View Full Version : "PSAI Cave Diving Safe and Smart" Review

01-29-2009, 07:30 PM
-I just finished reading PSAIís Cave Diving Safe and Smart book which was written by Steve Gerrard, Gary Taylor, and Martyn Farr. I managed to read through it in 2 nights even though it is a solid 242 pages, many of which include pictures and detailed diagrams.

The book is filled with chapters covering all aspects of cave diving, many of which include topics which lend themselves to other forms of technical diving. A complete listing of chapters follows but I wanted to highlight some of the ones I enjoyed the most.

The history of diving has always been of interest to me and PSAI does a great job discussing some of the dive history most pertinent to us cave divers in chapter 2.

Decompression illness can affect any of us after any dive even though we dive within guidelines and use extra precautions. Itís for this reason every diver should be well aware of the signs and symptoms of diving injuries and how best to treat them. This isnít a scientific guide full of complex math that numbs the mind to read, nor is it a manual for physicians on how to treat a diving injury. Instead itís a simple and easy to read yet very informative guide with loads of great information that every diver should be able to understand.

One of the biggest things that contribute to diving incidents is stress and the authors included a wealth of information on what causes stress, how you can recognize stress, and how to handle or prevent stress. This chapter makes a great read no matter your level of diving expertise.

Following Chapter 9 on stress is several chapters which all relate to stress and its effects. These include an in depth analysis of accidents and how to handle emergencies both above and below the water. These chapters include numerous charts and graphs to better illustrate the information which has been compiled since the beginning of cave diving.

One major portion of the book is labeled as the Appendix but its more than just that. This section of the book includes everything from tables to formulas to information on in water recompression to information about DAN and diving medicine.

Most everything in the entire book is displayed in both imperial and metric forms which makes reading and interpreting the math much easier no matter your region.

After completing the book I came to the conclusion that it would make a great read for anyone interested in cave diving weather they be a seasoned cave diver or those just becoming cave divers and it can serve as students manual in their cave class. Whatís better is much of the information is not completely relevant to only cave diving and can be translated to other forms of technical and recreational diving. This book would make a great addition to any divers library especially those with interested related to technical and cave diving.

You can get your copy from Steve's website www.deephorizon.info or through PSAI directly for about $40 + shipping if applicable.

The PSAI Golden Triangle:
History of the Professional Scuba Association International
Giving Back

CHAPTER 1 Cave Diving Training:
The Part of PSAI in the History of Cave Diving
Traditional and Modern Approach to Cave Diving Training
PSAI Cave Diving Programs

CHAPTER 2 History of Cave Diving:
The Beginnings
The 1940ís
The 1950ís
The 1960ís and 1970ís
The 1980ís
The 21st Century

CHAPTER 3 Master of the BCD:
Float Like a Buttery Fly
The Correct Choice of Your BCD and Harness
Motion and Thrust
Power Fins and Straps
Fin Kicks
Bad Habits Concerning Propulsion Techniques

CHAPTER 4 Navigation with Guidelines:
Choices of Guidelines
The Reel
Code of Behavior
Running the Primary Reel
Line Traps
Communication Tools
Guideline Applications
Always Be Sure of Your Exit Ė Multiple Exits
Complex Dive Protocol
Line Maintenance

CHAPTER 5 Planning the Dive:
Preparing for Your Dive
The Dive Site
Before the Dive
Organizing the Dive Plan
Define the Dive Purpose
Recognizing Risk
Pre-Dive Safety Protocol
Knowing Your Limits
Unforeseen Events
Review of Equipment Needs
Mechanisms for the Dive Plan

CHAPTER 6 The Use of Nitrox:
Richness of Mix
Cylinder Markings
Maximum Operating Depth
Equivalent Air Depth

CHAPTER 7 Decompression Illness:
Predisposing Factors
Type I Decompression Sickness
Type II Decompression Sickness
Other Forms of Decompression Sickness
Factors Associated with Decompression Sickness
Diving Barotrauma
Use of a Recompression Chamber

CHAPTER 8 Breathing Gas Management:
Factors with Gas Planning and Consumption
Calculating Gas Consumption
Surface Gas Consumption Calculations
The Sheck Exley One Third Rule
Comparable Volumes
Comparable RMVs Ė The SAC Ratio Factor

CHAPTER 9 Stress and Attitude:
Sources of Stress
Mental Consequences of Stress
Physiological Consequences of Stress
The Relationship Between Mind, Body and Stress
Recognizing Stress
Managing Stress
Thinking Under Stress

CHAPTER 10 Emergencies Require Action:
Managing Emergency Situations
What Causes Emergency Situations
Solving Problems
Loss of Visibility
Light Failure
Light Failure Protocol
Guideline Entanglements
Broken Guidelines
Buoyancy Control Device Failure
Regulator and Valve/Manifold Failure
The Lost Diver
Lost Diver Protocol
Lost Line
Out of Gas
Getting In and Out of the Water

CHAPTER 11 Review of Accident Analysis:
Lessons of Accident Analysis
Why Do Trained Cave Divers Die In Caves
Does Accident Analysis Really Help?
A 21st Century Look at Accident Analysis
Just Because You are Certified Does Not Mean You are Qualified
Breathing Gas Mixtures
The right Tools for the Task

CHAPTER 12 Cave Exploration:
Why Explore?
Word of Mouth
Topographical Maps
Google Earth
Aerial and Satellite Photographs
Books and Web Sites
Responsibility with Land Owners
Playing the Game of Exploration
Expedition Projects

CHAPTER 13 Protecting the Fragile Cave Environment:
Respect for the Dive Site
The Cave Diver
Land Owner Relations
Entrance and Exits
Contamination from the Surface
Personal Responsibility and Education
The Future
Useful Relationships, Formulas, & Laws for Cave Divers
Field Neuro Exam
Recompression Chamber Information
In Water Recompression
DAN Medical Services Recompression Chamber Assistance Program
The Divers Alert Network DAN
Specific Recompression Chamber Information
Buhlmann Air Decompression Tables
U.S. Navy Air Decompression Tables
U.S. Navy EAN32 Tables
U.S. Navy EAN 36 Tables
PSAI Cave Diving Team Planning Log

03-01-2009, 07:49 AM
It's nice to see people writing current cave diving manuals. The NSS-CDS ones are still valid but they're quite old now by todays system and popularity.