The urge to spew while diving isn’t something new. It can be caused by a number of reasons and external factors from sea sickness, fatigue, food poisoning to motion sickness from strong currents.
And when the time comes, it’s easy to feel anxious and almost panic stricken at the thought of vomiting underwater. There are many things that go through our mind to put us in a frenzy prior to the main event. So it’s best to prepare mentally for what’s to come, be it chunky or smooth.
Here are a few common things we hear when talking about doing the deed underwater :
- Should I take my regulator out or keep it in?
- What if the regulator gets blown out of my mouth, will I swallow water and choke?
- Will the vomit clog up regulator?
- Will vomiting make me less buoyant, will I shoot up while puking?
First thing’s first, remember to keep those regulators in. It isn’t only water and air that can pass through our regulators. When you puke the vomit exits the same way your bubbles do, through the exit valve. And although chunky bits may clog up the valve, a little push on the PURGE button can help clear up any bits for the time being. Just be sure to push the back of your tongue to the roof of your mouth as you would when using the purge.
Another important point about keeping those regulators in is because after puking our first instinctive reaction is to take a big gulp of air. And that will be tricky if you’ve got your regulator out.
Be ready to reach for your alternate air source. Sure, we said that those chunky bits can pass through the exit valve, but there are other areas within the regulator that your chunky monkeys could be clogging. When that happens, waste no time and reach for the alternate air supply. Most divers would also switch to the alternate air supply regardless if their main air source is clog, this is because it’s “cleaner.”
Throughout the whole ordeal, communicate with your buddy. Let them know that something is wrong so they can provide support, keep an eye out for you and help you stay buoyant.
After puking, take a moment to evaluate your situation. Usually a person feels much better after puking, but throwing up can take a lot from a person as it drains you physically and mentally. If you are in up to boot and rally, that’s great. But if you want to cut the dive short, that is also fine. You need to listen to your body and do what’s best for you.
On the upside, you may have lost your breakfast but it’s a call to feast for fishes everywhere. YUM!