Scuba Diving And Flying

Taking a plane after scuba diving

If you plan going on a scuba diving vacation, you will have to plan your dives with the no-flight time in mind. As you learned in your PADI Open Water Diver course, you can’t fly or go to high altitudes immediately after the diving. This rule is quite fundamental and important, yet it seems divers still have a lot of questions related to this restriction. This article aims to explain the reasons why it is crucial for divers to respect the no-flight time.

When Is The Right Time To Fly After Diving

When diving, you go below the water surface. Contrarily when you are flying, you go way above the water surface. If you flew soon after diving, your body would have to experience extremely diverse environmental conditions within a short period of time. It has been identified that flying soon after scuba diving has the potential to increase the risk associated with decompression sickness.

Why can’t scuba divers fly right after diving?

That’s because the atmosphere pressure gets reduced when you go up in air. Even if you dive for a couple of minutes, you should not attempt to fly because this change in environmental conditions can lead to unexpected symptoms. Even after a short or shallow dive, your body would still have few tiny bubbles of residual nitrogen. However, these bubbles could expand when you go up in air. This can lead towards DCS symptoms as well.

How long do we have to wait afeter diving?

Now you know why you should not fly immediately after diving. What’s also important is to have a clear understanding about the time period that you will have to wait for, so that you can plan your dives accordingly. Unfortunately, no straightforward answer could be given to this question. According to the DAN (Divers Alert Network) guidelines, a person should have a surface interval of at least 12 hours ofter single dive before getting into a commercial aircraft, which could reach an altitude of 8000 feet. However, to be on the safe side, especialy after couple of dives 18 to 24 hours is recommended to make sure that you don’t face any hassle while flying.

Is it ok to dive AFTER flying?

When divers plan their vacation at our diving resort in Padangbai, they often ask us or assume that they can’t dive on the day after they land in Bali. So we feel like addressing this issue might be helpful to all of you reading this article as well. The simple answer to this question is YES, it is ok to dive after flying. This scenario is not in a position to give life to a decompression problem as flying provides you with less inert gas in the tissues than the amount that would be there when you stay at ground. Therefore, you really don’t need to worry about going scuba diving shortly after you land. However, for more sensitive persons it might be better to wait for a day or two because air travel could give life to minor health or fitness issues such as improper nourishment, fatigue, cold or flu.

You might also be interested in related articles on our blog:
– How to build confidence in scuba diving
Rookie Scuba Diving Mistakes
Sunscreens and the health of coral reefs

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