely new diving environment for him. particularly useful when visibility is poor. has been discussed in the chapter on navigation. since it may cause a blinding effect similar to that caused by car headlights in fog. The latter may be completely useless in conditions of limited visibility. a reliable partner and a good dose of calm will help in the event of any such unpleasant circumstances. should the diver re-emerge far from the boat or the rest of the group. since he may have to intervene in case of emergency while already being hindered by limited visibility.
on contact with a chemical reactant contained in a small glass tube located within it. in collaboration with the others procure a powerful light source (for example. a large torch is not synonymous with wide beam emission or vice versa. A proper dive begins with proper dressing and a preparation of the relative area. which produce a certain luminescence on bending the plastic tube. contact between the two elements made on bending the plastic tube and consequently breaking the inner glass tube creating a luminescence which lasts for several hours. but rather the width of the beam emitted. called Star Lights. There are chemical lights on the market. this plastic tube contains a liquid which . The most indicated for night diving are wide beam torches since they illuminate a large portion of the sea-bed. however. Drifting from one group or partner may easily happen unless various plans of action have been agreed upon beforehand. big or small. technically there is no great difference for a diver the only difference being initial cost: rechargeable batteries cost more but the initial expense is quickly recovered since there is no further need to buy batteries. gives off light. PREPARING TO DIVE Diving at night or in conditions of limited visibility requires preventative and detailed planning since diving conditions are so different from the usual ones. Narrow beam torches are useful during daytime dives since they help illuminate fish dens but at night offer limited illumination and consequently limit vision and possibility to explore the area. area to explore. The size of a torch should not be the main consideration when purchasing one. Proper planning and clear agreements lead to a successful dive in terms of desired depth. Always check before buying. what to do. action to be taken in case of separation both 78 . a large neon torch or gas lamp) to illuminate the area where the divers dress and also to facilitate location of the exit point upon surfacing.Advanced Open Water IDEA chargeable batteries. arrange all equipment in an orderly fashion and position it within easy reach. especially if it is dark. Obviously these lights cannot replace torches. Concerning the choice of normal or rechargeable batteries. attaching them to air tanks creates a glow and makes it easier to follow the rest of the group or be identified should you drift from the main group or should the torch go out. Avoid confusion.
Do not try to be a hero by continuing the search nor be offensive to your diving partner because you were forced to surface. Generally speaking. If necessary it is best to hold hands or hold a piece of connecting rope when visibility is almost zero. give the alarm immediately. This means possibly entering the water together. circling the torch means okay. should someone drift off. even you. surface. On a night dive use the torch correctly. the arrangements made before diving should be put into action. it is necessary to be close to your partner or the rest of the group to avoid getting lost or drifting off completely. attracting attention by using the whistle. following the person leading the dive and not becoming distracted or going off on your own. Despite having taken the necessary precautions.ID EA Advanced Open Water below and on the surface. balancing oneself without touching the sea-bed. a night dive or a dive in conditions of limited visibility also require good coordination on entering the water together and carrying out the activity of the dive. Anyone can get lost underwater at night or when conditions are less than favourable. staying close together on the surface. especially f it is muddy. When in the water. If your partner or the rest of the group have respected the previous arrangements then they should surface after a short time. moving the torch up and down means 79 . THE DIVE Apart from respecting all previously made arrangements and correct planning. As a general guide you should look for your partner or the rest of the group for at least one minute and if unsuccessful. if your partner or group has not surfaced after ten or fifteen minutes. do not point it in the face of the others but on the body. moving it according to what is to be communicated. everything is fine. descending down a guide rope.
at least you can say: I tried. You can calmly try again some other time to see if you succeed in appreciating the beauty of a night dive in conditions of limited visibility. as always. indeed. Always surface with the group and try to be as orderly as possible when undressing. fear and at times. report the problem before it becomes worse and leads to outright panic. During these dives be especially careful where you lean. which. this is only an introduction to the Advanced Open Water Course. he is the person in difficulty). a sense of claustrophobia. f not. In such cases. many large predators hunt and live mostly at this time and many other species are sleepy or stunned by light from the torch. dressing and gathering up equipment. 80 .Advanced Open Water IDEA calling for attention also when asking for help. not looking where you rest your hands is always dangerous especially if not wearing gloves. though fortunately few. No precise reference points and limited field of vision are aspects which may cause divers to experience stress. diving at night or n conditions of limited visibility is not to everyone’s liking. interrupt the dive (or accompany your partner to the surface if. Remember that marine life also continues at night. Remember. PROBLEMS IN DIVING Although very informative. You will no doubt succeed on another attempt. will be studied in greater detail in the appropriate specialised Night Diver and Limited Visibility Dive courses.
