‘Arrive, dive, leave’ advises British Diving Safety Group

Latest BDSG guidance encourages keeping interactions to a minimum

Author: Pat
28th May 2020

Loading a VW Amarok pickup ready to leave the dive site

The British Diving Safety Group (BDSG) of industry representatives is now encouraging recreational divers to ‘arrive, dive, leave’ when they return to scuba diving.

The working group announced last week a relaxation of guidance to allow activities to resume, and it has now gone a step further.

Inland sites have to put specific procedures in place to mitigate risk

Its COVID-19 team met to review recreational diving practices and the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Inland dive sites

On Tuesday 26 May there was an online meeting of the UK Inland Dive Sites (UKIDS, formerly FIDS). Common protocols and measures were discussed including how to control the number of divers on the site, parking, booking in, the sharing of facilities, kitting up, surface interval social distancing etc.

Inland sites now have to put in place specific procedures in order to mitigate risk, and each site will be operating at less than maximum capacity. The key message will be arrive, dive, leave.

Each inland dive centre will open only when they are satisfied that their physical site logistics, social distancing and infection control will work for all. Procedures will vary from site to site, because each inland dive site has its own unique features.

Long term health implications of COVID-19

The UK Diving Medical Committee has also held a meeting. The diving doctors are concerned that they do not know how the lungs and heart will recover after COVID-19 infection. Depending on how the lungs heal, it could lead to a risk of pulmonary barotrauma.

There is evidence from the Diamond Princess cruise passengers that asymptomatic people had significant changes to their lungs. Coronavirus can also affect heart function, that could lead to immersion pulmonary oedema (IPO).

The UKDMC are currently writing guidelines in plain English (which may include a flow chart) to enable divers to self-assess and be aware of the potential risks.

“Please work your way back into diving in a gentle manner”

For now, the BDSG continues to advocate shallow, progressive shore diving subject to your local devolved Government guidelines.

BDSG British Diving Safety Group and agencies

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