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Hawaii has some of the best scuba diving in the world and people come from all over the world to enjoy the exploration of the world beneath the surface of the waters surrounding these remote islands. With proper supervision, professional instruction and proper ecquipment, scuba diving is a completely safe activity. However, since th diver – and particularly a novice diver – is relying on the company that leads the dive, care should be taken to make sure the company will protect against the risks of diving.

The "bends", also know as "decompression sickness" is a leading cause of scuba diving injury and death. The Bends occur when a diver returns to the surface too rapidly. The air from the tank the diver is breathing causes nitrogen to dissolve in the diver’s body and when the diver returns to the surface nitrogen bubbles can form in the blood stream causing a variety of serious problems. The results can be blindness, paralysis, brain injury or even death. Joint pain and skin problems are less serious consequences.

Decompression sickness usually occurs immediately after the dive while the diver is on the boat but it can occur 24 to 48 hours later if the diver goes to high altitude in the mountains or takes an airplane flight. If you dive, avoid flying or going to altitude for 48 hours after the dive.

Professional supervision is the most important aspect of a scuba tour and this is particularly true when you are diving far from home in an unfamiliar environment and with rented equipment. Tourists have a lot of things on their mind and tend to go along with whatever is presented in terms of equipment and location and details of dives.

The company should have adequate supervision so that all dangerous portions of the dive can be monitored to prevent injury. Make sure that everything is explained to your satisfaction and that the parameters of the dive are clearly explained. You don’t want to be in a position where you thought the dive was going to limited to certain conditions and then they change the dive and you are put in a situation that is beyond your ability. You also want to make sure that a dive instructor is aware of and supervising all critical aspects of the dive. Talk about these things before you sign up and reconfirm the conditions and supervision before you start the dive. If anything changes while you are underwater find the instructor and do a "careful" ascent.

Most people tend to go along with the dive company supervision (or lack of supervision) and assume that everything must be okay. Usually it is all okay, but be proactive and make sure that nothing changes. The consequences are high.

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