Diving into the deep blue sea is an exhilarating experience that allows you to explore a world beyond the surface. But after you return to the surface, you must be mindful of what you do and avoid certain actions that may put your health at risk. Freediving, like any other aquatic activity, comes with inherent dangers and hazards that you must consider during recovery. 

This article explores the post-dive pitfalls every diver should be aware of. From physical activity to alcohol consumption, there are several things you should steer clear of to ensure a safe and smooth recovery. So, no matter if you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, read on to discover what NOT to do after a dive.

What should you avoid after freediving?

It is essential to be aware of the risks that come with freediving, such as decompression sickness and other diving-related illnesses or injuries. Proper recovery is essential to staying safe and healthy. Therefore, divers should wait before engaging in the following activities immediately after a freedive: 

Avoid scuba diving or other underwater activities

Heading straight into scuba diving (or other underwater activities) can increase the risk of decompression sickness. This condition can occur when a diver ascends too quickly, and nitrogen bubbles form in their bloodstream. You should wait at least 24 hours between dives to allow the nitrogen levels in the body to normalise. Moreover, taking this time to recover will enable you to monitor your body and any signs of sickness before diving again.

Do not take the role of safety diver

After you surface from a freedive and during recovery, divers may experience symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, or impaired judgement. These symptoms can severely impact their ability to assume the role of safety diver. Recovery is essential before engaging in strenuous activities, such as assisting another diver. Not only does this reduce the risk of your own injuries but also those of your fellow divers.

Avoid flying in an aircraft

When you dive, your body must adjust to the change in air pressure. As mentioned above, if you ascend or descend too quickly, nitrogen bubbles may form and cause sickness. Flying also causes changes in air pressure which may exacerbate any existing nitrogen bubble formation. In short, it increases the risk of decompression sickness. It’s crucial to avoid flying after a freedive to prevent your body from going through additional stress.

Do not partake in any sudden physical exertion

Engaging in strenuous exercise or lifting heavy objects can increase the risk of nitrogen bubbles spreading to other body parts. Moreover, since freediving takes considerable strength, your muscles may feel tired and weak. If you’re experiencing fatigue, you may be more likely to injure yourself by doing additional exercise. 

Avoid consuming alcohol

Divers should avoid drinking alcohol after freediving because it can impair judgement, increase the risk of dehydration, and aggravate symptoms of diving-related injuries and illnesses. This makes it harder to monitor any symptoms you may have after a dive. Alcohol consumption also affects reaction time and coordination, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries, both in and out of the water. 

Sudden changes in temperature

Temperature changes can cause blood vessels to constrict and reduce blood flow, potentially leading to sickness. For example, divers should avoid jumping into cold water or being in a hot bath or shower immediately after a dive. 

What measures should divers take to reduce risks?

Freedivers can take the following preventative measures to reduce the risk of injury or illness:

Plan dives carefully

Plan dives based on personal abilities and dive conditions, taking into account factors such as depth, water temperature, and currents.

Use proper gear

Use appropriate freediving supplies, including a wetsuit, fins, mask, and weight belt, to ensure comfort and safety during the dive. Agulhasocean.com is an excellent option for equipment that feels like a second skin. Their pieces are made with durable and sustainable materials to support your dive, whether you’re a beginner or a pro.

Dive with a buddy

Always dive with a partner and establish clear communication and safety protocols before entering the water.

Keep the right mental attitude

Try to avoid negative thoughts before and during the dive. The right positive psychological attitude and the training of control and management of consciousness is more than half of the success of a good dive. That’s why the ability to control one’s actions in extreme situations and prevent panic is usually necessary even more than the training of the body.

Adhere to diving tables and computer algorithms

Use diving tables or dive computers to plan dives and track decompression stops, and always allow sufficient time for adequate decompression.

Rest your body

Avoid overexertion during dives, including holding breaths for too long or making rapid ascents, to reduce the risk of sickness. Relaxing after a diving session is pivotal for your breathing to return to normal. 

Monitor symptoms

Pay close attention to signs of decompression sickness, such as fatigue, joint pain, or skin rashes, and seek medical attention if necessary.

Stay hydrated

Stay hydrated before, during, and after diving, as dehydration can increase the risk of sickness and impair judgement.

Closing thoughts

It is important to remember that each diver may have different needs and recovery times, so it’s best to listen to your body. By following established safety protocols and being attentive to one’s physical condition during recovery, freedivers can reduce the risk of diving-related injuries and illnesses and continue to enjoy the sport safely.

Categories: General

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].