Contributed

Take a breath: tips for playing it safe while scuba diving

IT WAS sad to hear of the tragic death last week of a teenager pursuing his love of spearfishing.

Apparently he drowned after a breath-hold dive.

Shallow water blackout is an underwater "faint" due to lack of oxygen to the brain. It can be caused by holding the breath for long periods.

Without immediate rescue the person quickly drowns.

Most drownings from shallow water blackout occur in the ocean when spear fishermen black out.

It has also occurred in swimming pools when swimmers have attempted breath-hold pool laps.

There is no warning for the person. After a prolonged breath-hold the person simply blacks out.

Unconsciousness occurs either at the surface or just below.

Experts say performing hyperventilation can increase the risk.

Tips to prevent shallow water blackout include: never hyperventilate, never ignore the urge to breathe, never swim alone, and never play breath-holding games.


EASTER TRAGEDY: Two-storey home destroyed by fire overnight

EASTER TRAGEDY: Two-storey home destroyed by fire overnight

A two-storey timber home has been gutted by flames overnight.

A few minutes is all it takes to save a life

A few minutes is all it takes to save a life

Murray Sturgess shares his story of beating bowel cancer.

$1.53M project to improve mental health of bush battlers

$1.53M project to improve mental health of bush battlers

First Headspace west of Toowoomba to open doors next year