A quick thought about deep stops

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Posted by MHK on March 17, 2008 at 21:34:41:

I've advocated for the use of deep stops for a long period of time so I wanted to pass along a personal experience that I hope resonates for many of you. Saturday we did a 150' dive at the rigs. We saw conditions deteriorating so we reduced the average depth of the planed dive to 130' and adjusted the dive on the fly. As such, we felt it prudent to "clean up" at depth, ie; use deep stops and extend our deeper deco stops.

One of the benefits of cleaning up at depth is should something happen shallow you are in a much better shape then had you followed a basic Buhlman model which would be to assume you are increasing deco time at depth, and thereby requiring additional and/or longer stops at the 20' & 10' stops.

With that said, we pulled into our 20' stop and the swells had increased rather dramatically, and despite our best efforts to hold position it became nearly impossible and we resorted to holding on to the rigs to keep somewhere near our desired depth, at one point conditions became so difficult that I was pulled from my "hold" on the rig and went from 18' directly to the surface as a result of conditions. As I noted, we adjusted our profile at depth and suffered no adverse effects as a result of missing several minutes of what would have been more desirable deco time.

Anyway, just wanted to pass along some food for thought.


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