For divers, staying in the ocean for a long time is an exciting experience. Those of you, who have stayed in the ocean for a longer duration, are well aware of overwhelming temptation of spending more time underwater. The experience becomes more exciting when the weather is hot, because water helps to cool our bodies faster than air.
This is one reason why cold water diving has gained immense popularity among divers across the globe. Although, the idea of diving into cold water is stimulating and fascinating, there are certain things that have to be kept in mind. This is because the human body requires maintaining an internal temperature (37° C) in order to function, properly. However, if the temperature goes as low as 1° C, the human body cannot function, and can result in physical and mental disability. Therefore, those who love cold-water diving, and often spend more than an hour in cold water, need to ensure that they have taken sufficient measures to keep themselves warm. For cold water divers, special diving equipment is available in the market to keep them warm when they dive into cold water. In most cases, wetsuits are used by cold-water divers, because these suits work as an insulator to retain the diver’s body heat. However, in chilly cold water, a wetsuit is not sufficient and may result in heat loss from the diver’s body that can lead to adverse circumstances. Since, wetsuits are not suitable for very cold water, the best alternative for cold water divers are drysuits. These are waterproof and are watertight.
They have air inside the suit to form insulation against heat loss. In order to stay warm for longer durations in cold water, the right layers have to be worn underneath the wetsuit. Most divers wear two layers these days, comprising of a thin inner layer and a thick outer, protective layer made up of insulating fabric. One thing that has to be kept into consideration is that, divers can lose heat through their heads too. Thus, to prevent heat loss from head, a diver has to wear a hood. In case of very cold water, divers are required to wear ice hoods that cover the face of the divers too. Even with these multiple layers of insulation, exposed areas like nose, cheeks, and lips can get benumbed. To prevent this numbness from occurring, divers usually wear a full-face mask to completely cover their faces, and this, protect hear loss. As for the hand, they get cold very quickly, and can make a diver lazy because of the repeated exposure to cold water, nerve cells get damaged. Therefore, keeping the hands warm is of immense importance for cold water divers. In this case, dry gloves come in handy, as they are attached to the dry suit, and produce convention currents of warm air throughout the body to keep it warm. These were some of the precautionary steps that are to be taken when a diver wants to go for cold water diving. It is to be kept in mind that cold water diving is an exhilarating experience, however, one must ensure maximum protection against heat loss, so that the fun of cold water diving can be enjoyed to the fullest.
Written by Nicolai, scuba diver and traveler. Follow me here, on Facebook
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