Diving can be a really fun and exciting thing to do when you are on holiday but if you want to take it to the next step you can have a cold adventure and try scuba diving under the ice. It may sound hard but with the right equipment and mentality it’s easier than you might think and according to experienced divers it’s very peaceful and relaxing to scuba dive under the ice in cold water.
The first thing you should do is find the perfect place to dive. It’s very important that you choose a place where the thickness of ice is around 4 inches, so you can walk on top of it. It’s easier to make the hole to get in.
How to make a hole in thick ice to get into the water
To cut the hole for entrance you can use several tools like; ice saw, power auger, ice chisel, or a regular chainsaw. Also checking the water condition and the animals that are inside and outside the ice is important.
Once you have your perfect spot for diving you can proceed to prepare all the necessary equipment.
Equipment for diving in ice-cold water
You need to use an exposure diving suit (remember that you are diving in ice-cold water) a hood and dry gloves but if you’re new to this it’s better to use a full-face diving mask so there is no exposure to the cold water.
For the scuba equipment, you need a diving regulator that is suitable for cold water (a regular one might freeze) and a long rope to be able to get out in case you can’t find your way out. Also, try to have thermal protection for everyone who is helping outside and for yourself when you get out of the water.
Having a team outside who helps you is very important. If this is your first time diving under ice you should do it with a team of professionals who will help you with everything and make the experience completely safe.
Physical and mental preparation
A very important thing about diving under the ice is physical and mental preparation. Since when you are underwater, you will be alone and in a different and harsh situation.
Before you scuba dive in freezing water, prepare your body for cold water activity. First, get used to the cold showers in the morning before you even think about diving in icy cold water. Prepare your body for unexpected occasions.
Try to be as relaxed as possible, don’t eat too much before you dive, stretch your muscles and try to prepare your body for the change of temperature and pressure. A good breathing technique is to close your eyes, take a deep breath, keep it inside 1 second and blow it slowly, this will also help to keep your heart rate low.
Dangers of scuba diving under the ice
Like any other sport, scuba diving under the ice has its dangers.
Frostbite – freezing of the skin due to exposure to cold temperatures.
Hypothermia – body temperature below 95F.
Getting trapped under the ice – which is why it’s better to use a rope when diving.
Attack of wild animals (like bears or sharks) and a regular injury that can be worse due to the cold temperatures.
For these reasons, it’s very important to do this with a team of professionals. Your team can guide you on everything and will make sure to keep you safe.
Finally, you realize that diving under the ice in calm cold water is a very unique experience. It’s not a joke and for sure, it’s not for everyone. You need to be dedicated, experienced, tough, healthy and prepared for cold cold water. And this will be a very rewarding and exciting cold adventure.
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