We thank Allah that we reach Ramadan this and we ask Allah to reach Ramadan for many years in the future. “Can I dive while I’m Fasting?” is a frequently asked question, so we go to experts to answer this question in the medical and religious point of view.
Dr Adel Taher answered this question in Issue 7 of “Blue Magazine” in 2010, and he said: “From the medical point of view: We always impress on all divers to be well hydrated during dives especially if they are diving in a sub tropical area with a hot, dry climate such as ours. This is particularly the case if they are in a destination marked as a “resort” area. The reasons for that are quite obvious if you have a look at the statistical data gathered since 1993 at our facility (Sharm el Sheik Hyperbaric Center). More than 60 per cent of diving accidents treated were associated one way or another with an element of dehydration.
Dehydration leads to some degree of haemo-concentration (in simple terms thicker blood) as you are taking the fluid from the circulating volume of blood. This in turn affects the efficiency of the blood in acting as a vehicle to transport nitrogen from the tissues to the lungs. The factors that affect dehydration mainly are; traveller’s diarrhea, which divers tend not to treat for the first three days or treat wrongly, alcohol intake the night before, which is quite common in resorts and of course not drinking enough water.
When fasting in winter, we gave the advice to instructors and dive masters who wanted to work and fast to try and drink one and a half liters of water mixed with electrolyte salts just before sunrise and see how they feel throughout the day. We also limited them to two dives a day. If they did not feel well, became lethargic or noticed a lack of concentration, they were told to break their fast or take a vacation during the month of Ramadan. In summer months, the situation is much worse and it would be foolish to fast and dive if you are a professional responsible for others under the water.”
Fasting and DCS
While Dr. Haikal answered another question about the relation between the decompression sickness and fasting, during an interview with Egypt Divers Group on Facebook. He said that fasting and DCS are not related, and during his professional experience as a diving medicine consultant from 2002, he didn’t face patient of DCS because of fasting except two or three conditions. And he also advised diver to drink from 4 to 5 liter of water in the night before diving.
From the religious point of view, most of the Muslim scholars said that there is no problem with diving during fasting. For example Sheikh Ali Gomaa from Egypt, and Sheikh Othaimeen & Sheikh Munajid from Saudi Arabia. (all links in Arabic language)
But you felt that fasting affecting you negatively, specially if you are responsible for others, please not to dive by the concept of the Islamic rule:”no harm should come to you, nor should you cause harm to others”.