MAN­AG­ING DIVER PANIC

Scuba Diver Australasia - - Perspectives -

IT’S DIS­TRESS­ING WATCH­ING

any­one in a state of panic. Would you know how to recog­nise panic in an­other diver? Do you have the skills to help a buddy pan­ick­ing at depth?

Panic is a sud­den over­whelm­ing fear, with or with­out cause, that pro­duces hys­ter­i­cal or ir­ra­tional be­hav­iour. Panic can be ac­tive, where the diver be­comes ag­gres­sive and task fo­cused, or pas­sive, where the diver freezes and be­comes to­tally in­ac­tive.

At depth, with­out in­ter­ven­tion, th­ese ir­ra­tional behaviours can be dan­ger­ous and some­times fa­tal. The trig­gers of panic can be phys­i­cal, such as sea­sick­ness or a leak­ing mask, or psy­cho­log­i­cal.

Part of the DAN Asia Pa­cific team. From left, Mel, Cyn­thia, Julie, John, Heidi, Scott, Haili, Anny, Adam, Sim

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