North America's Longest Established Scuba Diving Magazine

Category: Education

Rise of the Recreational Rebreather

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 8th January 2014

An explorer begets the Explorer, the new Hollis Gear semi-closed unit that just may change and reinvigorate sport diving  Text by Michael Menduno   Kevin Gurr has been passionate about computing and rebreathers since his first rebreather dive in 1987. The prolific 54-year old British explorer, tech instructor and …

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Dive Tables and Decompression Models

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 15th November 2013

Dive industry pro Bret Gilliam offers the historical perspective The first research work in decompression physiology was not directed at scuba divers. Records from 1841 show that construction workers working at elevated pressures in either caissons (water-tight boxes inside which workers did construction underwater) or construction tunnels beneath rivers …

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Civil Disobedience Wreck Diving

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 21st October 2013

More than a decade ago a group of technical divers made a series of ‘unofficial’ deep dives on the heritage wrecks of Hamilton and Scourge in Lake Ontario. This is their story Text by Scott Stitt   It feels like we’ve been dropping forever. Descending through 150 feet (46m), …

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Hernias: Issues for Divers

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 30th September 2013

By Dr. David Sawatzky There are many different kinds of hernias. A hernia is the protrusion of an organ or its fascia through the wall of the cavity that normally contains it.  Some hernias are very common and some quite rare. Each has a different implication for the diver …

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Letter to the women of the world by Hans Hass

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 31st July 2013

As a follow up to Phil Nuytten’s tribute article in the current issue of DIVER, below is a reprint of dive pioneer Hans Hass’ 2007 open letter to the women of the world.   Human reproduction and the threat of self destruction Dear women all over the world! Let …

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Kickstarter for ocean exploration

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 18th June 2013

As government funding for exploration dries up, private ventures are beginning to lead the way. But we can’t all get grants from National Geographic, or ask for handouts from Paul Allen. Kickstarter.com is a ‘crowd funding’ website and a fast growing addition to the internet, labelled by Time magazine …

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Lose Weight Forever!

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 23rd May 2013

It’s a simple formula: burn more calories than you absorb By Dr. David Sawatzky In the last column I wrote about obesity, the advantages and disadvantages in relation to diving.  The bottom line was that obesity significantly increases the risks in a diver.  The problem is that most people …

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Obese Divers Beware ‘Saturated Fat’

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 23rd May 2013

By Dr. David Sawatzky As I write this column it is the middle of the Christmas holiday season.  No matter what your beliefs, virtually all of us celebrate the end of the old year and the beginning of the New, and that celebration usually involves eating excessive amounts of …

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Dysbaric Osteonecrosis Part 2

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 22nd May 2013

It’s rare in the recreational scuba enthusiast but deeper divers and pushing no-decompression limits can put you at risk By Dr. David Sawatzky The lesions of dysbaric osteonecrosis (DON) only occur in a few bones of the body.  They are found in the head and proximal shaft of the …

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Dysbaric Osteonecrosis Part 1

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 22nd May 2013

Will ‘diver’s rotting bone disease’ become more common as technical diving grows in popularity?  By Dr. David Sawatzky Dysbaric osteonecrosis (DON) was first identified in the 1940s and was found to be relatively common in the 1970s and early 1980s in some groups of divers but extremely rare in …

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Pulmonary Embolism and Blood Thinners

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 11th November 2012

  By Dr. David Sawatzky In DIVER September 2002 I talked about blood thinners and diving, a discussion about deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and the requirement for people diagnosed with a DVT to be on a blood thinner for several months afterwards.  To be clear, ‘blood thinners’ do not …

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BPPV – Sudden onset of vertigo

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 11th November 2012

By Dr. David Sawatzky Condition most common in divers 60 years and older Recently I’ve been exchanging emails with a diving friend who experienced sudden, severe, nausea, vomiting and vertigo after a dive in Mexico.  DAN diagnosed inner ear barotrauma and the local Ears, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist …

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Sidemount: For open water divers too!

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 11th November 2012

  By Jill Heinerth Once a technique exclusive to elite cave explorers, sidemount diving today is trending in the ranks of recreational divers. Versatile and comfortable, the rig merges a specially designed wing with a harness and thanks to companies such as Hollis, Dive Rite and Golem Gear, they’re …

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Thumbs up for seniors diving

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 11th November 2012

  By Stan Waterman I grow old… I grow old… I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled. Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach? I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing …

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Under Stress

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 11th November 2012

  Some divers handle it better than others, but underwater we all deal with it for better or worse Text by Bret Gilliam The following continues a discussion on diving and stress that appears in the current issue of DIVER Magazine, Volume 37 Number 8, now available on newsstands. …

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Remembering Ron

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 11th November 2012

DIVER salutes Ron Taylor, diver, pioneer underwater filmmaker and champion of our ocean world Read tributes below and add yours to the comments The world diving community has lost a charter member with the death September 9 of Australian underwater filmmaker Ron Taylor, at age 78. In partnership with …

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Sidemount Diving DVD and Side Mount Profiles Book review

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 20th July 2012

DIVER Magazine contributor Jill Heinerth is an authority on sidemount diving and she’s also a professional filmmaker, so an instructive video on this technique of rigging gas cylinders a different way, was a certainty. Heinerth and fellow sidemounter Jeff Loflin recently released their 64-minute introductory DVD on sidemount diving …

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Situation Awareness: A Training Paradox

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 20th July 2012

Text by Jeremy Heywood Correction: When this story appeared in DIVER Volume 37 Number 4, Dr. Mica Endsley was inadvertently referred to as he, not she. We apologize for this error. Experts agree: situation awareness is critically important to diver safety. But because it’s regarded as an advanced skill …

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Can diving benefit the health of breast cancer survivors?

