Re: More discouraging news about helium.

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Posted by John Walker on April 16, 2001 at 18:57:59:

In Reply to: Re: More discouraging news about helium. posted by Steve on April 14, 2001 at 20:51:01:

Sorry to jump into this conversation a tad late but I just now stoped laughing (and crying) after reading Karls Shreeves article,The Trouble with Trimix. I rarely speak of technical diving on this list because I don't feel it needs to be of interest to most of you. But I also feel a need to speakout when I see something as dangerous and irresponsible as I feel this was. So I would like to quote a couple of lines from Karl with a couple of questions and comments. I also hope Karl can reply.

Karl: In training tek divers, many instructors prefer air/EANx so they can assist a student with depth contol problems and have less bubble trouble concerns.

Walker: Why not teach fundamental buoyancy and trim controlling skills before you take a tek student to such depths?

Karl: All-trimix proponents say narcosis creates a false sense of security, and it can in the untrained, unwary diver.

Walker: Does this mean that it does not create a false sense of security in a trained diver?

Karl: However, trimix also creates a false sense of security for thoughs who believe it will eliminate human error or who dismiss the added decompression risks.

Walker: Even if trimix reduces human error wouldn't that put more odds in the favor of a diver who is reducing narcosis by incorporating helium? There are also several decompression advantages that seem to be missing from Karls article like the lack of retainment is tissue, and the possibility of red blood cell rigidity. Not to mention the decrease of CO2 caused by restricted breathing from a diatomic gas such as notrogen

Karl: As mentioned, virtually the entire tek community agrees that overhead environments (cave or wreck) deeper than 130feet always call for trimix.

Walker: I was alway told that if you can not directlt ascend to the surface that it was concidered an overhead envionment. Why would we have to think any differently when it is not feasable to ascent beyond a decompression ceiling?

Karl: The wise diver uses the right tool for the job.

Walker: I would have to agree. And if a diver is going to venture into environments which increase their risk of survival, such a in a cave, wreck or deep, they will require the proper equipment, training and resources (such as helium and money)or they should NOT do the dive. No dive is worth your life.
If we train divers to do such dives with out the simple fundamentals, which are missing from all main stream training agencies then we should not be taking divers into such hazardous environments. Buoyancy issues need to be resolved before divers are hand held on these types of dives Karl. Safety has to come before profit. Not everyone need to become a tech diver. And if PADI is going to try to promote technical diving and is worried that they will loose customers because of the cost of doing it right by buying helium then they need to take a back seat before they kill someone.
PADI was apposing enriched air nitrox just a few years ago and now they are embracing it with a cute little catch phrase, tek diving. Is this because they saw a buck in it or are they truly interested in diver safety.
Our sport needs some changes. And the quality of training need to be picked up. If instructors and agencies can't train divers properly then their is no need for them. The greed from equipment manufacturers, retail store and agencies is killing divers. Please STOP!

John Walker

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