deep sea

deep sea

Divers at risk of decompression sickness, paralysis

7h ago
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Hundreds of Navy, Coast Guard and civilian divers have been working around the clock to find any survivors inside the sunken ferry, often pushing themselves to the limit of what's physically possible. They're also at a growing risk of developing lethal disorders as they dive deeper into the murky waters. Paul Yi reports. The Korean Navy's Underwater Demolition Team and Salvage Unit have become the backbone of the search and rescue operation at the ferry disaster site. These highly-trained divers are only supposed to make a single dive per day; however many are forgoing this safety protocol in an attempt to find more missing passengers, often jumping into the water three times, within 24 hours. "Light Light Over here Over here " To make matters worse, the heavy currents are impeding the speed of divers, often forcing them to stay underwater for longer periods of time, putting them at greater risk of accidents. A navy officer on Tuesday received urgent medical treatment after his arms were suddenly paralyzed. "The timed alarm is going off. There's no pressure "There are limitations to diving. Depending on the rate of activity, the ability of divers in the water to tolerate their external environment is sensitive." This past week alone, ten divers were treated in hyperbaric oxygen chambers for decompression sickness, commonly known as diver's disease. It's a condition where inert gases form bubbles inside the body, due to the growing pressure surrounding the diver. Many symptoms include intense joint pains, paralysis, and even death. It's the same disorder that took the life of a diver who was participating in rescue efforts following the sinking of the Cheonan warship, four years ago. "Some divers that go into the water can't remember what they did. Since they can't even think and act, they don't have conscious control of their bodies. That's decompression sickness. They have to quickly get inside a chamber and receive treatment and be made to rest." In response, the government says it is taking necessary measures to ensure the safety of all rescue workers at the site, as these deep sea divers continue on with their tireless efforts to recover victims and locate any survivors. Paul Yi, Arirang News