Do you ever wonder about going deep down into the depths of the oceans in search of hidden treasure? How about giving the good old Titanic a visit? Well, your childhood fantasy does have a name to it- Deep sea diving. It is the act in which a diver descends deep in the water beyond the recreational limit of 130 feet. Beyond this limit, divers have to experience high water pressures for which they require more sophisticated equipment than scuba. Therefore, this kind of diving is for repairing the underwater parts of ships and fishing for corals and sponges. Furthermore, people also dive deep underwater for military operations or obtaining artefacts from sunken ships.
Compression And Decompression
The diving cylinders that divers carry consist of a mixture of nitrogen and oxygen. As a result, when a diver is underwater, his/her body tissues also absorb compressed nitrogen from the diving tank. It is called compression. Now you would ask why don’t we have only oxygen in those cylinders. It is because pure oxygen is poisonous to humans.
However, as divers complete their work and begin to rise toward the surface, decompression starts. The absorbed nitrogen goes back into the blood and gets exhaled by the lungs. However, there’s a catch. If you rise too quickly, the nitrogen will form air bubbles in your blood vessels. It may result in a state called decompression sickness. Therefore, if you want to avoid it, always follow the safety rules. Also, it would help if you took the necessary stops before rising out of the water. So, your body can decompress naturally.
For people who are sea diving, the breathing gear is similar to those of astronauts. Likewise, gases reach the diver through surface hoses or a scuba gas tank worn on the back.
The gas mixtures are usually of nitrogen and oxygen. However, to increase the depth limit, helium, argon, hydrogen, and neon may also be used in nitrogen’s place.
For instance, the mixture of oxygen and helium can help divers go as deep as 650m. However, with hydrogen, you can go even further, but it is not long before problems start at such depths.
Deep Sea Diving Equipment
Deep divers have full-face masks and fibreglass helmets with a neck seal to maintain the pressure. However, in deep sea diving for increased periods, saturation diving systems come into play. There are also one-atmosphere diving systems that enable the divers to ascend directly to the surface. These “one-atmosphere” systems act as life support to the diver. On the other hand, the suits for these systems are bulky. Additionally, their surface tethering also limits the movement of divers.
- ROVs: In places where humans cannot dive, people send Remote-Operated Vehicles. These ROVs have two controller arms, cameras, and thrusters to aid movement in underwater conditions. We saw ROVs in action in the movie, the “Titanic.”
Deep sea diving has its advantages, but we cannot outright ignore the dangers that come with it. Therefore, people have to determine the water conditions before making a dive. Diving surely is an exciting profession. If you are attracted to water and the world below, then becoming a diver is something that you should consider.