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There is no such indicator.ID EA Advanced Open Water DEEP DIVE The fascination with the deep. is perhaps one of the elements of the dive which excites divers most. Likewise the limit for non-specialized recreational divers is considered to be 30 metres. It is almost as if there were a street sign or something like a speed limit which once exceeded. a depth beyond which the limit of permanence within the relative curve limit is so drastically shortened that anything may force the diver to exceed it forcing him to carry out decompression stages. maximum limit for the first stage and a reasonable limit beyond which an emergency surfacing. WHAT IS A DEEP DIVE? People often ask for definitions or limits of depth with a view to understanding if a dive is a deep one or not. a deep dive could be one at over 18 metres. the abyss. but it is necessary to know that it cannot be faced with superficiality or bad preparation. Probably it is one of the experiences which everyone sooner or later decides to carry out. 83 . since the concept varies from person to person according to their training. experience and psychological capabilities. Generally speaking. either in pairs or alone. begins to become complicated. for an Open Water Diver. would serve as an indication of a deep dive.
you must always respect the limits. offers us problem-free dives and indeed longer ones compared to the diving tables which (thankfully) are purposefully limiting. it is very interesting because apart from dealing with the functions of the computer it also deals with the questions related to nitrogen absorption. this should give an idea of the importance of a second regulator! 15 litre air tanks are therefore necessary at this depth since 10 litre tanks cannot guarantee an adequate reserve of air. hemi-saturation times and multiple dives. Attend the specialised course in Computer Diving if you are interested in this subject. Carefully plan the dive with your diving partner using the diving tables. equipment on a deep dive should be complete and in perfectly working order. to be found at depths of 30 metres or more. you really need to know its basic functions well in order to use it properly and appreciate its value. All components should be easily accessible and of good quality. in particular those for deep dives. Another instrument of extreme importance in this type of dive is the computer. unfortunately. Try to imagine breathing in pairs at a depth of 30 metres and then having to together ascend too. beginning with the regulator which at a depth of 30 metres will begin to take more out of you if of poor quality. as is an emergency tank (complete with regulator) lowered down from a boat by rope until the safety stop (-4 to –5 metres) to be used by someone whose air supply has run out. However. preferring 84 . which elaborating the data based on the amount f time passed at each of the various levels. A second regulator is indispensable especially for greater safety when having to assist a fellow diver in difficulty due to lack of air. the computer cannot know us personally and only knows the standard diver upon whose model it has been programmed. therefore. DIVING LIMITS Even if many of the beautiful marine species are.Advanced Open Water IDEA DIVING EQUIPMENT Even more so than diving at night or in conditions of limited visibility.
The first dive should be the deeper and use the diving tables when repeating dives. Then you will dress carefully. Therefore. Once there. a boat or dinghy will be necessary. Having made sure that everything is okay. do not carry out two deep dives in the same day. Obviously during the dive the complete plan should be followed to the letter. if you are using the analogical equipment. studying maps of the area. maximum permanence time. the spare air-tank will be placed in the water (with the assembled regulator) tied to a rope of 4 – 5 metres. the time available becomes shorter. problems connected to nitrogen narcosis and decompression illnesses loom larger on the horizon. and with the help of your partner you will check the position and function of each piece of equipment. even better if you are accompanied by members of the local diving centre. Once all this information has been gathered. after having gone over the dive plan. you need to establish how to reach the dive point. communication. you can now set off to the chosen dive point. Remember that at 30 metres more air is use up than at 18 metres. with your partner it is necessary to get as much information on the diving area as possible either by speaking to other divers. that is what type of descent to carry out. since 30 metre dives are generally far from the coast. reading articles on the area or asking the locals. underwater route. otherwise it will have been a complete waste of time. on these dives try not to be a hero or superman. having procured the boat and the necessary equipment. ascent procedure.ID EA Advanced Open Water Doppler tables to those of the US Navy. comply with surfacing speed and safety stops. maximum depth to reach. PROGRAMMING DIVES More than in other dives programming on deep dives is of extreme importance and must be followed. enter the water aiming for the exciting blue depths. Everything that seems simple on a shallow dive becomes difficult at 30 metres. since they generally have guides who can give you the necessary information on the area thus eliminating the need to do the research yourself: everything will be explained to you during the briefing! If you decide not to contact the local diving centre. take the maximum dial of the depth gauge to zero and position the moveable outer ring of the underwater watch. Before reaching the dive entry point. 85 . therefore your normal air consumption rate will not be applicable at this depth.
Advanced Open Water IDEA CONCLUSION After having spoken at length in the relative chapter on the problems concerning nitrogen absorption. If you are interested in this subject and you want to further your knowledge or carry out more deep dives in order to be well trained and therefore capable of descending to these depth. there is not much left to say about deep dives only that this is only a token example. talk it over with your instructor who will be only too happy to help. 86 . an introduction to our seas. air compression. diving tables.
