I’m About to Take Scuba Diving Classes – Am I Getting Into a Dangerous Sport?
This question may sound amusing to some, but there are many out there who will never take scuba diving classes despite a desire to try it, because they have been convinced by friends, or maybe Hollywood, that the activity is dangerous. This article should help put things in perspective and convince you that although there are risks just like almost any sport, they are avoidable if you follow the rules and common sense.
The movie Jaws may have something to do with it, but many people who are perfectly suited to scuba diving will never try it for fear of getting eaten by sharks or some other imagined danger out in the water. Yes, there is some danger, and some have pegged scuba diving as being more dangerous than baseball but less dangerous than downhill biking or mountain climbing. As with all these sports, modern equipment, proper technique and training, and responsible practice make the risks virtually nil, especially if you are in it for the leisurely sight-seeing dives in clear tropical waters and established dive sites.
That said, being responsible should include arming yourself with knowledge of the risks and how they are to be avoided. For starters, you may have heard of decompression sickness, or what is known as “the bends.” This is caused by nitrogen accumulating in the joints, and is easily avoided by following proper decompression procedure. Inner ear damage can also lead to hearing loss, and is caused by the high pressures experienced by divers under water. Again, there are simple techniques to prevent this, and in fact this is one of the first things students learn in scuba diving class. Other risks include contact with dangerous marine life, running out of air, diving too deep without proper equipment or preparation, and many others, and all quite preventable with common sense and training.
This is one of the most enjoyable, exciting, and rewarding sports there are, and the perceived dangers have been greatly exaggerated by sensational movies and the media. Pay attention during your scuba diving classes and learn everything you can about the activity, and you should have nothing but safe, memorable dives in your future!