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Am I the only one to be concerned about the reports on these boards of heavy drinking before diving? I’m not a moralist and am definitely not a teetotaller but anything that increases the risk in an already potentially hazardous pastime has to be reprehensible, and diving after heavy drinking in combination with lack of sleep clearly belongs to this category. Frankly, I wouldn’t dive with anyone who was obviously hung-over or suffering from lack of sleep and absolutely not with anybody who was suffering from both these negative factors. The kinds of cock-ups this can lead to are amply illustrated in the latest Recent trips report. I hope this is not a foretaste of what’s to come on your coming trip to Anglesey. Apart from impaired judgement, which is bad enough in itself, anyone consuming large quantities of alcohol the night before diving runs a greatly increased risk of a DCI hit, with all that means in terms of their own and their buddy’s safety. Is getting drunk so much fun that it’s worth risking your own and other people’s lives?
 

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John
from a purely personal point of view I try and not drink the night before a dive, even if its only a pootle, a couple of beers is OK in my book but not a heavy session. I do not feel as if my diving is at a standard where I would like to be anything less than 100% mentally fit, which needs a good nights sleep, physically well I'll never be 100% again. It amazes me that Dm/Instructors willingly boast about having a good drink the night before a dive, with me as their student listening in to this. I suppose its the macho thing coming to the front again. Similarly smoking - what gives guys? There are a number of factors that increase the risk of DCI, is it worth it.
OK I'm lucky I suppose, I dont drink and I only drink in moderation, never done ANY drugs. Boring bastard Binnie - yup that'll be me then.
Matt

(Edited by MATTBIN at 10:39 am on Jan. 29, 2003)
 

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I personally woud'nt drink and dive, as it happens i'm only in the pool at the moment, waiting to do my open water dives very soon i hope, i also smoke , but what i would like to know are there any problems with having a good drink after a dive or should you take it canny ?
 

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According to the book I got a Christmas, heavy drinking is not a good idea post dive either, bubble formation or something. Less surface tension in the bubble if I remember correctly, I'll try and dig it out. Not a good idea if you are driving after either.
Matt


(Edited by MATTBIN at 10:41 am on Jan. 29, 2003)
 

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Well my two pennies worth.

I have had a drink or two the night before a dive but I do stress this is 1 or 2.  Not a session !!.  I also make sure I drink plenty of fluid before going to bed, before the dive and after the dive and always reserve the right not to dive if I do not feel 100%.  

Most of the multi day trips I have been on this is not uncommon with the big session saved for the final night after all diving is over.

Smoking..  Absolutly right Matt,  but it is a drug and yes I do smoke before and after dives,  I am not saying it is right or acceptable but I hold my hand up and admit I do it.  

I guess it is all risk assessment and deciding what is acceptable for you, unfortunatly sometime addictive substances can cause you to take some best avoided risks.  

If somebody was uncomfortable diving with me due to what they considered unacceptable risks I would accept their reasons and not judge.

Daz,
 

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Oi Daz,
no way can you call those roll-ups cigarettes mate. I've seen more tobacco in the bottom of a packet of 20. I understand the need for a fix, my daughter smokes, but a fat B&H (showing my age here) as you put reg in.
Matt
 

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I also *always* limit my drink to a couple at the most the night before a dive -  it just sticks in my head that alcohol and dehydration increase your risk of DCI.  Add on top of that a hangover and I would not be going anywhere near the water!

Even on holiday it is one or two beers and a relatively early night on every night except the last one when it is more suitable to party, eat and drink to excess!!

Drugs fall into the sme category as alcohol in that they do still affect you the next day, so is it worth the risk?  The morality of it is besides the point - we are discussing diving whilst physiologically affected by any substance.

In the end it comes down to personal choice, as does everything, but that choice extends to who you choose to dive with.
 

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John,

I've got to agree with your point BUT it's up to others how they prepare for diving.

Yes you're right that dehydration can be a major contributor to DCI and it's not a good idea to booze before a dive but hands up who has never had a drink the night before a dive.

