In this episode we talk about the Surface Marker Buoy, hyperbaric chambers and “The Terrible Hours”
Several years ago PADI introduced deploying a surface marker buoy as a key skill into their Open Water certification. A very important safety feature that every diver should understand and be able to execute in the real world. Sometimes you will need to deploy the SMB when on a drift dive or if you aren’t in the vicinity of the boat when you surface, you will want the boat to see you and come and pick you up. Always carry a SMB when diving in the ocean.
Sometimes divers experience decompression sickness where nitrogen comes out of our tissue too quickly. The hyperbaric chamber or recompression chamber is used to treat this problem by recreating the environment of the dive at depth and slowly bringing the diver up at a controlled rate. Treatment can last several hours to multiple days. You should always know the location of the closest hyperbaric chamber to where you are diving and don’t forget to purchase your dive accident insurance.
The Terrible Hours is a book written by Peter Mass about the rescue and salvage of the USS Squalus, a submarine that sank off the coast of New Hampshire in 1939. The submarine was in about 240 feet of water and the rescue of 33 men from the vessel under the direction of then LCDR Charles “Suede” Mumson who was the pioneer of submarine escape and rescue. It is an incredible read and will definitely keep you riveted.