The Byford Dolphin Accident: The Explosive Decompression Of 5 Deep Sea Divers

Undersea diving attracts numerous vacationers to spots the place they’ll safely dive at comparatively shallow depths, normally 100 ft or much less, and for a short while. Skilled divers, nevertheless, will go a lot deeper and for longer intervals. That is why they should fear about decompression illness.

This phenomenon happens when a diver hits excessive depths and comes again up too shortly. The method begins with air tanks. They comprise the identical mixture of oxygen and nitrogen as air on the floor or generally have added helium. Whereas the physique makes use of the oxygen, the nitrogen builds up and turns into extremely pressurized by the undersea atmosphere. The human physique usually has some nitrogen, however when diving, this nitrogen is compressed, so the physique fills the house with extra nitrogen from the air tank.

As divers go deeper underwater, they expertise greater levels of strain, every measured as one ambiance’s price of strain. So 2 atmospheres is double the strain on Earth’s floor, 3 atmospheres is triple, and so forth. At 3 atmospheres, a diver’s physique comprises thrice the standard quantity of nitrogen. If they arrive up too shortly, the nitrogen will immediately broaden to its regular dimension contained in the diver’s physique and trigger ache, problem respiratory, and within the worst circumstances, demise. That is why divers should slowly come up, a bit of bit at a time, so the nitrogen can safely broaden and decompress.