So you’re with your friends on a boat, just hanging around, enjoying good music playing from the radio, and suddenly you guys decided to go pearl diving. You think you can handle it as a group since you’re all excellent swimmers anyway. But then you were reminded about the news you heard about the risks involved in pearl diving, so you stop to think. “What are the dangers of pearl diving?” you ask yourselves.
If safety begins at home when we’re talking about wildfires, then safety starts with you when we speak about pearl diving. Hypothermia is the condition of having an extremely and dangerously low body temperature. Since where the pearls are is where the cold water is, that means pearl divers are at risk of this condition. Hypothermia is characterized by having high blood pressure, garbled speech, shaking and blue skin, and even memory loss. And when the body’s temperature drops to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the diver may lose consciousness and damage his/her brain permanently or cause a heart attack. If you know you can’t handle cold water, then don’t force yourself.
Pearl divers are always at risk of drowning because of a blackout underwater. It’s like being trapped in a wildfire as it cuts off all the escape paths. Deep water blackout is when everything starts to become dark as you approach the surface. It turns into black as you lose consciousness. It’s when cerebral hypoxia comes in to ruin your underwater adventure. Drowning happens when a diver surfaces from a deep dive, usually more than 30 feet. Death by drowning can be the result of the swimmer not being able to regain consciousness quickly. Pearls are challenging to retrieve underwater, and divers are not exempted from this blackout.
Wild Creatures and the Environment
Pearl divers will also be exposed to unfriendly sea creatures like octopuses, jellyfish, poisonous fish, and sharks. One may not easily see what’s coming to him underwater even with a snorkel and a mask. These creatures move quickly like wildfire. You’ll never know if what you’re touching under that deep water is a venomous sea creature already. Besides, diving into rocky spots is already dangerous. Divers don’t have a map or a warning device that could alert them if there’s a stony region ahead. Divers who look for pearls may be at risk of swimming into rocks accidentally.
Learn how to survive a wildfire in an article by SurvivingPrepper.
The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society or UHMS says that when a person dives, nitrogen and oxygen dissolve into his/her body tissues. The excess nitrogen could form bubbles and then get trapped in the lungs of the diver as the diver goes back to the surface. The danger is when these bubbles enter the bloodstream, and then the diver experiences an embolism which causes dizziness, pain, hearing loss, unconsciousness, and paralysis. Pearl divers who return to the surface quickly, not giving their bodies the opportunity to diffuse the gas bubbles, will experience decompression sickness. Just as you have to follow an evacuation route when escaping a wildfire, you must also make your way to the surface safely by doing it slowly.