Diving

Latest update: - Authors: Mieke Croughs, Ula Maniewski-Kelner

Many people travel to tropical regions specifically to go diving. 

However, there are risks associated with diving. For example, changes in pressure can cause major problems in the ears. Moving too quickly from the high pressure (deep under water) to the surface can cause the life-threatening decompression sickness (“the bends”).  

In addition, accidents involving poisonous fish, plants, corals and other sea creatures can occur.

Prevention

Diving examination

Be sure to have a diving examination performed before you leave. This is a medical examination that is performed to ensure that there are no medical objections.

Training

Follow a diving course with certified instructors before you start.

Are the dive organisers reliable?

Dive with a reputable organisation so that you can be sure that the equipment is reliable.

Air travel

If you dive deeper than 15 metres or make several dives, then you must wait at least 24 to 48 hours before travelling by air.

If you only made one dive and did not go deeper than 15 metres, then you must wait 12 hours before travelling by air.

Malaria prevention

Do not take mefloquine (Lariam®) if you are going diving, unless you tolerated this perfectly on previous occasions.

Avoid dehydration

Drink extra water to prevent dehydration.

Diet

Avoid heavy meals and alcohol before and after diving.

Support

Never dive alone.

Divers Alert Network

View the information on www.daneurope.org or www.diversalertnetwork.org.
Take out insurance for diving accidents.

In case of symptoms

Seek medical advice if you suffer any symptoms. 

Decompression sickness requires urgent treatment with hyperbaric oxygen in a specialised centre for hyperbaric medicine.  Call the 24-hour DAN Emergency Hotline at 001 919 684 9111 or the European International Emergency Number 0039 6 4211 5685. 

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