AAUS Polar Diving Workshop Proceedings

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Title: AAUS Polar Diving Workshop Proceedings
Author: Lang, MA; Stewart, JR
Abstract: 1 The importance of predive thermal and hand protection should be carefully considered during polar diving activities. 2 Divers in polar regions should be proficient in the use of dry suits, thermal insulation strategies and weighting, and should be highly experienced with the particular system they are going to be using. 3 The AAUS recommendation that a dry suit be used with a buoyancy compensator is endorsed for polar diving in general. It is recognized that conditions may exist in which the diver would be more at risk with the buoyancy compensator than without one. In such cases, a buoyancy compensator will not be required. 4 It is important that continued data be collected on the performance of regulators, buoyancy compensators, and dry suits in polar conditions. 5 Due to the tendency for scuba apparatus to free-flow under polar conditions, a minimum of two full regulator systems is recommended. 6 To minimize possibility of regulator freeze-up, proper predive and postdive care should be followed. 7 Dive team leaders must brief divers on alternate methods of communication. 8 A sling should be installed on deck, capable of hoisting a diver from small craft to the research ship. 9 Additional medical training and proficiency in oxygen administration should be required of the second mate aboard polar research vessels. 10 The lead diver should deal directly with the captain of the vessel in developing the dive plan for a cruise. 11 A more efficient means of transportation (e.g., rolligon) should be investigated for transportation across rough ice, rotten ice, and thin fast ice. 12 A course outline must be developed specifically for polar diving training. 13 Before beginning diving operations at McMurdo, all dive team members should participate in an on- site diving orientation. 14 A tethered diver who is deployed to work independently, must be equipped with full face mask, voice communications to the surface, and redundant air supply. 15 Although recompression chambers are beneficial, the immediate presence of an operational chamber shall not be required for scientific diving. 16 The dive management accident plan and emergency response system should be practiced with regular drills. 17 The foreword of the DPP dive manual will include the statement that there are inherent risks in antarctic diving. 18 The authority, responsibility, review, and approval of dive plans shall be clarified in the DPP Guidelines for Conduct of Research Diving. A DPP Diving Control Board shall be composed with an established charter and defined charge and scope of authority to review and approve polar diving projects. 19 This polar diving forum should become a down-scaled, annual meeting, convened after the Antarctic austral summer season. 20 The AAUS dive computer guidelines, safe ascent recommendations, and repetitive diving guidelines should become appendices to the DPP dive manual. 21 A mechanism should be established for developing the dive plan for new projects to take into account the collective operational expertise in that area for that particular project. 22 A few scientific diving programs should be evaluated for their capability of providing cold water and dry suit diving training for USAP participants who lack this experience.
Description: American Academy of Underwater Sciences (http://www.aaus.org/)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/4240
Date: 1992

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