If I wake up and feel dehydrated  - I'm not diving if I've had a beer the night before or not. If I think my buddy is unfit to dive I'll tell 'em and I won't dive with them.

As many on these boards will attest - I like a wee drink on occaison - single cask, single malts are prefered but I'm not fussy - however if I'm diving then my intake is severely limited. I had a bad experience due to dehydration Once on a shallow (25-30m) wreck I had a spinning head and after a minute or two of heavy breathing before I could straighten myself out - I vowed not to put myself in that situation again.

I saw both Bren and Davie on Saturday morning. They looked OK and I think Bren's trip report rather over-egged the extent of their lack of kip or the ammount of alcohol they'd got through. In any event the departure of the boat was put back a couple of hours and for a very simple shallow dive they were both fit to dive IMHO.

Myself on Friday night I had no alcohol and on Saturday me and Drifty managed a storming three pints of Guiness. Was that over the top?

Anyway to reiterate - If my buddy is unfit I'll tell him and won't dive, if someone on the same boat as me is unfit I'll have a quiet word. Apart from that what can you do?
 

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Oh crikey Matt,  that comment could be misunderstood.

In my defence my roll ups are very thin and do not contain much tobacco but I can assure you ma lord that it is only tobacco and they are not packed with anything else ;)

Daz
 

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Interesting point Matt, and yes I have seen people smoking a cigarette while doing their kit checks.

I have even seen someone take a drag, stick their reg in their mouth blow the smoke out and then check their reg.  I kid you not....

Daz

P.S,  I give you my word that the picture really is a cup of tea and there is not a shot of anything in it.  

(Edited by daz at 10:58 am on Jan. 29, 2003)
 

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Personally, I'm not concerned in the slightest about this.

You say that you are not a moralist, but the word 'reprehensible' is dripping with moral connotations.

There are many factors that increase the risk of DCS including age.  Do you stop diving when you get old?

The risks (of DCS) caused by a hangover is due to dehydration which can be mitigated by drinking plenty of water.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to risk and I believe that we are all responsible for the level of risk that we accept.  If I fancy drinking and smoking into the night, then that's up to me.

Of course, if you don't want to dive with a buddy for whatever reason then you don't have to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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" I've got to agree with your point BUT it's up to others how they prepare for diving."
Can't agree, Gavin. Anybody who dives with a hangover and without a good night's sleep is putting not only himself and his buddy but everybody else on the boat at risk. After all, they may be called upon to rescue him.
"Yes you're right that dehydration can be a major contributor to DCI "
It's not just the dehydration that's dangerous. Large quantities of alcohol have all sorts of other deleterious effects that increase the risk of DCI.
"and it's not a good idea to booze before a dive but hands up who has never had a drink the night before a dive. "
I'm not saying you shouldn't have a drink the night before a dive (I frequently do), just that you shouldn't have so many as to give you a hangover.
Finally, Bren clearly admits in his report to being badly hungover and his general cock-up of a dive shows that he was, whatever impression you may have got. I can't believe that Bren, with his long experience, dives like that when he's sober.
 

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"There are many factors that increase the risk of DCS including age.  Do you stop diving when you get old?"
Not true! There is no evidence whatsoever that the risk of DCI increases with age. That's just one of many myths about factors that increrase the risk of DCI, which is fortunate from my point of view as I'll be 65 next birthday. As regards the argument that it's up to you whether or not to get drunk the night before a dive, see my answer to Gavin.
 

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Do you really believe it isn't a problem?  Or that you can fully rehydrate by drinking water just before the dive?

If you check out the following URL there is a report that gives some evidence tot he contrary.

http://www.daneurope.org/eng/dan_report_1994.pdf

It states that Pre-Dive fatigue or lack of sleep was reported in 35% of all incidents from DAN USA 1992 and that alcohol use (primarily the night before) was "consisent and significant".

