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Thread: "Controversial" article on apnea

  1. #1
    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    "Controversial" article on apnea

    it's long, but very good.
    Probably not popular with many divers, but helpful for aspiring apneists who think they should be able to "train up" to do 30m deep dives and hold their breath for 5 minutes or some such.

    Be reasonable, don't let record numbers fool you, and stay safe.

    https://www.jp-petit.org/dangers/danger_eng/apnea_eng/apnea.htm

  2. #2
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    Thank you for that interesting article. Perhaps it might save my life. I am a scuba diver, who also does moderate free diving with monofin, as well as frequently uses breath hold to go down and find dropped items and check things underwater in our boatyard here where my boat is docked. While I excercise restraint and don't push long limits, I will confess I push to do recovery dives out of a sense of honor, even when very tired. Here in southern CT USA the water is cool to cold much of the year, with only a couple months in 70s . I have retrieved items in 34 degree water holding breath. I was very interested to read the impact of tiredness and coldstress on freedivers, particularly the role of tiredness possibly correlating with fainting. It gives me pause and makes me think a lightweight tank & regulator is far safer than a cold tired freedive to go down and find lost keys, boatparts, phones, glasses, etc.

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  3. #3
    Wow thanks Echidna! That was a great read. This really helps add to my 'healthy' fear of diving.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    You're both very welcome.

    And Caine, please don't let it stop you from doing your diving, BUT make sure that you have someone with you watching, so in case something happens, they can rescue you.
    (I know having at least one buddy or spotter is rule number one regardless, but that's often inconvenient.)

    For me personally, it was interesting to realize (though I've read discussions like this earlier on diving forums) that "extending" your natural body breathhold isn't really possible.
    Yes, you can minimize oxygen usage through certain techniques, but there is just a normal limit to it, and everything beyond is just fooling your body- and that is when it becomes risky.
    And almost all apnoe courses and schools go well beyond that threshold.

    I know I'll stick to my routine of staying within the natural limit, especially when I'm tired or unwell.

  5. #5
    I would like to counter this article:


    For starters this article is fairly old, and while educated, I feel the author is not a freediver and may not truly understand the current science behind freediving.


    I do like how the article starts showing a little bit of history behind freediving. It's true freediving has a wonderful history reaching far into the past ( water gypsies, Ama divers, Sponge divers) . possible so far into our past it helped us evolve into the hairless ape we are today ( Aquatic ape theory Decent of Woman by Elain Morgan) .


    The first problem I saw: " - the last one consists in doing a hyper-ventilation before a dive. To increase the time of an apnea dive, the third way is by far the most efficient" .

    Currently Hyperventilation is heavily frowned upon in nearly all schools, organizations, and the freediving community. Infact new science has shown that while it makes the breath hold less uncomfortable, it actually becomes less efficient for your red blood cells to capture and hold Oxygen due to the Bores effect.


    In current freediving, learning how to breath to bring you into a meditated states, that slows your heart rate, is emphasized.



    "Why are you able to hold out such a long time without breathing?
    It's not so much because you've loaded the blood with oxygen as because you've impoverished it in carbon dioxide"
    .


    No, all humans are able to hold their breaths for long periods of time ( 3-4 minutes) because of the Mammalian dive reflex. Among other things this reflex slows the heart rate further and causes spleen contractions. The spleen releases more red blood cells into your blood effectively giving you more o2. Lung size doesn't really play much of an effect as most diving marine mammals dive on exhales. I'm sure you've noticed yourself having longer breath holds as you spend more time in the water. My first dive is always bad compared to my third or fourth dive. This is because of your spleen and the MDR


    "But the solo apnea dive at a great depth is nothing else than Russian roulette."

    YES! PLEASE NEVER HOLD YOUR BREATH UNDERWATER ALONE. NEVER MERMAID ALONE! Like the author I know many people who have died from diving alone. Mostly Spearfishermen who have not been properly trained. They wear too much weight, maybe even hyperventilate and black out and sink back to the bottom of the ocean. If you ever take a freediving course they will drill that freediving is a very safe sport as long as you always dive with a buddy. This is because part of the MDR are functions that act as a safety net, such laryngeal spasms that keep the airways closed after a black out until you have reached the surface.


    "Great depth apnea is not a sport but a bloody stupid thing" .

    The sport of apnea actually is pretty safe. One death in an Aida competition. compare that to other sports, it's a pretty mild risk. Every year the sport is getting safer. Part of this article refers to a discipline called no limits. now banned by both CMAS and AIDA.


    In a response to your comment. Your breath hold can be trained to go beyond what you are currently at. Learning how to breath properly, Slowly training your body to a higher Co2 tolerance, and slowly training your body for a greater hypoxia tolerance.






    To conclude


    Yes freediving is dangerous if you do not know the proper ways to enjoy the underwater world. If you are pushing breath holds or depth, it's best to take a course and ALWAYS train and dive with a buddy. But freediving is not a "Blood Sport". The human body is more than capable of freediving due to physiological adaptation created from the Mammalian dive reflex. This reflex and the bodies tolerance can be strengthened by training. I my opinion avoiding freediving and its techniques push you further away from the truth of mermaiding
    Last edited by Derek Broussard; 10-16-2017 at 02:17 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pod of Cali Merman Storm's Avatar
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    Here is another cautionary article.
    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nati...206816214.html

    Scary that most of the deaths occurred even though there was a lifeguard and/or buddy present.
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    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    the article states they believe the victims hyperventilated prior, but regardless:

    for any attempt at "extending" breathhold, a lifeguard on duty is not enough, there needs to be a spotter, even better when he's with you in the water constantly watching with a snorkel/mask.
    Even then, it might take them a bit to realize you've already lost consciousness if you're one of those static apneists sitting/lying at the bottom.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Pod of Cali Merman Storm's Avatar
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    The hyperventilation is defiantly an issue. For myself, I've noticed that if my breath-up is too long, too many breaths, I can get quite light-headed in the first few seconds of the hold. As a result, I do a limited breath-up, and stick to my regimen.

    Also, I wonder about the statistics. How often does someone doing apnea lose consciousness? If they do so, how often does it result in injury or death? For example, with skydiving, I once heard that your chute fails in about 1 in 1000 uses, and the backup about as often. The chance of the double failure is one in a million. (This was awhile ago, I'm sure current numbers are different.) Even then the failed chutes still make drag and you can land without dying.

    Are there any equivalent numbers for free diving?
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merman Storm View Post
    Are there any equivalent numbers for free diving?
    http://divewise.org/education/freedi...ut/statistics/

    most incidents (90%) seem to happen in the ocean, only around 3% in lakes or pools.
    around 50 fatal cases annually, and one third of that more on top where the diver could be reanimated.
    Most common trigger hyperventilation.

    The figures regarding gender are obviously skewed, because the vast majority of apneists/spearfishers are male.
    I'm willing to bet men also engage in more risky, competitive behaviour, while women tend to do it more for relaxation, fun, and swimming with animals.

    and yea, most victims HAD a buddy. So...dive at your own risk?
    Last edited by Echidna; 03-26-2018 at 02:34 PM.

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