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Water hazards: If you're going in, know the risks

When you work with cruises or near the water, there may be a time when you need to use scuba gear to work on your marina or on a vessel. If your job is to be in the water, the most important information for you to have is how to avoid the serious hazards that come with being in the ocean.

There are several serious risks that scuba divers face including:

  • Decompression sickness
  • Drowning
  • Nitrogen narcosis
  • Marine life
  • Malfunctioning equipment

Fortunately, anyone who is planning to dive will have to get an education on using their equipment. A solid education can help prevent injury, but even more important is to review the risks and to know how to recognize when you need help.

Decompression sickness

One of the most significant risks to divers who go down deep is decompression sickness. If you breathe compressed air underwater, your body naturally absorbs more nitrogen. When you return to the surface too quickly, the extra nitrogen can form bubbles inside the tissues. This leads to decompression sickness, also called "the bends" and can be potentially life-threatening. To avoid this, you should always ascend slowly and make a safety stop when possible.


Even with diving gear, there is a risk of drowning. You may run out of oxygen or lose an important piece of equipment. Malfunctions, damage to equipment and other issues could lead to difficulty reaching the surface for air. Stay in touch with the crew with a tether or audio, so they can know if you need help.

Nitrogen narcosis

This condition can make you feel drunk from the extra nitrogen your body absorbs at deeper depths. This can lead to making poor decisions, like ascending too quickly, which could then lead to further complications. Training is essential to prevent this, and people new to working in deep depths should be monitored closely.

Marine life hazards

Sharks, sting rays, turtles and other sea life usually won't bother you under water, but if you accidentally get in their way or look like a snack, these animals can become aggressive. You should be aware not to attempt to touch corals or animals, because even the most seemingly harmless creatures could end up attacking.

Malfunctioning equipment

Another major risk is malfunctioning equipment. Whether it's your diving gear or a tool you're using to perform work, any malfunction could put your life at risk underwater. Always check your gear before you dive.

These are a few things to think about if you plan to dive for work. If you are hurt, reach out to the Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A.

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Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A.

Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A.
Harbourtown - Suite 39
913 Gulf Breeze Parkway
Gulf Breeze, FL 32561

Toll Free: 866-416-4412
Fax: 850-916-9787
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