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Burned by chemical heat pack on deco - Scotland

Discussion in 'Accidents and Incidents' started by DandyDon, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. KenGordon

    KenGordon Rebreather Pilot

    It is pretty warm here at the moment (relatively speaking) so I wouldn't assume he did it entirely for the cold.
  2. claymore

    claymore Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Minneapolis Minnesota
    The diver, according to the article, was not wearing the heat patch for warmth but to add localized heat to help with a back issue.
  3. decompression

    decompression Instructor...seriously...

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
    Why was he using deco gas for his drysuit?[emoji47]

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  4. nimoh

    nimoh Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Rochester, MN
    It's difficult to determine what happened from the article, especially with lines like "he was using gas enriched with oxygen instead of the oxygen tank he normally uses..." Does this mean he would normally do this dive with and oxygen tank?

    He could have been using something around EAN22, air, or even trimix (although he probably wouldn't put He into his drysuit). Either way the PPO2 at 160' would probably be enough to overheat the pack, and the article did seem to indicate that the problem occurred at max depth.
  5. PfcAJ

    PfcAJ Orca

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: St Petersburg, Fl
    Some folks plug their 50% bottle into their suit.

    My hypothesis is that he had a standard-issue backgas for that dive (air or 21/35) and the elevated ppo2 at depth is what caused the accelerated reaction. .21 on the surface vs 1.2 or whatever at depth is a pretty big difference.
    shoredivr likes this.
  6. scagrotto

    scagrotto Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Hudson Valley
    AFAIK, there's nothing in them that would be damaged by reasonable pressures, and this incident certainly indicates that they work just fine at nearly 6 ATA. Here's an abstract from a study that exposed some to 3ATA and 95% O2 (conditions that could be encountered in a hyperbaric chamber). They reached a maximum temperature of 269ºF but weren't destroyed and didn't spontaneously ignite.

    Air-activated chemical warming devices: effects of oxygen and pressure. - PubMed - NCBI

    Perhaps you could get one to ignite with >95% fO2 at some pressure above 3ATA. It would make for a really exciting dive if you managed that inside your drysuit. Which makes me wonder ...
    Does that require having your underwear O2 cleaned?
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  7. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

    This is a clear case of someone who didn't think it through.

    Anyone who knows how heat pads work would know that some of them react with O2 and therefore get hotter as you go deeper.... DUUUHHHH

    Nuribromanski likes this.
  8. CamC

    CamC Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Isle of Man
    With hindsight it might not have been the brightest move wearing the patch in the first place, but all credit to the guy for not panicking with a hole like that being burned in to him.
    Ana, Dhboner, diving4ever and 2 others like this.
  9. dlent

    dlent Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Chicago
    He was using this for back pain and not as a heater.

  10. kwinter

    kwinter Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: South Jersey
    I didn't mean to imply that he was using it for warmth. Only that it was stupid to use a chemical pack in the first place for whatever reason. Even if he was using air for his suit inflation, it would still be an elevated pO2 at depth. And you know how much it bothers me to agree with AJ.

    iPhone. iTypo. iApologize.

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