Andy Simpkins is Moderately Vexed by… Scuba Diving Air Gauges and a Low Air Situation

Published: Sometime before 7th January 2002

A couple of years ago, I was on a diving holiday to the Egyptian Red Sea.

A most excellent time was had by all. One day, we were doing a dive on a wreck called the Giannis D. Not to be confused with the Enterprise D!

The aforementioned wreck is situated at a large coral reef called Abu Nuhas approximately 15 miles north from Hurghada where we were staying. The wreck lies at 23 metres depth and is surrounded by moderately strong currents. We were accompanied by a Swiss dive guide called Johnny and a pillock called Bart (I am from Belgium and I have had a sense of humour by-pass).

After an enjoyable dive we made our way to the surface accompanied by Johnny and Bart (I am from another planet). During a decompression stop, I noticed that I only had 10 bar of air in my tank. I safely made it to the surface and chilled out. However, Bart (I cracked a joke and nobody laughed) proved to be a true Belgian.

Not so much a gripe as a cautionary tale. Check your air gauges frequently at depth and ascend to the surface at a slow rate not exceeding 18 metres a minute with at least 30 bar in your tank when you reach the surface. Always adhere to what PADI and BS-AC tell you!