FORT MYERS, Fla. - Half a dozen divers gathered at Lee Wound Care in Fort Myers to take part in a very unique opportunity.
The divers are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so being prepared is essential.
One part of being prepared is knowing the dangers involved every time they step into the water.
Nitrogen narcosis is one of the many perils the divers face when they have to make a deep dive, beyond 125 feet. Nitrogen narcosis is a medical condition that can occur deep underwater. Nitrogen builds up in the body and give divers a feeling of being "drunk".
Coordination is reduced and clear thinking may be something left at the surface, so divers have to practice staying focused under those conditions.
Lee Wound Care's hyperbaric chamber helps by allowing the divers to enter and be pressurized to meet similar conditions they would face below the surface.
The deputies are closely monitored by doctors and technicians as they interact in the chamber for as long as 30 minutes. One diver tells WINK News the practice session is essential for survival. Knowing what could happen while in the water and knowing if the symptoms of nitrogen narcosis and what to do if it happens is invaluable.