The UK Diving Medical Committee met over the weekend. The diving doctors are concerned that they do not know how the lungs and heart will recover after COVID-19 infection. Depending on how the lungs heal, it could lead to a risk of pulmonary barotrauma. There is evidence from the Diamond Princess cruise passengers that asymptomatic people had significant changes to their lungs. Coronavirus can also affect heart function, that could lead to immersion pulmonary oedema (IPO).
The UKDMC are currently writing guidelines in plain English (which may include a flow chart) to enable divers to self-assess and be aware of the potential risks.
Following discussions at today’s meeting, DAN Europe are now working in partnership with the BDSG to produce specific and enhanced set of guidelines for British divers. This is based on DAN Europe’s current guidance ‘COVID-19 and Diving Activities: 10 Safety Recommendations’. A number of BDSG members are working on these amendments.
OTHER DIVING RESOURCES
One of the strengths of the BDSG is that all the diving agencies work together to achieve safe recreational diving for all. The group have therefore agreed that where one agency produces relevant guidelines on a specific topic, that these are shared or signed posted to, by all the agencies.
In the meantime, the BDSG still advocates shallow, progressive shore diving subject to your local devolved Government guidelines. Scottish diving will begin to open up from Friday 29 May 2020. At this point, you will be permitted to travel short distances for exercise in Scotland, i.e. broadly within five miles.
Let's hope things improve and we can get back to scuba diving safely as soon as possible :-)