I Got Bent. 5 Lessons From My Recent Decompression Sickness (D.C.S) Incident

I Got Bent. 5 Lessons From My Recent Decompression Sickness (D.C.S) Incident. Last month I suffered my first decompression sickness (DCS) incident. I have been a diver for 22 years and a dive professional for 13 years.

The fact that I am a CCR diver, Ice Diving Instructor; Advanced Wreck Instructor; Technical Diving Instructor; Mixed Gas Instructor; CCR diver; Dive Safety Officer; Expedition Diver; Dive Resort Manager and more titles I could list, shows that no-one is safe from DCS or ‘The Bends.’

DCS or ‘Caissons’ Disease’ is a conditions that affects divers where bubbles can form in the body (usually in the blood or other fluids or tissues.) This is a serious physiological condition and I was very lucky my DCS hit was only a very mild one. I still required treatment in a recompression chamber, though.

In this video, I will talk candidly about the dive, what happened to my body and my treatment and recovery. I will also share the five lessons I learned in the days and weeks following my DCS incident. Most importantly, I can not recommend Dive Accident Insurance strongly enough for all scuba divers.

Scuba diving is an inherently dangerous sport. We all accept the risks any time we scuba dive. I am very fortunate that I am able to continue my career in scuba diving.

Thanks as always for watching!

D.S.D.O

James

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I Got Bent. 5 Lessons From My Recent Decompression Sickness (D.C.S) Incident

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Meet James Blackman

With a career in diving spanning twenty years, James has seen a thing or two in the dive industry. James grew up on the Southwest coast of Britain and learned to dive in the frigid waters of the English Channel. If your first dives were like being placed in a cocktail shaker full of cabbage soup and you come away with a love for the sport, then you know it’s going to be a life-long pursuit.

James spent his twenties in the British merchant marine which afforded him the opportunity to travel to and dive in far flung locales… 177 countries and counting. Between stints onboard a variety of vessels, James used his shore leaves to level up his scuba training… Rescue diver in Tanzania, DM in Indonesia, Instructor in Honduras, Tec Instructor in the French West Indies.

His last ship before moving to a shore-based life style was an expedition ship where he notched up some of his most impressive dives, including briefly holding the world record for most northerly scuba dive… 82 degrees north in the Russian arctic; diving the Amazon river; the Antarctic; and virgin reef systems in Papua New Guinea and Melanesia.

Moving ashore in his early thirties, James took on the role of General Manager for a luxury dive operator in St Martin and never had a dull moment! Hollywood visited the island and called upon James’ underwater skills for on-set safety. When Cat-3 hurricane Gonzalo devastated the area, James switched hats to salvage and public safety diver to help with the recovery.

Scuba Diving has given so much to James in his life… and first on that list is his brilliant wife Karina whom he met whilst teaching her AOW class! Yes, that old cliché! James and Karina are also business partners and co-owners of two power-house scuba brands. Miami Technical Diving has become the premiere scuba training facility in South Florida. Tired of seeing other dive shops compete in a ‘race to the bottom,’ James decided his model for teaching scuba would focus on keeping the quality as high as possible; using the best gear possible; teaching beyond the minimum standards on a 1-to-1 student-to-instructor ratio. The fullness of the MTD training calendar shows that people – student divers – prefer to receive premium, quality tuition, as opposed to cheap and fast.

James is the personality and knowledge broker behind ‘Divers Ready!’ a super influential Scuba Diving YouTube channelwebsite and brand. In just a year, Divers Ready! has become the fastest growing You Tube channel in the Scuba Diving niche, with 1000s of new divers joining every month. Their weekly videos range from Mouthpiece Mondays – where James shares his insider knowledge and opinions about controversial topics in the dive industry – to practical ‘hints & tutorial’ style videos, all with one simple goal in mind – to make you a better diver!

James and Karina started small group luxury dive trips for the Divers Ready! audience.

James and Karina live in Miami, FL with their rambunctious dogs; Ziggy The Husky and Bonham the Mutt, and their Maine Coon cat Foxy, who remains unimpressed.