Volume 3, Number 6, Page 2


March 2001


And now your latest Safety Board news flash regarding proficiency diving ......
""  Pool Dives - Proficiency scuba diving in pools counts towards your monthly diving activity. Every effort should be made to log open water dives, though (meaning don’t abuse it!). Plan to practice skills (mask clearing, ditch and don, buddy breathing, etc.) or rescue techniques if you are pool diving. Also, beware of particularly surly aqua aerobic participants. Standard first aid techniques are prescribed for any injurous encounters.
""  Snorkeling - Snorkeling does not count towards your monthly proficiency diving. Snorkeling activities may still be logged on your dive log, though.end of article


Another decision resulting from the Safety Board meeting addresses Scientific divers as Divemasters. In the past Scientific divers have not been able to attend Divemaster training. This rule has changed. Scientific divers may now act as Divemasters for scientific diving operations only, after successfully completing NOAA Divemaster training. They may be supervise both Scientific and Working divers. They may not be Divemasters of diving operations classified as working dives. Please contact NDC if you have any questions regarding this new policy.end of article


The annual NOAA Dive Safety Board meeting was held at NDC on Feb 26 and Mar 02. Items of discussion included regulation changes, dive physical changes, operations review and approval, training and certification updates, equipment developments, and a host of other topics. The Board consists of the three Line Office Diving Officers (LODOs: Jules Craynock-OAR, Bill Valley-NOS, and Ian Workman-NMFS), the Fleet Diving Officer (LT Bill Cobb), and the Director, NOAA Diving Program (Dave Dinsmore). The LODOs provide an essential service to the NOAA Diving Program by overseeing all diving operations in their Line Offices as well as participating in the NDSB. This is, of course, in addition to their “real” NOAA jobs.end of article


A reminder about monthly dive logs. All divers need to presently be using the new format dive log (dated 10/00) for submission to their UDS and NDC. All requested information must be filled out for all dives (current speed, visibility, lead diver, dive buddy, etc.). Old log formats will no longer be accepted by NDC. New logs may be printed from the “forms” section of the following web address: Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view and print the log sheet. This program can be downloaded free from their web site. Contact LT Cobb at NDC for a paper copy or an electronic copy in MS Excel.end of article


During the UDS and Safety Board meetings, the topic of what inoculations NOAA divers should receive was discussed with Captain Michael Vitch, Director, NOAA Dive Medical Review Board. Captain Vitch made the following recommendations:

""  Tetanus - All divers should maintain a current Tetanus booster (approximately every 10 years).

""  Hepatitis A - All divers diving in water potentially polluted with untreated sewage and/or divers traveling to foreign locations (particularly Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean basin, the Middle East, Central and South America) should be vaccinated. Hepatitis A transmission is generally through fecal—oral contact. This is a two shot series over approximately 1 month.

""  Hepatitis B - All divers in a position to potentially provide medical care to a bleeding person should be vaccinated. Hepatitis B infection comes from contact with blood or other virally infected body fluids. This is a three shot series over approximately 6 months.

What to take home from this.... These are recommended (not required) vaccinations because there are certain risks associated with each vaccine. Also, if you decide to get vaccinated it takes several months to build up a sufficient level of antibodies to protect you from these diseases. So plan ahead!!!end of article

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