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Document ID (ISN)75855
CIS number 00-1635
Year 2001
Convention or series no. Tampere University of Technology Publications 321
Author(s) Gold D.
Title The indigenous fisherman divers of Thailand: Determining the hazards associated with indigenous diving practices and developing interventions to reduce the risk of diving-related injury and disease
Bibliographic information Tampere University of Technology, P.O. Box 527, 33101 Tampere, Finland, 2001. 168p. + annexes. Illus. 40 ref.
Abstract PhD thesis. A group of 400 indigenous fishermen divers from Thailand's west coast (the Urak Lawoi) was studied between 1995 and 1999. They use primitive diving equipment (relying on surface-supplied compressed air) and practice traditional diving. They have very high morbidity and mortality rates, mostly due to decompression illness. This condition is ascribed to unsafe diving patterns, short surface intervals and the lack of safety awareness or decompression stops after long and deep dives. In the study, 1/3 of the active divers reported decompression illness at some point in their lives, with over one half suffering from recurring non-disabling forms of the disease. Spinal injury and joint damage was detected in 24% and 30% of the divers examined, respectively. Serious cases of decompression illness are treated by in-water recompression, which in many cases resolves the problem, but in some divers does not. Other hazards are exposure to CO in the breathing air from the gasoline- or diesel-driven compressor and sudden interruption of air supply, which forces divers to immediate surfacing, which may result in very severe decompression illness and even death. As a result of the study, the diving practices of the divers were considerably improved and safety awareness increased among the divers and in their community.
Descriptors (primary) Thailand; deep diving; diving; decompression sickness
Descriptors (secondary) carbon monoxide; thesis; risk awareness
Document type E - Books, reports, proceedings
Country / State or ProvinceFinland; USA
Subject(s) Agriculture, fishing, animal husbandry
Broad subject area(s) Industries and occupations
Browse category(ies) Hyperbaric pressure