Health status and diving practices of a technical diving expedition

Andrew Foch, a senior specialist for the Hyperbaric Services, participated in a technical diving expedition to the South China Sea primarily to dive several deep World War Two wrecks. 

Rebreather Forum 3, RF3, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, rebreathers, technical diving, safety, health surveillance, decompression, air, mixed gas, trimix, nitrox, oxygen, Andrew Foch, Rubicon Foundation, Rubicon, Gene Hobbs, South China Seas, Inspiration, Evolution, Vision, During the expedition, diving practices and diver health were observed, and a diver health survey was completed by six of the seven divers at the end of each diving day.

The survey showed a slight worsening of health scores during the first half of the expedition, which then returned to baseline levels. However, no diver reached a health score of a level (six) associated with clinical decompression sickness (DCS) in a previous study. No clinical DCS was detected or treated; however, a high level of pre-existing musculoskeletal complaints prevalent in this group made clinical diagnosis difficult for marginal symptoms. A high proportion (50%) of divers reported symptoms consistent with pulmonary and ocular oxygen toxicity.

The use of closed-circuit rebreathers for 74 dives in the depth range of 50 to 70 metres' sea water, with total dive time 100.4 hours, was associated with few technical problems for a suitably trained and experienced group of technical divers.

Andrew Foch's report can be found here.

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