Dying For One Last Breath

Scuba divers, when asked why they love the ocean and the beauty that thrives underneath the sea’s surface, would probably have varied answers. But most likely, the common reply would be that they are men of the sea. Whether there is enough logic to this kind of answer or none at all is left to the inquirer.

But scuba divers would unanimously agree and answer ‘no’ when asked if they trust the ocean. Like the desert and its sands, the ocean and its waters are treacherous. They are calm and majestic now, horrible and ugly the next. But still, men of the ocean are drawn to the serenity the ocean provides. All the while embracing the fury that it can unleash on any given Sunday. And the ocean has more than storms and hurricanes on the table. It can fool the diver who underestimates it power. The more you stay in the water, Death steps nearer.

The Deep Water Blackout is a phenomenon that has taken lives of experienced and licensed scuba divers, some of whom are fitted with the right equipment and Reactor watches and all that scuba gear. Deep Water Blackout occurs when a diver loses consciousness while ascending from a deep dive, usually from 10 meters deep. Victims faint close to the surface, most of the time within the top 3 meters. Some victims even managed to break surface, only to sink again. The direct cause of the said phenomenon is the speedy drop of oxygen while ascending.

Deep water blackout, when it does not kill the diver due to drowning, also impairs the reasoning and judgment of the diver due to lack of nitrogen in the brain. The diver then experiences anxiety, fear, and loss of physical dexterity. It has been reported that divers who lost the ability to think straight while underwater swam deeper instead to the surface, thinking they are ascending. Survivors of the Deep Water Blackout had experienced hallucinations, saying they were seeing things while underwater.

Like the desert and its mirages, the ocean, too has illusions prepared for the unwary diver. Respect the ocean, love it even. But never put your trust on something that can kill you. Like the desert dunes that have buried travelers beneath its sands, the ocean, too has the cold abyss for its graveyard.

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