Flying After Scuba Diving

Flying After Scuba Diving

Flying After Scuba Diving has Considerations

Uncertified divers will not be aware that flying after scuba diving is potentially hazardous but why? Well DCS is the why. Certified divers will be aware of the dangers but PADI Discover Scuba Diving students will certainly not. Without going into decompression theory we’ll outline the do’s and don’ts.

How Long Should I Wait?

The PADI Open Water Course will outline set times for flying after scuba diving:

Dives within no decompression limits

  • 1 dive – wait a minimum of 12hrs
  • 2 or more dives – wait a minimum of 18hrs

Dives requiring decompression stops

  • A surface interval significantly greater than 18hrs is recommended

The above are all based on what PADI consider to be the ‘average’ person but of course we’re not all the same. Many factors can make you more susceptible to decompression sickness and should be taken into consideration. Age and health are the main ones but the actual dives can also be a factor. If you’ve been diving in cold or strenuous conditions then you may want to be a little more cautious.

Dehydration is probably the single most common cause of DCS so remember to drink plenty of water. Our hot, tropical climate really pulls the water out of your body so hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

What Does It Mean For My Phuket Scuba Diving Trip

We can’t guarantee that timings are absolute. Mitigating factors such as weather or mechanical problems can cause delays but our Phuket day tours dives should be complete by:

  • Racha Noi/Yai – final dive is normally completed by 4pm allowing you to fly after 10am the following day
  • Phi Phi/Shark Point – final dive is normally complete by 5pm allowing you to fly after 11am the following day
  • King Cruiser/Shark Point/Koh Doc Mai – final dive is normally completed by 3:30pm allowing you to fly after 10:30am the following day

All of the above timings follow the 18hr rule so remember to add more hours if you feel the need to be more conservative.

What About Scuba Diving After Flying?

There’s no rule that says you can’t dive immediately after flying. Common sense says you should try to get acclimatised and be well rested before starting you dive adventure. Long and short haul flights very often leave you dehydrated and exhausted. Both factors can make you more susceptible to DCS so take a break and relax first.

4 Dives A Day On Similan Island Liveaboards

You will do lots of dives in a very short time on a Similan Island liveaboard. You do get longer surface intervals so we don’t believe it’s that much of a difference. Having said that we do recommend waiting at least 24hrs before flying after scuba diving on your liveaboard trip.

Play It Safe

Everybody wants to maximise their work holiday but don’t put yourself at risk for the sake of a day or two. Plan your scuba diving holiday in Phuket so that you get adequate rest before and after diving. Phuket is a beautiful island so make sure you give yourself time to take in Phuket’s sights and fun.

Contact our experts to organise your perfect Phuket dive vacation!

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By Justin Hartrey

I've been enjoying the incredible marine life in our oceans for over 25 years. 13 years ago I became a PADI professional, hoping to introduce as many people as possible to the incredible beauty of the seas.

Having been fortunate enough to dive all over south east and especially Thailand, I enjoy sharing my experience and passion on this blog.

Posted in Scuba Diving For Beginners on .

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