On the following site you can read the next quote -
<a href="http://www.hyperchamber.com/decompression_illness/#drinking

"The" target="_blank">http://www.hyperchamber.com/decompr....uot;The</a> effects of alcohol on co-ordination, consciousness and mental reasoning are well documented and have obvious implications in the ability of a diver to carry out the tasks necessary for a safe dive. This reduction in ability also applies to a 'hangover'."

Alcohol will increase the chances of developing nitrogen narcosis due to the depressant effect on the central nervous system. As with any CNS condition, intoxication following a dive will potentially mask some of the symptoms.

Alcohol is also a powerful diuretic that will increase urine output and promote dehydration during diving - one of the risk factors in DCS."

I just can't see how it is possibly worth adding to the risk, after all, as divers we take precautions in many other complicated and expensive ways to avoid getting bent and then succumb because of a few bevvies!



(Edited by Lou at 11:25 am on Jan. 29, 2003)
 

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They probably werent hungover they were probably still drunk!!!!

I guess its knowing your limits, not being silly and the nature / complexity of the dive. 15m at abbs is different to a 50m wreck dive somewhere, I cant see anyone drinking the night before a complex dive. I know all diving can be dangerous at any depth, etc, but people who are sober and take every care can still mess up or bend, see the BSAC incident reports. You have to be careful but stuff still happens. Thats the nature and danger of water.

Besides different people have different tolerences to alchol,get dehydrated to different levels and hungover to different levels.
 

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So Ben - still coming north this w/e.

Whisky and diving? We can toast John and Bren and Dave.

BTW John I've never seen Bren sober so can't comment on his sober diving abilities!

... Hey I'm kidding ok!
 

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"They probably weren't hungover, they were probably still drunk!!!! "
I suspect you're right.
"I guess its knowing your limits, not being silly and the nature / complexity of the dive. 15m at abbs is different to a 50m wreck dive somewhere, I can't see anyone drinking the night before a complex dive. I know all diving can be dangerous at any depth, etc, but people who are sober and take every care can still mess up or bend, see the BSAC incident reports. You have to be careful but stuff still happens. Thats the nature and danger of water."
I agree about knowing your limits and not being silly but not with the rest of that statement. Of course people who are sober can get into trouble. All the more reason not to make the odds even worse. You seem to think it's OK to be just a little bit drunk if you're only going to do a 15 m dive at St Abbs. I don't! And, by the way, how do you now in advance just how complex the dive will turn out to be? You know nothing definite about the current, visibility etc until you actually do the dive.
"Besides different people have different tolerences to alchol,get dehydrated to different levels and hungover to different levels."
What's that got to do with it? Bren was sufficiently drunk/hungover to make a sow's ear of the dive, by his own admission!


(Edited by John Gulliver at 1:56 pm on Jan. 29, 2003)
 

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I didn't say it wasn't a potential problem.  I just said that as far as I'm concerned it's an individual matter.
I didn't say that you can fully re-hydrate just before a dive.  For me, clear urine indicates complete hydration and that's my guide.

Regarding DCS , here's what scuba-doc has to say:

http://www.scuba-doc.com/prvndcs.htm

Age is thought to be a factor and this is a logical assumption to make, in my opinion.
Of course there are other factors with direct evidence, for instance:

Repetitive dive

Exceeded No-decompression limits

Deep or repetitive dives using computer outside the limits of the tables or no-decompression limits

OK, hands up all those of us who have never been guilty of one of those three...
 

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John
Age is thought to be a factor but there is little data to prove that, a direct quote. I think maybe you have used a part of the page but not all of it, selective reporting perhaps. Certainly age may be a factor, but is that because older diver dive more, dive more risky profiles etc. There is little evidence to support either position really. There is nothing an older diver can do to reduce his age, improve fitness etc, yes. You can however reduce your alcohol consumption before and after a dive. Which route will you take when you get old, may I ask? It also stated sex (more frequently in women) - Oh thats it then no sex or alcohol before a dive. I hope the ladies on here are going to be celibate pre-dive as well.
MAtt


(Edited by MATTBIN at 1:13 pm on Jan. 29, 2003)
 
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