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PADI AOW - Narcosis Training?

Discussion in 'Q and A for Scuba Certification Agencies' started by Raystafarian, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. Raystafarian

    Raystafarian Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Yokohama, Japan
    I do not enjoy the PADI eLearning thing, I don't have any of the course materials for my recent course(s), but I still have all the manuals from my beginning courses. Anyway, I'm a bit unclear about the narcosis section for Advanced Open Water.

    I've completed my AOW and my maximum depth during the course was 78ft (~24m). I do not recall doing any exercises during AOW that had me timing the length that a task took me to do on the surface vs at depth. I'm unclear if I should have had that experience.

    I know narcosis is effective at different depths for different people, but I have no understanding of what the onset of narcosis (or just the effect of depth) actually (measurably) feels like - should I? I've since descended to 84ft (~25.5m), but I'm not sure I'd be comfortable descending 30m.
  2. BRT

    BRT Orca

    I think you will find narcosis affects you differently in different conditions and temperatures and at different workloads as much as at different depths.
    northernone, Steve_C and Bob DBF like this.
  3. Bowers

    Bowers Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ohio
    it is good to see data on your personal effects. but when i did mine to 80ft there was no change in time to solve math problems. if you want to do it then do it. no need for an instructor, just a good buddy, timer, slate and deep enough water.
  4. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    The PADI deep dive for AOW used to have divers do timed exercises on the surface and at depth for comparison, but it has not had that requirement for years. The primary reason is that in far too many cases, perhaps the majority, the divers did better at depth than on the surface, possibly because doing it on the surface first gave them some practice that helped them do it better at depth. The result was that dvers got a learning experience that was the opposite of what was intended.

    Narcosis happens to different people in different ways at different depths. Narcosis happens to the same person in different ways at different depths on different dives. I have dived at depths associated with narcosis many, many times. I have had some experiences with noticeable narcotic effects on a couple of occasions, but most times I have been to even deeper depths with no noticeable signs of impairment.

    With that degree of unpredictability, it is really impossible to make any useful exercises part of a course while you are still at recreational depths.
  5. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    The timed task is still part of the PADI Deep Diver specialty but on dive #3, which is often to 130 ft. Narcosis may show itself at that depth, but not necessarily.
  6. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    And on different days, your personal susceptibility can change dramatically.

    The real issue is understanding that you are impaired, the the amount of impairment you are experiencing, and what is needed to mitigate that impairment. I learned this from mentors a considerable time ago, and actually how to deal with narcosis was not really covered in the Deep class I took.

  7. Raystafarian

    Raystafarian Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Yokohama, Japan
    All right, so it seems just being aware of what to pay attention to is probably as much preparation you can do, aside from always being aware of your depth and etc? Thanks!
  8. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO

    The only times I have ever been aware of narcosis was when I realized I was being even more stupid than normal.
  9. mmerriman

    mmerriman Captain

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Boston MA
    the timed exercise was a standard on deep dive 1 and AOW deep dive for a long time. Maybe 8 years ago it was moved to a later dive and replaced with "look at the pretty colors".
  10. divinh

    divinh Photographer

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco
    I was first given the problem at depth, then on the surface. Of course I solved the problem faster on the surface, but it wasn't clear to me whether I had impairment below or because I encountered the problem already at depth.

    My main problem is that I've never been drunk, so it's unclear to me what the described "drunk" feeling is like. I felt the same at depth.

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