What you should be aware of as a diver about Saba's diving, hiking, and flying.
One of the more frequently asked questions divers have about Saba concerns the risks associated with diving, flying and hiking. For decades, divers have been flying to Saba from St. Maarten, conducting two or three dives and returning to St. Maarten the same day without any known cases of decompression sickness resulting directly from the short 12-minute Winair flight. This is due, in part, to the flight not exceeding an altitude of 2000 feet (and frequently much less) as well as its short duration. However, as you remember from your scuba training, there is an increased risk associated with flying after diving. In particular, if you are planning to depart on an international flight from St. Maarten, you should adhere strictly to the guidelines of your certifying agency and allow sufficient time for off-gassing. DAN currently recommends 12+ hours after a single day of no-deco diving, 18+ hours after multiple days of no-deco diving and 24+ hours after a deco dive.
As for divers visiting Saba, and wishing to hike Mt. Scenery, the determining factors should include:
the extent of alcohol consumption for several days prior to climbing Mt. Scenery (contributing to bio-chemical imbalances and dehydration).
the extent of smoking prior, during, and after climbing (contributing to impaired gas exchange in lung tissues).
the degree of physical fitness (contributing to stress, fatigue, and dehydration).
the surface intervals after diving (determining tissue tension and critical off-gassing).
Almost all authorities in diving medicine would agree that it is not advisable for any diver to dive after drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes (or anything else), and partying all night. Hiking Mt. Scenery would add additional risks to this problematic personal profile. A diver who wishes to climb Mt. Scenery after diving should evaluate his or her own personal health habits and make an honest judgment of the potential risks. Some divers will be able to drink alcohol, smoke, party and dive, and experience no ill effects. Some will suffer severe decompression illness or other diving-related injuries. Some will just deny symptoms. Each of us has a responsibility to our fellow divers, and to ourselves, to limit our risks of diving-related injuries.
Saba's Hyperbaric Chamber
Sea Saba encourages good dive practice, and all our instructors and divemasters are constantly vigilant for your well-being!
Nobody wants to see the inside of a chamber during their diving vacation but, should the need arise, Saba has a well-maintained facility monitored by highly trained professionals on call.
Located at Fort Bay Harbor
This Facility operates on an "On-Call" basis to assist with diver emergencies.
For a Diver Emergency, you should contact:
DAN (919) 684 9111
or the medical center:
(599) 416 3288