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What is one of the major risks of diving?

As a commercial diver, one of the hazards that you face is hypothermia. It's a condition that can take you by surprise and quickly put your life in danger.

You wear a wetsuit and diving gear, but any kind of rip or defect could end up leaving you colder than you expected. Thermal challenges are already common, and even experienced divers can have trouble regulating their body heat without excellent equipment.

With hypothermia, the body's core temperature drops below what is required for normal bodily functions. If your body is losing heat faster than it can produce it, then hypothermia will begin to set in.

Preventing hypothermia is essential. Your employer should provide you with an adequate exposure suit for the water that you'll be diving in. Even if it's a warm water dive, you should still have an exposure suit.

While you dive, watch out for signs of hypothermia including:

  • Abnormal behavior
  • Amnesia
  • Shivering
  • Apathy
  • Lethargy
  • Trouble zipping or unzipping the wetsuit
  • Foggy thinking
  • Impaired coordination

These are only some of the signs of hypothermia. If you notice that you're getting cold or that your diving partner is shivering, get out of the water. You can both warm up before diving again, so that you know that you're not suffering from hypothermia.

Before you dive, always check your diving gear for rips, tears and leaks. If you feel that your wetsuit isn't thick enough for the water temperature, postpone the dive. It's not worth diving and putting yourself or your diving partner at risk of a potentially life-threatening condition if your equipment isn't up to the task.

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