What is decompression diving? New divers especially may get a little confused when hearing about this for the first time. There are a lot of technicalities behind every different type of dive but in short, decompression diving means that, during ascent to the surface, a diver needs to make various stops for a few minutes at a time. These are done to reduce the amount of gasses in the body, and are often referred to as Deco Stops.
So why are Decompression Stops so important? Well, the longer you stay underwater, the more nitrogen and other gasses build up in your body and, if not expelled properly, can cause decompression sickness, which can literally kill you. To avoid this, all divers should learn how to use a Dive Table, which details how long you can safely stay underwater at a certain depth, and how to calculate the amount of nitrogen in your body until your next dive. This time limit underwater is also known as a No- Decompression Limit.
During every dive lesson, new divers are taught to use Dive Tables and that the general ascent rate is 30 feet per minute. This allows the body to slowly expel nitrogen and other gasses from the body while balancing the organ’s growth due to less pressure. Also, equally important, is a slow and calculated ascent to help prevent air expanding in the ears and chest, which, if you’re not careful, can cause ruptures. To ensure safety, the rule is to stop at 5 metres per 15 feet for 3 minutes.
Deco Stops usually apply to Open Water Divers, Advanced Open Water Divers and Deep Divers, and Recreational Divers usually need not worry about stopping during ascent as the amount of air in your tank will ensure that you surface before reaching the No-Decompression Limit. But if your dive computer says “Deco”, don’t panic – simply ascend slightly. Your computer will tell you at which depth you need to stop and for how long. The computer will also tell you if you need to make additional stops. Remember to monitor your air consumption.
Learn all about Decompression Stops and how to read Dive Tables with Blue Season Bali. Experience Bali’s underwater world with Blue Season Bali, for top quality Bali scuba diving, PADI dive courses, snorkelling trips and even professional diving internships all around Bali.