Risk of Freediving | DeeperBlue.com Forums
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Risk of Freediving

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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feign

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2003
460
54
118
I just wanted to get some feedback from those of you who are experienced in this sport. I have always loved water sports and have a great desire to learn and train more in freediving. I understand the risk of freediving from a physiological standpoint. That being said I am approaching my interest in this sport with great respect and caution. Although, the more I read it seems like there are a lot of people who end up not coming back from a dive. How common are fatalities in this sport? If it is as risky as it seems, should I really be freediving? I don't mean this in a negative sense, but if someone was to tell me I would probably have a 50/50 chance of having a shallow water blackout in the next 10years if I actively freedive - then maybe I would reconsider how seriously I get into this sport. I have a wife and new son, and don't want to leave them just to satisfy my desire to dive into the depths.

I know there are guidlines to follow to improve safety (eg. never dive alone, know your own limits, dive only when healthy etc.). Is all the emphasis I read in the postings on safety and risks a way to ensure safe diving or is it really more a disclaimer on the deathwish that all freedivers have?

I hope that I don't offend anyone by these questions, but I really am taking my interest in this sport seriously and would really appreciate feedback from those who have experience.

I know you probably can't give me exact statistics, but any info on how many people you know who have had fatal dives or have you had any close calls yourself that would help me better understand, would really be helpful. Even if you can only write a one liner, it would be great to get as many comments as possible.

Thanks very much for reading this long post. Regards.
 

bluecape

Well-Known Member
Apr 21, 2003
574
164
83
Hiya Feign

In terms of freediving experience, I'm not qualified to answer your question as such, but from someone who is also new to the sport, and also married with a 4 year old kid, I can only tell you about my parameters.

Firstly, I do'nt dive alone. When I found a freedive buddy, I found someone who ALWAYS looks over his shoulder to see where I am, and what I'm up to. And he's qualified to help if I get into trouble.
From other adventure sports, listen to your gut, and your heart. If it's not a good day for you be in the water, your gut will tell you. Learn to know the signs.
I always dive to well within my limits, NO HYPERVENT, and I always make sure I'm on the acsent before I start to get uncomfortable. ( That time may extend as I get more experience at deeper divers with safety in place, ie, a comp).
The deeper I go, the more conservative I get with bottom time.
Shallow water blackout is one of the few things I know of which offers no warning. That scares me %$#&less, but because of that, I respect the sport.

In short..i NEVER TURN ANY FREEDIVE INTO A CHALLENGE, FOR WHATEVER REASON...JUST FUN !

Good luck, enjoy it.
 

immerlustig

BlueSkunk
Aug 17, 2002
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hi

there are some fatalities i've read about, most of which occured when the diver was pushing it for whatever reason.

but i do know quite a few people personally, who, in their ambitions to go deeper, hurt themselves. most common are lung injuries (lung squeeze).
and then there are all those bo/sambas. which i do see as a serious risk that should be avoided at all costs. unfortunately the presence of safety divers gives many divers the idea that nothing can happen. which is not necessarily true.

that's why i strongly encourage everyone to receive as much safety related training as possible. practise regularly with your buddy. don't get sloppy. and still, dive within your limits. i like bluecapes statements.

there will alwyas be a remaing risk, but i don't really think it's bigger than getting hit by a falling tree.

just my ideas.

cheers

roland

:cool:
 

OceanSwimmer

Well-Known Member
Nov 3, 2002
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feign, Welcome to DeeperBlue! I'm a newbie, and one of the strong points of this site is the wealth of information and resources about safety.
I would suggest you read as much as you can about the sport and jump on w/your questions here, either on the 'open' forum or via PM to one of the Mentors who are experienced freedivers. Depending on where you live, any freediving clubs are a wonderful local resource.

Don't be shy! I feel like I've rained questions on these folks and they've been helpful and supportive.
Another great option for topics is the 'search' tool.

Enjoy and be safe...and again, welcome aboard.
OceanSwimmer
 

SpearSlinger1

New Member
Dec 20, 2002
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No activity is risk free. What you have to do is educate yourself of the hazards of the activity, and while those hazards cannot be eliminated, you can take steps and set procedures to mitigate them to a point where you feel comfortable that the risk is acceptable.:)
 

M-2

New Member
Jun 28, 2002
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Just my quick 2 cents, but I think that fatalities with freediving are perceived differently than with other activities because it goes against the norm. Most people can't imagine why you would rather go hold your breath underwater instead of going to the bar or playing golf. Sports like rock climbing, sky diving, and freediving typically get press only when something bad happens. I would bet you run a higher risk of traveling to your favorite dive spot than you do actually diving when you get there. Just know your limits, as bluecape said, keep it fun, and know how to dive safely. There's a lot on this site about competition, but you don't have to compete to get a lot out of freediving. Someone had a great quote on here that goes, "Scuba divers dive into the ocean, freedivers dive into themselves." To get in touch with the 'zen' of freediving doesn't mean you have to push the limits.

To all of the newbies out there, welcome to DB! Freediving is a great way of life. Enjoy!

-M
 

feign

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2003
460
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Thanks for all of your comments guys, I really appreciate it.
 

icarus pacific

Human-in-training
Nov 7, 2001
2,880
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Freediving certainly presents it's share of opportunities to hurt oneself but the rewards at least in my memory, have very much exceeded those from any other activity. The degree that you wish to take it are yours alone and by taking it slow and getting a feel and real educationa along the way, your safety and the richness that you'll gain from diving are better met.

Freediving for numbers is a big thing up there where you're at and a quick thumb through the phone book for a dive shop and a club will do you great rewards.
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2002
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Originally posted by M-2
Just my quick 2 cents, but I think that fatalities with freediving are perceived differently than with other activities because it goes against the norm. Most people can't imagine why you would rather go hold your breath underwater instead of going to the bar or playing golf. Sports like rock climbing, sky diving, and freediving typically get press only when something bad happens. I would bet you run a higher risk of traveling to your favorite dive spot than you do actually diving when you get there. .....
-M
Great comment!

I have been freediving since 1969 and I always entered into critical situations when I stopped to listen to my instinct. The paradox with extreme sports: people who practice them (usually) live longer and healthier lives than the passive majority (as long as they don't loose repect).

1. accidents happen when people least expect them. We get familiar with travelling speeds above 160km/h (100 mph) not knowing that this is as fast as a free fall from a height of 100mt. Car accidents are never anticipated as much as freediving accidents.

2. accidents are the result of an accumulation of adverse circumstances. Imagine somebody wants to go freediving while he is unaware that his immune system is fighting a cold (symptoms are still hidden). On top of that he has a rough sea. Someboy may tell him to take it easy, but still he wants to go diving! Somebody else may have had a rough boat ride before he went diving, ...

3. never dive alone. It has been said a million times but it cannot be emphasized often enough. Have a trustworthy buddy with You. When I couldn't find a regular buddy for the last three years (inspite of institutionalized freediving in Austria) I resorted to some other adventures and it was very rewarding. Now I am slowly reconnecting with freedivers via the internet and I find greater joy than ever in freediving.
Briefly: we are better off doing something else than to dive alone, especially when we go below our comfort zone.

Please see also my post on freediving alone

Have safe and pleasant dives

cheers
Gerald
 
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