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 13th July 2012

Project Pink Tank is on a mission to get to the bottom of it. Text by Lisa Sonne More than 400 scuba enthusiasts, including open water, advanced, technical, and instructor level divers, are participating in “Project Pink Tank,” a multi-phase investigation into the relationships between scuba diving and the …

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Nitrogen Narcosis: A Critical Conversation

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 3rd July 2012

Text by Bret C. Gilliam The following discussion picks up from the current issue of DIVER Magazine – Volume 37 Number 4 – now on newsstands. Against the background of an historical perspective and today’s ardent debate on this subject author Bret Gilliam advocates the dissemination of more accurate …

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NASA NEEMO begins

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 12th June 2012

The latest deployment of NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) has begun with the international crew of aquanauts entering the habitat, Aquarius, yesterday for a twelve day mission. Aquarius, the world’s only undersea laboratory, is located in about 63 feet (20 metres) of water, three and a half miles …

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PADI on rebreathers: Are they safe for recreational divers? Pt1

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 18th May 2012

The world’s largest dive training agency thinks they are, and they’ve developed courses for the rec and tec diver alike. Here, the agency’s Vice President of Rebreather Technologies, Mark Caney, weighs in on PADI’s new direction, the rise of a new ‘Type-R’ recreational rebreather, and the voice of opposition. …

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PADI on rebreathers: Are they safe for recreational divers? PT2

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 30th April 2012

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), the world’s largest scuba training agency, has expanded its course offerings in recent months to include recreational rebreather instruction. What follows is the continuation of an interview with Mark Caney, PADI’s Vice President of Rebreather Technologies, published in the current issue of …

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James Cameron Remembers Mike deGruy

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 21st February 2012

The underwater world and the diving community have suffered a loss with the deaths of Mike deGruy and Andrew Wight, killed in a helicopter crash February 3 near Sydney, Australia. Both men were divers of long experience and professionals in the media world, bringing the beauty and excitement of …

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Epilepsy/Seizures and Diving

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 17th January 2012

Diving Medicine By Dr. David Sawatzky A seizure is a sudden surge in electrical activity of the brain that alters how an individual feels or acts for a short period of time.  In a classic ‘grand mal’ seizure a person looses consciousness, all of their muscles contract for up …

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Fainting and Diving

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 17th January 2012

Diving Medicine By Dr. David Sawatzky In the last column we looked at epilepsy and seizures.  However, epilepsy and seizures are a relatively rare cause of loss of consciousness.  The most common cause of loss of consciousness is fainting (syncope) and it results in one of every 30 visits …

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LOC While Breath-Hold Diving

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 17th January 2012

Diving Medicine By Dr. David Sawatzky In this column we will look at the breath-hold diver who suddenly looses consciousness in relatively shallow water.  These individuals often die from drowning.  This phenomenon has been called ‘shallow water blackout’ but the term should be avoided – it’s confusing.  Initially shallow …

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Coughing While Diving

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 17th January 2012

Diving Medicine By Dr. David Sawatzky Frequently, I receive reader questions. The following (edited) enquiries raise several issues of interest. Does Nitrox Have a Taste? Should Nitrox taste any different from regular air? I’ve noticed a difference. Air is odourless and tasteless in contrast to Nitrox, which I found …

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High Pressure Neurological Syndrome

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 17th January 2012

Diving Medicine By Dr. David Sawatzky In the last two columns I reviewed inert gas narcosis.  High Pressure Neurological (Nervous) Syndrome (HPNS) is a similar problem that is experienced on deeper dives.  It is a difficulty that recreational divers will never experience but advanced technical divers are increasingly performing …

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Why Do I Need to Pee Every Time I Dive?

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 17th January 2012

Diving Medicine By Dr. David Sawatzky Every diver knows that when they go diving they need to pee.  They also know that any cold water diver who claims never to have peed in their wetsuit is either lying or has logged very few dives. Finally, it’s fair say that …

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Dehydration and Diving

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 17th January 2012

Diving Medicine By Dr. David Sawatzky In the last column I talked about the reasons urine production is increased while we are diving and what we can do about it.  In this column I will continue that discussion by looking at other reasons divers are almost always dehydrated during/after …

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Sports drinks: You Can Drink and Dive and It Can Help

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 17th January 2012

Diving Medicine By Dr. David Sawatzky In any discussion on dehydration, the topic of electrolytes must come up.  So what are electrolytes?  In Stedman’s medical dictionary an electrolyte is defined as “any compound that, in solution, conducts electricity and is decomposed by it; an ionizable substance in solution”.  Ions …

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Is diving addictive?

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 17th January 2012

Diving Medicine By Dr. David Sawatzky All of us enjoy diving or we would not be doing it. Often we feel better when we are diving. A subset of divers seem to really enjoy diving deep on air. Is diving addictive? Narcosis is a fascinating topic and supports the …

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Fatalities: Inexperience a Big Factor

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 17th January 2012

Diving Medicine By Dr. David Sawatzky Every year approximately 100 people die in North America while diving, and another 100 die while diving in the rest of the world.  Diving is a relatively high ‘risk’ activity.  By that I mean there are many ways in which you can be …

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Buoyancy Control- It’s An Inside Job

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 17th January 2012

Diving Medicine By Dr. David Sawatzky In the last column I looked at diving fatalities and noted that poor buoyancy control was a significant factor.  Buoyancy control is by far the most difficult skill to master in diving and the easiest one to lose.  Therefore, in this column I …

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Raynaud’s Symptoms and Diving

  • DIVER Editorial
  • 17th January 2012

Diving Medicine By Dr. David Sawatzky I was recently consulted on the case of a commercial diver who presented with cold, white, painful fingers after walking outside on a cold windy day.  When the diver was questioned it was discovered that they often experienced similar symptoms while diving and …

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