Scuba Diving and Coronavirus
COVID-19 Prevention and Recommendation for Scuba Diving
Following the recommendations by DAN- Divers Alert Network and the WHO, we would like for you to stay safe during this pandemic. As we were not been able to enjoy the thing we love, we can be prepared for it when we get back after Corona.
These recommendations were made on May 15th, 2020 with the scientific/medical knowledge available at that time.
They are likely to be modified in the light of the evolution of knowledge and discoveries on COVID-19.
The Basic Corona Virus Protective Measures
- Wash hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Maintain a social distance of at least 1 m, and avoid direct contact with other people.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Make sure you and the people around you follow good respiratory hygiene. and make sure when you cough or sneeze to be into your elbow or a tissue and dispose of the tissue right away.
- The CDC recommends wearing a cloth face-covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Legally required here in Qatar.
Protective Measures in Diving
- It is recommended to use your own equipment for your personal safety.
- If the Equipment been exchanged, loaned, and/or rented it should be very carefully disinfected, especially when it comes into contact with the face, eyes, or mouth.
- Disinfect your Equipment at home.
List of Equipment that should be disinfected includes but is not limited to:
- Second stage regulator mouthpiece and inside
- BCD oral inflator
How to Properly Disinfect Your Dive Gear Against COVID-19
With the current threat and the fact that it can survive for a few hours on metal surfaces, disinfecting common areas and regularly used items are very important. Disinfecting your own Scuba Equipment has never been this important.
For more information about choosing a disinfectant, go to Disinfection of Scuba Equipment and COVID-19 on the DAN website. When using any type of disinfectant, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use. Follow this with rinsing the equipment in freshwater, and allow the equipment to dry completely before use.
Note- Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are incompatible with oxygen-enriched gases.
How you should disinfect your dive Equipment Against COVID-19
- Use a solution of 1% aqueous solution of sodium hypochlorite (bleach) with an application time of more than 15 minutes.
- Make sure you thoroughly soak and dip every part, so the solution reaches everywhere.
- Rinse thoroughly with fresh water and make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Please note that
- Common antibacterial and chlorhexidine mouthwashes or sprays might not be effective to disinfect the coronavirus.
- Hot soapy water might be ineffective too but maybe when it is hotter than 40 degrees and applied for more than 20 minutes.
- Approved surface disinfection products might not be effective to disinfect diving equipment but only good for general cleaning.
Ri-Cristel Bezuidenhout PADI IDC Staff Instructor / RAID Open Water Instructor