The magic of 130

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Posted by Diver Z on June 24, 2006 at 22:50:33:

In Reply to: Re: Re: Can we try this again? posted by msblucow on June 24, 2006 at 11:53:31:

I'd be interested to know when and how 130 feet got designated as the maximum depth for recreational diving. I was just thumbing through my copy of the 1975 "Sport Diver Manual" by Jeppesen, and nowhere is 130 feet mentioned as any kind of threshold. In the chapter on "Depth and Time Limits" it says, "It is suggested that sport divers limit diving to depths of less than 100 feet. Deeper diving requires extensive training and more sophisticated equipment than a certified sport diver may have." But the tables shown throughout the book are U.S. Navy, and show bottom times for depths up to 190 feet. Also, in a later chapter there is discussion of a hypothetical "Master Diver" making a brief dive to 160 feet, with an NDL of 5 minutes.

I'd propose that the dividing line between recreational and technical diving isn't so much related to the specific depth, but rather whether you go into deco or not. If your diving requires decompression stops (beyond the usual "minimum deco" of safety stop, any deep stops for safety's sake, etc), then you're doing technical diving.

I personally wouldn't dive to 150 (or even 130) on air. Maybe the divers who like to do so are unusually narcosis-resistant.

There's also a good case to be made that diving to that depth using a single tank is risky. Not to mention doing it solo.

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