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Advanced Open Water
Advanced Open Water
RESCUE DIVER Diving accidents are very rare if you adhere to the safety norms. Knowing certain situations, remembering that it is better to foresee them rather than have to deal with them, makes you a more serious and competent diver. PREVENTION Given that we are at the Advanced open Water Diver level, is should already be very clear that it is imperative to respect the rules, it is not an option. Unfortunately, each time we are faced with an emergency situation, or worse, an accident, you realise that the reason is always irresponsible behaviour or complete disregard for the rules. Remember: prevention before everything. There will rarely be an accident if all the procedures are followed and use of the following techniques will hopefully remain theoretical. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ASSISTANCE AND RESCUE Underwater rescue consists in a series of actions geared towards initially assisting and the rescuing a diver in difficulty or who has been the victim of a accident. He two types of intervention in this case are different; assistance is aimed at helping a person in difficulty before an accident actually occurs; underwater rescue, on the other hand, is aimed at taking an injured diver out of the water and thereafter providing the necessary assistance in the form of first aid. ASSISTANCE This is the first option to be applied when trying to foresee and avoid an accident. This consists in simple actions to be carried out to assist a companion in difficulty. For example: help him if he has cramp; keep close if he is afraid; inflate his jacket on the surface if he has difficulty in keeping afloat and cannot operate it himself; in
Advanced Open Water
general help him regain control of himself and the situation so that he may calmly continue with the dive. However, do be careful, for a person who has encountered difficulty during a dive may be prey to another accident during the same dive, therefore it would be better to interrupt the dive before meeting with another accident which could have more serious consequences than the first. Assistance is also given to ourselves, that is you should always make sure that everything is going smoothly and absolutely avoid continuing if any symptoms of stress, fatigue or anxiety are experienced. To carry on without reporting the problem is to endanger both your own life and that of the others who, in the event of emergency, will have to lend assistance. Once again: don’t be a hero, anyone can feel bad during a dive and admitting this should be no cause for shame. RESCUE Rescue should be given when assistance has not been requested and the diver is already in crisis, or when assistance has not been enough (this is rarely the case). There are various situations which may occur, but these can generally be divided into two main categories: conscious diver and unconscious diver. I the first case, you may be at the first stage, that is stress, or my immediately break into panic. I any case you should identify the cause and try to eliminate it, if possible. For example, difficulty in buoyancy and having to use strong kicking movements to avoid descending a sea wall is a cause of stress. Slightly inflate the jacket to solve the problem. Fatigue and the subsequent sensation of lack of air, is solved by stopping and taking a rest. Fear generally ceases on physical contact, for example holding hands with the diver in distress. As may be seen, they are generally quite simple situations which become situations of assistance.
unhooking the victim’s jacket and letting it drop to the sea-bed if you can use your own. In this case the diver must necessarily be handled from behind. Handle the diver from behind. is moving wildly and is not reasoning. gripping the air-tank taps and pull him to the surface or try to stop him sinking further. otherwise if this is not possible. Upon surfacing. to permit a quick and controlled ascent. unhook the victim’s weight belt. rescue procedures should be followed and he should be transported to the surface for first aid treatment. inflate his jacket and transport him to shore dragging him by the air-tank taps while immediately calling for help in order to give maximum time to whoever is on land to intervene. If on the other hand the diver is unconscious. Carefully check the jacket. Ascending too quickly or in an uncontrolled manner should be avoided since proving dangerous for both victim and rescuer. We do not want to seem repetitive. placing one hand under the chin and pointing it upwards to favour opening of respiratory airways and the expulsion of air accumulated in the lungs which will increase in volume while ascending. using the boat or preparing oxygen. unhook your own and use the victim’s.ID EA Advanced Open Water The situation is different when the diver is already panicking. These situations can prove dangerous. for example. but it is extremely important to know these techniques 91 . If the diver is breathing the operation will be easier though the same position should be maintained. medical kits etc. so help is given considering yourself too.
since you know the procedure well. Rescue Diver (underwater rescue) so that you may capably deal with any emergency situation. collaborating with an instructor and going on planned dives with groups of friends in complete safety. but being familiar with certain techniques helps you to a more complete diver. pleasant. This is our credo and it is what we expect from our divers! 92 . fun. The first course you should attend on this subject is Open Water Diver and Dive Medic (first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Awareness and ability in underwater diving can only be obtained by attending advanced courses.Advanced Open Water IDEA and the notions given here are only and idea and do not constitute a specialised course. whether in water or on land. calm and serene. Remember: diving is good.
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Advanced Open Water IDEA Advanced Open Water Diver December 2000 96 .
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