Underwater Vomiting (Not Me)

Dive 15 was a historic first, in that I wasn’t the most junior diver. I thought it would take a long time before that happened!

My group was just me, a dive guide, and one other diver. I don’t recall his dive count, but I remember it was less than mine.

We went to Talima, off Olango Island in Cebu, Philippies. My dive buddy normally dives further north, so this was his first time diving coral reefs.

It had been a while since his last dive, so our dive guide kept the dive short and shallow. We spent 38 minutes underwater and only went to the top of the wall, which is about 13 meters down.

Unfortunately, my dive buddy got sick. I didn’t realize it at the time, but he vomited twice while still underwater. I saw him remove and replace his regulator, but since I didn’t see any evidence of vomit I didn’t make the connection until we were back on the boat.

He wasn’t up to a second dive, but I saw him after my second dive and he looked much better and said he felt much better. We’re not quite sure what happened, but he ate breakfast in a foreign land, so who knows what may have disagreed with him.

Our dive guide also thought buoyancy may have been a factor. The boat ride to the dive site was very rocky, plus his buoyancy resulted in numerous depth changes. So maybe all those pressure changes at 5-13 meters played a role.

I have not had to test this out myself, but I have read in quite a few places that regulators are designed to accomodate vomiting. I’m not sure if my dive buddy vomited with the regulator out or just removed it to clear it, but hopefully I will never have to test that theory myself.

I’ll end with noting that for me, not knowing how ill my dive buddy felt, this was a very easy, relaxed dive. I took quite a few photos, fought with the camera a little bit, but found the overall dive very enjoyable. 

Once on the boat, I switched to trying to comfort my dive buddy. It probably helps that I can empathize, having had an awful dive myself. And, he was able to recover within a few hours. Hopefully he’ll get past this and continue scuba diving.

One final note: the dive site was very clean. I only found one piece of debris, which I have reported to Project Aware’s Dive Against Debris.

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