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Volume 3, Number 12, Page 2


September 2001


NOAA Diving Safety Board Members discussed rebreather options for NOAA Diving Program during an August 30 conference call. The Board agreed to investigate joint manned testing of the Steam Machine Prism Topaz, Cis-Lunar MK-5P, and the Ambient Pressure Diving (AP Valve) Inspiration by the Navy Experimental Diving Unit. All three units are closed-circuit rebreathers (CCRs). The Navy has agreed to include the MK-5P and Inspiration in their manned testing of the Prism Topaz if NOAA will cover the cost ($10K) of this additional testing. Manufacturers of the MK-5P and Inspiration have agreed to provide CCR units and technicians for the testing. This option will be pursued if NDC can come up with the funds to cover the cost of the testing.... End of Article


Enclosed for all ships, UDSs, and LODOs is a NOAA Diving Program Annual Report Information form. This form should be used to document ship/unit/line office diving activities during FY2001. Completed reports are due to a unitís LODO or the ship FDO by October 15, 2001
    NMFS LODO - Ian Workman, Pascagoula, MS
    NOS LODO - Bill Valley, Key Largo, FL
    OAR LODO - Jules Craynock, Miami, FL
    OMAO FDO - LT Bill Cobb, Seattle, WA
LODOs should submit their own summary report along with the individual unit reports by November 01, 2001. These reports are very important for documenting NOAA Diving Program activities and are used to create the NDP Annual Report. The more detail that is included in the reports, the more likely your unit and divers will be included in the NDP Annual Report. Again, it is an excellent opportunity to get wide spread exposure for your unit and their diving activities (especially if accompanied by a few photos!).
UDSs with off-site sub-units should include diving activities of their sub-units in their own report, or make a copy of the attached report (or get it off the web) and designate a diver in each sub-unit to complete it. End of Article


A recent DCS injury to a NOAA diver may be partly attributed to their vigorous exercise program post-dive. Captain Michael Vitch, Director, NOAA Diving Medical Review Board, provided the following recommendation and an excerpt from the Divers Alert Network (DAN) regarding exercise and diving:

Refrain from vigorous exercise four (4) hours pre-dive and twelve (12) hours post-dive.

Excerpt from DAN web site :
"Nitrogen absorption and elimination is largely a matter of temperature and circulation. Gas exchange works very well at constant temperature. After diving when body tissues have been loaded with nitrogen, activities such as running, weight lifting, or a heavy workload can shake up the bottle of soda, so to speak. So exercise after diving requires that you give tissue nitrogen levels time to drop, making bubble generation less likely in the tissues.
You should always start off a dive well rested with muscle that is cooled down and not calling for more oxygen and blood flow.
Exercise before diving may be your best bet. We all enter the water warm and take on nitrogen at a similar rate. Once in the water we begin to cool, vasoconstrict, and we take on less nitrogen. Which means after the dive, we are still cool and not off gassing as a mathematical model may predict. This would appear to favor a diving after exercise procedure.
Although there is no definitive answer, a two-hour [four-hour for NOAA] wait might be considered a minimum waiting guideline for diving after exercise .
more conservative suggestion would be four hours to allow your body to cool down and rest before you add a nitrogen exposure.
Remember to rehydrate after exercise.
Although dehydration doesnít cause decompression illness [but it can contribute to it!], increased fluid losses decrease your off gassing efficiency, so be sure to get plenty of water on dive and exercise days." End of Article

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