WHAT LIES BENEATH: Diving to deeper depths has its own set of wonders.
WHAT LIES BENEATH: Diving to deeper depths has its own set of wonders. Contributed

Technical dives can go deeper to 100m

THE sport of scuba diving has been around for well over 60 years.

During that time, recommended depths have been agreed upon by the international training agencies which have proved very successful.

When a diver completes initial training, he is qualified to dive to 18m. With additional training, a diver can dive to 40m. Most recreational dives take place between 15 and 30m.

The boom in international travel has meant the training agencies had to come up with programs which could satisfy those divers wanting to explore shipwrecks in deep water.

Technical diving covers training beyond 40m down to 100m. Divers can dive to 50m on normal compressed air but beyond 50m, divers breathe a mixture of gases including helium.

A big concern for divers going deep is nitrogen narcosis.

This creates a feeling of well-being which the diver has to control.

Jacques Cousteau called it the "raptures of the deep".

To overcome this big safety issue, technical divers replace some of the nitrogen in the gas mixture with helium.

Paul Leslie - a world expert on technical training - has been on the Sunshine Coast this week training local instructors in the art of teaching tech diving courses.



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