Managing scientific diving operations in a remote location: the Canadian high Arctic

Martin D J Sayer, Frithjof Christian Kuepper, Pieter van West, Colin M Wilson, Hugh Brown, Elaine Azzopardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Global climate change is expected to alter the Arctic bioregion markedly in coming decades. As a result, monitoring of the expected and actual changes has assumed high scientific significance. Many marine science objectives are best supported with the use of scientific diving techniques. Some important keystone environments are located in extremely remote locations where land-based expeditions offer high flexibility and cost-effectiveness over ship-based operations. However, the extreme remoteness of some of these locations, coupled with complex and unreliable land, sea and air communications, means that there is rarely quick access (< 48 h) to any specialized diving medical intervention or recompression. In 2009, a land based expedition to the north end of Baffin Island was undertaken with the specific aim of establishing an inventory of the diversity of seaweeds and their pathogens that was broadly representative of a high Arctic marine environment. This account highlights some of the logistical considerations taken on that expedition; specifically it outlines the non-recompression treatment pathway that would have been adopted in the event of a diver suffering decompression illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-243
Number of pages5
JournalDiving and Hyperbaric Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • Arctic Regions
  • Canada
  • Decompression
  • Decompression Sickness
  • Diving
  • Expeditions
  • Humans
  • Seaweed
  • Transportation of Patients


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