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Nitrox Diving: A Safe and Enjoyable Method for Longer Diving Activities

A Safe and Enjoyable Nitrox Diving Method

Diving activities are enjoyable as part of a vacation or even as a hobby. Nitrox diving is one of the most popular types of scuba diving.

But several questions often arise: Is diving with nitrox safe? Especially for beginners who are still learning how to use diving equipment. In order not to misunderstand, you should first learn about diving with nitrox.

Before diving into the details, let’s talk about nitrox diving. It’s a type of scuba diving that uses a different gas mix, giving you more time underwater and less time to wait between dives. Now, let’s explore what nitrox diving is all about.

What is Nitrox Diving?

Scuba diving and diving with nitrox are two things that are almost the same. Divers must wear full clothing and also carry oxygen cylinders. This is where the difference is in the contents of the oxygen cylinder for diving.

Tubes in scuba diving activities are divided into two types, namely 21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen. The contents of the scuba oxygen cylinder are less, whereas, in nitrox diving, the amount of oxygen is more than 21% or generally 32% with 68% nitrogen.

For the sake of distinguishing the type of tube, the nitrox cylinder has a green and yellow sticker mark. The maximum limit of oxygen in nitrous oxide cylinders is 40%. In addition to the sticker on the outside of the tube, the date of filling and the amount of the mixture are also printed.

Advantages of Diving with Nitrox

Paying attention to the greater amount of oxygen content, of course, there are several advantages offered by nitrox diving. Here are the advantages it presents:

1. Longer Dive Time

Until now, the limited dive time due to the low amount of oxygen in the cylinder was still a problem. You may not be able to dive long enough to reach deeper areas.

Even though there may still be many areas that you want to explore, even though you have gone up and dove again, the air is still lacking. The air in the tube is not much different from the amount of air inhaled.
Therefore, considering the amount of oxygen in the tube is higher, the dive time can be longer. You can explore wider areas. Whether it’s listening to coral reefs or deep-sea fish,

2. Less Surface Time

Another advantage offered is the matter of dive intervals. When diving with nitrox, divers do not need to spend more time on the surface so they can dive again. The reason is that divers will only absorb less nitrogen.

So that they can increase their diving activities in one day by waiting on the surface for a short period of time. It doesn’t take long to remove nitrogen from the body. Given this, more and more areas can be explored in one day.

3. Reducing Diving Fatigue

Nitrox diving also provides the advantage of reducing fatigue in diving activities. When doing scuba diving, the feeling of fatigue usually appears faster and feels stronger.

The reason is still not known for certain but is thought to be due to an increase in oxygen and a decrease in nitrogen levels. So far, many divers have acknowledged that fatigue is reduced after using nitrox.

4. Long, repeated base hits

As per the number one advantage, diving with nitrox allows divers to do longer diving activities, and repeated bottom dives. First, the amount of oxygen is higher so that divers can reach the underwater bottom.

Both short surface intervals allow the diver to perform repeated dives more quickly. Divers can enjoy the underwater beauty without having to wait for long periods of time.

Nitrox Methods

There are mainly two methods used for longer diving activities with nitrox:

1. EANx Method

EANx stands for Enriched Air Nitrox. In this method, the oxygen percentage in the tank is increased before the dive, usually between 32% and 40%. By increasing the oxygen and reducing the nitrogen, you can extend your bottom time, meaning you can stay underwater longer.

2. Accelerated Decompression

When you dive deep or stay underwater for a long time, you need to decompress on your way up to avoid getting the bends. With nitrox, you can speed up this process. You switch to a nitrox mix with a higher oxygen content for your safety stops, which helps your body off-gas nitrogen more quickly.

What to Look For When Doing Nitrox Diving

Planning to do nitrox diving? If you are interested, learn some important things ahead of time so that your diving activities are safer.

1. Nitrox certification

Divers must have nitrox certification, which is obtained after going through training or learning to dive. During the training, you will learn how to analyze cylinders, the benefits and risks of diving, and how to recognize the maximum depth limit for diving.

Divers must be able to analyze how long their oxygen cylinder lasts. so that you know the maximum depth that can be reached.

Make sure you’re certified to dive with Nitrox. Not every diver is trained for this, so it’s crucial to get the proper certification.

2. Recognizing Diving Terminology

During training, diving terms must also be learned. like the alternate air source, which is a yellow backup air source on the vest. There is also the term “buoyancy compensator device,” which is a diving jacket with special air.

This term usually refers to the full suit that the diver wears, complete with instructions on how to use it. Always follow the local rules and guidelines for Nitrox diving at your chosen destination. All of these terms must be memorized because they will also be on the test.

3. Diving Equipment

Before diving, it’s crucial to ensure your equipment is set up specifically for Nitrox, as special tanks and regulators may be needed. Equally important is to know the oxygen percentage in your Nitrox mix, as this will dictate your diving depth limits. For safety, always use an oxygen analyzer to confirm the exact mix in your tank, incorrect levels can lead to complications like oxygen toxicity.

4. Get Enough Rest Before Diving

Before diving, everyone must rest sufficiently. At the very least, get a good night’s sleep at least 5 hours before. Without rest, health problems can occur, such as bleeding from the nose.

Consult a healthcare professional to make sure you are fit for diving, especially if using Nitrox, as it comes with its own set of health considerations.

5. Dive Partner

During a dive, divers may also stay on the team. Diver activities must be done in pairs, i.e. by at least two people.

It’s advisable to dive with someone who is also Nitrox certified. This way, both of you are familiar with the safety protocols specific to Nitrox diving.

6. Plan the Budget

Nitrox diving is often more expensive than air diving due to the specialized equipment and gas mix.

When you choose to go diving with Nitrox instead of regular air, you should expect to pay a bit more. The special gas mix that includes more oxygen needs special handling, and the equipment used is also specialized. These factors add to the overall cost of the dive. So, when you’re setting aside money for your diving adventure, remember to budget for the extra costs that come with Nitrox diving. Plan your budget accordingly and enjoy your underwater experience fully.

After knowing what nitrox diving is and its benefits, you can start learning it by attending training as a beginner. Immediately get a nitrox certification before starting diving activities.

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