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Stephen M. Glass, Christopher K. Rhea, Matthew W. Wittstein, Scott E. Ross, John P. Florian and F.J. Haran

hypermetropia (ie, images become severely blurred and unfocused) and the eye loses about two-thirds of its refractive power. 13 , 14 Diving masks restore the air-to-cornea interface allowing for high underwater acuity; however, they produce a refraction at their outer surface, which results in a narrowing of

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Frédéric Lemaître, Daniel Carturan, Claire Tourny-Chollet and Bernard Gardette

Doppler ultrasonic detection of circulating venous bubbles after a scuba dive is a useful index of decompression safety in adults, since a relationship between bubbles and the risk of decompression sickness has been documented. No study, however, has investigated circulating venous bubbles in young recreational divers after their usual dives. The aim of this study was to determine whether these bubbles would be detected in children who performed a single dive without any modification in their diving habits. Ten young recreational divers (13.1 ± 2.3 years) performed their usual air dive. They were Doppler-monitored 20 min before the dive (12 ± 3 m for 26 ± 7 min) and for 60 min after surfacing, at 20-min intervals. No circulating venous bubbles were detected after the children surfaced. The results showed that during a usual shallow diving session, venous bubbles were not detected in children.

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Maurice R. Yeadon, Pui W. Kong and Mark A. King

This study used kinematic data on springboard diving performances to estimate viscoelastic parameters of a planar model of a springboard and diver with wobbling masses in the trunk, thigh, and calf segments and spring dampers acting at the heel, ball, and toe of the foot segment. A subject-specific angle-driven eight-segment model was used with an optimization algorithm to determine viscoelastic parameter values by matching simulations to four diving performances. Using the parameters determined from the matching of a single dive in a simulation of another dive resulted in up to 31% difference between simulation and performance, indicating the danger of using too small a set of kinematic data. However, using four dives in a combined matching process to obtain a common set of parameters resulted in a mean difference of 8.6%. Because these four dives included very different rotational requirements, it is anticipated that the combined parameter set can be used with other dives from these two groups.

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Kay Tetzlaff, Holger Schöppenthau and Jochen D. Schipke


It has been widely believed that tissue nitrogen uptake from the lungs during breath-hold diving would be insufficient to cause decompression stress in humans. With competitive free diving, however, diving depths have been ever increasing over the past decades.


A case is presented of a competitive free-diving athlete who suffered stroke-like symptoms after surfacing from his last dive of a series of 3 deep breath-hold dives. A literature and Web search was performed to screen for similar cases of subjects with serious neurological symptoms after deep breath-hold dives.

Case Details:

A previously healthy 31-y-old athlete experienced right-sided motor weakness and difficulty speaking immediately after surfacing from a breathhold dive to a depth of 100 m. He had performed 2 preceding breath-hold dives to that depth with surface intervals of only 15 min. The presentation of symptoms and neuroimaging findings supported a clinical diagnosis of stroke. Three more cases of neurological insults were retrieved by literature and Web search; in all cases the athletes presented with stroke-like symptoms after single breath-hold dives of depths exceeding 100 m. Two of these cases only had a short delay to recompression treatment and completely recovered from the insult.


This report highlights the possibility of neurological insult, eg, stroke, due to cerebral arterial gas embolism as a consequence of decompression stress after deep breath-hold dives. Thus, stroke as a clinical presentation of cerebral arterial gas embolism should be considered another risk of extreme breath-hold diving.

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Bernd E. Winkler, Kay Tetzlaff, Claus-Martin Muth, Klaus Paulat and Helge Hebestreit

The purpose of this study was to monitor heart rate (HR) and rhythm during open water SCUBA dives. Nine children performed 25-min open water SCUBA dives to 8 m depth. Before, during and after these dives, ECG was recorded. Compared with predive heart rate, heart rate declined by -24 ± 8% (range -36%; -15%) during the dive. In some children a further decline in HR was observed within the last minutes of the dive. Older and taller subjects and those with a high initial HR showed a more pronounced decline in HR. Furthermore singular supraventricular and ventricular extrasystoles were observed in some children. Immersion as well as facial and skin cooling presumably account for the initial decline in heart rate. A further drop in HR within the last minutes of the dive might be related to mild hypothermia. Single supraventricular and ventricular extrasystoles might occur in healthy children during dives.

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Gila Miller and Orit Taubman–Ben-Ari

This study examined, from a Terror Management Theory (TMT) perspective, the effects of death reminders on the tendency to take risks in diving. All participants (N = 124) completed Rosenberg’s self-esteem scale and a diving related self-efficacy questionnaire. Then half of them were exposed to a mortality salience induction and the other half to the control condition. The dependent variable was self-reported intentions to take risks in diving. Findings showed that mortality salience led to greater willingness to take risks in diving vs. control condition, but only among divers with low self-esteem and low diving related self-efficacy. In addition, mortality salience led to less willingness to take risks in diving vs. the control condition only for low self-esteem divers who possessed high diving related self-efficacy. However, no effects were found for high self-esteem persons. The results are discussed in view of the self-enhancing mechanisms proposed by TMT, offering practical implications regarding the need to increase divers’ self-esteem and self-efficacy as a preventive strategy.

