Divers study effects of scooting in MPA
Picture: DAN Europe.
Underwater scooters are being allowed to be used inside a Marine Protected Area (MPA) for what Divers Alert Network (DAN) says is the first time – for scientific purposes, but to learn not about marine life but about the effects of diving with a diver propulsion vehicle (DPV).
Project Hydra is a collaboration between diving health and safety organisation DAN Europe, scooter-maker Suex and the Portofino Marine Protected Area Consortium in northern Italy.
“Scientific studies in this field are practically non-existent,” says Massimo Pieri, a DAN Europe researcher.
29 August 2018
“Our aim is to investigate the physiological effects of DPV use, especially focusing on post-dive bubbles, pulmonary stress and alteration of body fluids.”
The research programme includes clinical tests, pre- and post-dive diagnostic examinations including cardiac and pulmonary echo-cardiography, and infra-red thermal imaging.
The Portofino consortium authorised the research activities to be carried out inside the MPA where, according to DAN, long multiple dives covering an extended area “offer a unique opportunity to observe and monitor the surrounding marine environment”.
The Project Hydra team consists of 14 experienced diving instructors or trainers who have been specially trained to collect the required data at four MPA sites: Testa Leone, Altare, Secca Gonzatti and Mohawk Deer.
The work has now begun and is set to continue until the end of the year.