Are you ready to dive the Blue Hole in Dahab? Diving, as a sport, can be as extreme as you want it to be. Scuba diving is a safe sport as long as you stay well within your personal limits, take good care of your scuba gear, and follow the buddy system.
Of course, there are dive sites where things can get more challenging, and where divers go to, to seek out adventure. If you are hungry for adventure and want do dive somewhere where you can really use your dive skills, then one well known dive site is the infamous Blue Hole in Dahab.
Photo Credit: Benjamin Stephan
Why is the Blue Hole in Dahab So Popular?
The notoriety of the Blue Hole in Dahab as possibly the most deadly dive site on Earth doesn't serve to keep divers away, but rather to attract them in the same way the challenge of climbing Everest or Kilimanjaro appeals to mountaineers.
When you dive the Blue Hole in Dahab, you have taken on one of the most challenging environments in diving and you will experience something truly remarkable.
This is why so many divers brave the 80 meter wide hole, despite the fact that many divers have lost their lives here. There is no official count but it is said that at least 150 scuba divers lost their lives in the last 10 years.
Do Your Research Before You Decide to Dive the Blue Hole in Dahab
If you decided you want to experience the (in) famous Blue Hole, which is known in diver circles as “the Diver's Cemetery”, then you need to be well informed, and well prepared.
There are plenty of different dives you can do in Dahab, so research carefully and decide which dives you want to do and what depths you are able to go to.
At 56 meters or 184FT, there is an arch you can swim through that leads to open water. This arche is the dive many technical divers are interested in.
Don't Underestimate the Danger When You Dive the Blue Hole in Dahab
One of the problems that leads to so many people falling foul when they plan the dive is that it really doesn't seem that dangerous. Unlike many other “extreme” diving sites, it is exceptionally easy to get to – it is a shore dive, right off the beach.
It can almost seem like the danger has been blown out of proportion when you see just how easy it is to enter and dive the Blue Hole.
Once there, there are no disturbing currents and the water is calm, clear and temperate. Make sure that you don't allow this sense of security to take your mind off of everything you learned preparing to dive the Blue Hole in Dahab. It is absolutely vital to remain focussed and careful throughout the dive, and to take good care of your buddy.
When do things go wrong when diving the Blue Hole?
Since it is an easy and well know dive site divers quickly think they are able to make the dive safe. It is just like the cenotes in Mexico.
Anybody can go there and if you do not take your responsibility as a divers you can get killed and you can take other people with you.
The Dahabs Blue Hole is not decorated with beautiful corrals and you will not find an abundance of marine life. This dive is a typical "been there done that dive" for many recreation divers.
The bottom of the hole lies at 100+ meters and you will need great buoyancy skills and enough experience to decent in a controlled manner and to stay within the limits you are trained to.
Many divers think when they have done 20 dives or so they are good and experienced divers, well I believe you are not. It is not about the amount of dives you have made!. There are divers with 100+ dives in their log books that are able to maintain proper buoyancy.
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As soon as you start your decent to do a fairly deep dive should be aware that nitrogen narcosis will get a hold of you at some point.
Nitrogen Narcosis will impair your ability to make decisions and will make you feel on top of the world. And this is where things can go horribly wrong. When you are not able to control your decent you will drop deeper and deeper (sometimes without even knowing it)
The deeper you go, the more narked you get. You are now caught in a spiral of death, assuming you are on with "normal" compressed air, oxygen toxicity will kick in around 56 meters and will eventually kill you.
Recompression chamber and evacuation options.
Remember you are in Egypt, in the middle of the desert. The nearest recompression chamber is 22k down the dirt road. Make sure you do not have to make that trip lying on the back of a pickup truck.
Key takeaways and things you should remember before Diving the Blue Hole in Dahab
- Always dive within your limits, as an open water diver you should not make the dive.
- Do not dive deeper than you are trained too.
- Make sure you are weighted properly. Do not take 1 pound more than you need to.
- Do at least 2 to 3 shallow dives to get used to your equipment before you dive the Blue Hole
- Do not go partying the night before you will do the dive
- Listen to the dive briefing and stick to the plan!
- You can cancel a dive at any time without giving a reason. If you don't feel secure, cancel the dive
- Stick to the rule of thirds. Which means you start your ascent when you have used 33% of your breathing gas and you surface with 33% left in your tank
What are your thoughts about the Blue Hole in Dahab AKA Diver's Cemetery? Let us know in the comments below
Rutger Thole is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel, dive and write about scuba diving. Based in Amsterdam, he runs bookyourdive.com and at least twice a year he plans a dive trip of the beaten track.