Diving can be strenuous. There are tanks to lift, currents to fin against, boats to clamber back onto, waves to walk through.
So, we know it’s important to be in reasonable shape for excursions beneath the waves, but does this mean that there is an upper age limit to your diving career? In short, no, but there are things you need to consider if you want to happily dive on into your golden years.
Contraindications & Health Screening
A contraindication is a condition, or circumstance, that would preclude you from diving at any age; however, you need to be particularly aware of those that can develop with advancing years, e.g., heart disease and type II diabetes are considered to be contraindications by DAN. Annual “Fit to Dive” or health screening is a great idea to keep your diving activities alive and finning. Take your “Fit to Dive” certification with you to avoid any problems when you get to your destination!
In the event of an emergency, could you manage a prolonged surface swim, or a buddy tow? Consider changing dive destinations and enjoy environmental conditions that might be less strenuous – warmer waters with great visibility and less current, combined with more conservative dive profiles and increased surface interval times.
Our dexterity can deteriorate with age, and our ability to carry out our “skills” is for our safety, and that of our buddy, so a periodic check that you are able and confident in doing them is important. Can you retrieve your regulator from way over your shoulder? Ask the DM or Instructor to do a “skills check” with you on the first dive of the trip. Regular skills circuits will also help to keep your circuits sharp…