How Deep Can You Scuba Dive?
Scuba diving has dramatically increased in popularity over the last 20 years. And about one million divers are achieving certification annually. Developing trends excite divers into exploring deeper into the ocean depths.
So, how deep can you scuba dive? Read on…
Maximum Depths Explained
Recreational scuba diving organisations set guidelines for certified, experienced divers. These calculations are based on partial pressure of oxygen and percentage of oxygen in the tank multiplied by 10.05 metres.
For example, with common breathing gases using a partial oxygen pressure of 1.4, the maximum operating depth is:
- Air – 21% oxygen – MOD is 56.99 metres
- Nitrox 32 – 32% oxygen – MOD is 33.83 metres
- Nitrox 36 – 36% oxygen – MOD is 28.95 metres
- Pure oxygen – 100% oxygen – MOD is 3.96 metres
Any dive deeper than 20 metres is classed as a deep dive. In recreational diving, the maximum depth limit is 40 metres. In technical diving, a dive deeper than 60 metres is classified as a deep dive.
There are more risks when diving at greater depths and these include:
- Rapid ascent causing decompression sickness
- Excess nitrogen affecting vision, and producing dizziness and disorientation
- Consuming more air as you go deeper due to increasing pressure
- Oxygen toxicity due to fatigue, cold, and narcosis
- Blackouts, convulsions, and possible drowning if the threshold is overreached
Your first deep dive should be under the supervision of a deep dive instructor. And you’ll need to achieve an Advanced Open Water dive certificate to ensure you’re trained to dive up to 30 metres.
After this successful certification, you can take the Technical Diving course. On completion of this, your dive depth will increase to 40 metres at sea level. This is considered to be the appropriate limit for single-cylinder no-stop diving with air. And the depth which most divers begin to notice gas narcosis.
Pushing the Limits
See answers to some frequently asked questions…
How deep can a human dive with scuba gear?
The deepest scuba dive ever was achieved by Ahmed Gabr, reaching 332.23 metres on 18 September 2014. This is a new world record for the deepest scuba dive, according to Guinness World Records. And took place in the Red Sea, with a team of nine divers, technicians, and medical staff.
How deep can a scuba diver go?
The official maximum depth recommended for scuba divers is 40 metres. This limit is set due to the risk of oxygen toxicity that can occur at high pressures.
How deep can a human dive before being crushed?
In 1947 French diver Maurice Fargues died when trying to establish a safe diving limit. At approximately 120 metres he scratched his signature on a rock. Then he lost consciousness and his life.
How deep can scuba divers go?
Some recreational scuba divers can dive as deep as 66 metres. Equipment needs to be adapted depending on the depth of the dive. This may comprise of:
- Larger volumes of breathing gas
- Use of helium-based breathing gases
- Rebreathers to manage gas
- Decompression trapezes and buoys
- Atmospheric diving suits
- Computers and regulators
There are plenty of reasons to dive deep, but you need to have a thorough knowledge of deep-sea diving limitations and these cover:
- A dive depth of no more than 40 metres at sea level
- Longer immersion times
- A distant or inaccessible surface
- An overhead environment
- The use of technical dive equipment including configuration of dive extras
- Correct mix of Nitrox and other gases
- Accelerated decompression
Explore a Beautiful Underwater World
When you go scuba diving with Koox safety is paramount. You’ll be guided through a scuba certification path with courses and manuals provided. Theory and practice with dive masters will ensure you’ll get to see magical natural wonders. You’ll have the adventure of a lifetime. Be able to explore secret deep reefs and wrecks. And be kept safe.