Four Best Ways to Die While SCUBA Diving

Posted on Sep 18, 2007

If you are considering going or learning how to SCUBA dive here are some important things to keep in mind. It is very easy to die very quickly underwater. Here are my personal favorite ways that stupid people die underwater or shortly after getting out of the water:

  1. A.G.E.- Arterial Gas Embolisms are horrible. The short version is that you lung pops and an air bubble gets in your blood and goes to your brain or heart and bam you are dead. This is why very SCUBA instructor will tell you to never hold your breath will diving, what they don’t tell you is that you are in more danger of this happening in the pool during your class then diving down to 40 feet for your open water dives. How it works is that as you go down to 5’ in a pool (at five feet most people can just stand up to get to the surface), you panic and stand up, automatically holding your breath(because that is what you do underwater) and pop your dead.

  2. DCS- Decompression Sickness aka The Bends is no joke. Basically as you dive your body becomes saturated with nitrogen bubbles(or whatever inert gas you are breathing) when you start to surface those bubble expand. Depending where they expand they can break bones or destroy your brain. Preventing this is as simple as coming up slowly and following the no decompression dive tables. Just to give you an idea of how much this can suck and how varied the damage can be I had two dive instructors at the college of Oceaneering who had had decompression sickness. Once of them had his back broken and one had both of his hips snapped. Sounds fun dosen’t it. If you get bubbles in the wrong place (your brain) it can tear through that soft gray stuff leading to brain death.

  3. Animal Stings- This one is a personal favorite of mine. It all goes back to not touching the animals. If Steve Irwin taught us anything it is that animals get pissy if you mess with them. So don’t mess with them and you’ll be fine. Also keep in mind that the really poisonous animals are really little. The best ones are rock fish, because they look like a rock and will kill you super fast and you won’t even know what you did.

  4. Differential Pressure or Delta P- This is my favorite, in fact it by far one of the scariest things I have seen. Basically these happen when the pressure between the water(where you are) and the pipe(or whatever0 is so different that you get sucked in breaking all of your bones and killing you. Typically this isn’t something that a normal diver needs to worry about but it is just so spectacular that it couldn’t be left off the list. There is even a video, though if you like crabs you will be sad. This is a video taken in 6000 feet of water. An undersea robot is sawing a 3mm wide slit (1/10th of an inch … remember that width) in a pipeline. The pressure inside the pipeline is 0 psi, while the pressure outside is 2700 psi, or 1.3 tons per square inch. Then a crab comes along….

There you have it, the best ways to die underwater. Don’t do any of these, because they all suck. The first two are survivable if you get to a decompression chamber in time, the third one all depends on what animal gets you. The last one is kind of a sorry your dead I hope someone got it on video kind of thing.