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Joseph Hamill, Mark D. Ricard and Dennis M. Golden

A study was undertaken to investigate the changes in total body angular momentum about a transverse axis through the center of mass that occurred as the rotational requirement in the four categories of nontwisting platform dives was increased. Three skilled subjects were filmed performing dives in the pike position, with increases in rotation in each of the four categories. Angular momentum was calculated from the initiation of the dive until the diver reached the peak of his trajectory after takeoff. In all categories of dives, the constant, flight phase total body angular momentum increased as a function of rotational requirement. Increases in the angular momentum at takeoff due to increases in the rotational requirement ranged from a factor of 3.61 times in the forward category of dives to 1.52 times in the inward category. It was found that the remote contribution of angular momentum contributed from 81 to 89% of the total body angular momentum. The trunk accounted for 80 to 90% of the local contribution. In all categories of dives except the forward 1/2 pike somersault, the remote percent contribution of the arms was the largest of all segments, ranging from 38 to 74% of the total angular momentum.

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Doris I. Miller and Eric J. Sprigings

Major factors influencing the ability of divers to perform nontwisting springboard dives of increasing degree of difficulty were investigated. The analysis was based upon 49 dives (42 in pike and 7 in tuck) executed by male and female medalists in the 1996 Olympics. Videotapes were digitized to determine competitors’ vertical velocities and angular momenta at the beginning of dive flight. Centripetal force and resultant joint torque models were used to estimate the effort needed to perform multiple somersaulting dives. Increasing degree of difficulty by spinning in a pike rather than a tuck position for the same number of somersaults was associated with decreased vertical velocity at the start of dive flight, decreased angular velocity while somersaulting in a quasi-rigid position, and little change in centripetal force or related muscular effort. Increasing degree of difficulty by adding a somersault while rotating in a tuck rather than a pike position involved increases in vertical and angular velocities, a smaller increase in angular momentum, and notable increases in resultant joint torque and centripetal force. Sufficient muscular torque to maintain a compact spinning position was considered to be the major additional challenge facing divers making the transition from a 21/2 pike to a 31/2 tuck.

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H. Galbraith, J. Scurr, C. Hencken, L. Wood and P. Graham-Smith

This study compared the conventional track and a new one-handed track start in elite age group swimmers to determine if the new technique had biomechanical implications on dive performance. Five male and seven female GB national qualifiers participated (mean ± SD: age 16.7 ± 1.9 years, stretched stature 1.76 ± 0.8 m, body mass 67.4 ± 7.9 kg) and were assigned to a control group (n = 6) or an intervention group (n = 6) that learned the new one-handed dive technique. All swimmers underwent a 4-week intervention comprising 12 ± 3 thirty-minute training sessions. Video cameras synchronized with an audible signal and timing suite captured temporal and kinematic data. A portable force plate and load cell handrail mounted to a swim starting block collected force data over 3 trials of each technique. A MANCOVA identified Block Time (BT), Flight Time (FT), Peak Horizontal Force of the lower limbs (PHF) and Horizontal Velocity at Take-off (Vx) as covariates. During the 10-m swim trial, significant differences were found in Time to 10 m (TT10m), Total Time (TT), Peak Vertical Force (PVF), Flight Distance (FD), and Horizontal Velocity at Take-off (Vx) (p < .05). Results indicated that the conventional track start method was faster over 10 m, and therefore may be seen as a superior start after a short intervention. During training, swimmers and coaches should focus on the most statistically significant dive performance variables: peak horizontal force and velocity at take-off, block and flight time.

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Maxime Trempe, Jean-Luc Gohier, Mathieu Charbonneau and Jonathan Tremblay

In recent years, it has been shown that spacing training sessions by several hours allows the consolidation of motor skills in the brain, a process leading to the stabilization of the skills and, sometimes, further improvement without additional practice. At the moment, it is unknown whether consolidation can lead to an improvement in performance when the learner performs complex full-body movements. To explore this question, we recruited 10 divers and had them practice a challenging diving maneuver. Divers first performed an initial training session, consisting of 12 dives during which visual feedback was provided immediately after each dive through video replay. Two retention tests without feedback were performed 30 min and 24 hr after the initial training session. All dives were recorded using a video camera and the participants’ performance was assessed by measuring the verticality of the body segments at water entry. Significant performance gains were observed in the 24-hr retention test (p < .05). These results suggest that the learning of complex full-body movements can benefit from consolidation and that splitting practice sessions can be used as a training tool to facilitate skill acquisition.