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DIVING IN CONTAMINATED WATERS: EQUIPMENT

Issue 9 and Volume 144.

DIVING IN CONTAMINATED WATERS: EQUIPMENT Diving operations in contaminated waters require a great deal of equipment. Both divers and their support personnel topside must be properly equipped. While most of the equipment used topside is familiar to hazmat personnel, the diving equipment is quite different from conventional self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA). The diver engaged in search and rescue often must enter water with low visibility. Outfitting the diver with appropriate and properly operating equipment, therefore, is only one of the considerations—along with training, gear maintenance, and common sense—vital to planning for this type of diving. Even when everything is done correctly, however, accidents are likely due to the nature of contaminated-water diving. Just as the levels of protectiveequipment used in haz-mat operations on land vary with each incident, so too are specific types of diving equipment best suited to specific hazards in an underwater operation. Since, however, no standards…

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