Deep diving is an activity that has been done for centuries and remains one of the best ways to explore the depths of our oceans. While there are plenty of activities people can do at sea, deep-diving remains one of the most exhilarating.
Nonetheless, deep diving is an activity with inherent dangers and risks. If you’re thinking about taking your skills to the next level, make sure you know how deep-sea diving works before you take that plunge; while we’ve all seen those red and yellow superhero-like divers, it’s not as simple as just diving down under the water.
In this article, we’ll look at what deep-diving entails so you know what you’re getting into before you brave the abyss on a deep-sea dive. We’ll also show you how to avoid the most common problems associated with going deep.
What is deep-sea diving?
Deep-sea diving, in its simplest definition, refers to swimming under the water at depths that are beyond what is readily accessible to most people. To go truly deep, you need to venture beyond the reach of recreational scuba divers and free-divers.
Most deep-sea diving involves plunging more than 100 feet (30 meters) below the surface of the water; a normal diving range is around 100-130 feet (30-40 meters), so going deep means you push yourself further than most divers would.
What does it take to go deep?
To successfully dive down, you need a specially designed suit that will protect your body from outside pressure and allow room for expansion as the pressure increases at depth.
Without a suit, you will experience severe pain and damage to your skin and internal organs due to the pressure difference between the water at depth and the air in your lungs. This is known as “the bends,” which can lead to serious illness or death if not treated quickly with medical help.
The suits used for deep-sea diving are typically made of rubber, which can expand to embrace divers’ bodies while keeping the water out. The suits also must fit tightly enough to maintain good insulation against the cold temperatures at depth; unlike scuba or free-diving suits, deep-sea diving suits (called “dry suits”) allow little pressure relief.
With a dry suit, divers need to carefully monitor their air consumption and depth so they don’t run out of air before making it back up to the surface.
What is the equipment needed for deep-sea diving?
Besides a diving suit, you’ll also need other specialized equipment that can help keep you safe as you go deep. A high-pressure tank full of air needs to be secured on your back so you can breathe without having to share the limited supply with your buddies.
In addition, a pressurized mask that fits tightly over your face is needed to see clearly at depth. You also need a weight belt or other weights attached securely to your body to counteract the buoyancy of the suit, otherwise, you’ll likely drift up to the surface before you’re ready.
You also need something that will help you see in the dark even at depth. This is because water absorbs light especially red and yellow colors very quickly, which means deep-sea divers don’t get much light, even when the sun is shining above water.