Well, for one, remember that scuba divers are breathing through their mouths, so a small amount of water in a mask isn't actually a problem when it comes to breathing. But to clear a mask underwater is actually pretty simple: you inhale air from your regulator, then tilt your head back slightly, lift the bottom of the mask a bit off the face, and exhale the air through your nose. The air bubbles fill the mask and force the water out of it.


This is taught in order to recieve SCUBA certification. I specifically remember having to do demonstrate that I knew how to do this to get certified


When I got my certification you had to take the mask off completely underwater then put it back on and clear it out.


Yep, one of the best things I learned from scuba certification was how to clear water out of my goggles underwater. That and how swallowing hard equalizes pressure in your ears as you go deeper.


> That and how swallowing hard equalizes pressure in your ears as you go deeper. Works on planes too!


I just do it manually, one of the lucky ones who doesn't have to do another action to get it to happen.


I can do it by doing a sort of swallowing motion. I can’t describe it, but I can equalize my ears by moving some stuff in my head.


I can make the thunder rumbles in my ears and my eyes go blurry at will & my bf never believes me😭




What the hell there truly is a subreddit for everything


Vs /r/eyeshakers. A bitter rivalry indeed.


Can… can other people really not do that? I had no idea it was something unusual (or at least differentiable)


Not everyone can make their eyes go blurry at will or rumble their ears? Next you'll be telling me not everyone can make their eyes shake either.


With me I can control how “hard” I do it. First they get blurry, strain harder and they shake more. Eventually if I really strain to hold it, my vision goes totally black but they still shake. and the ear rumbling I do probably once every minute lol it’s like a comfort thing


I knew a girl that did this only once in class and it scared the hell out of me. Straight up possession level stuff right there


Same! It just feels like I'm "flexing" them, if that makes sense.


You're flexing a muscle in your inner ear, the [tensor tympani](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tensor_tympani_muscle).


Wait, can some people not make their eyes go blurry at will?


There's unfocusing your eyes and crossing your eyes. I can do both, but the latter is certainly easier and more common


Make him put his ear on your ear when you do it. It's audible. I can do it as well without the eye thing but my gf could hear it. Source: just tried it


No way! I’m totally trying this when I see him.


Can you rumble your eyes though?


I am also able to control my tensor tympani muscles, both in isolation. It's not so rare - 16 % of people can do this - according to studies.


Until now I just assumed everyone could do this.


I can do it! I knew I was special. My mom always said I was special. I’ll ignore that 16% stat, and consider myself one in a million. Suck it people that need to yawn, I can control my senzor pimpany at will


Wait what? This isn't just a thing? We're talking about making the rumble sounds in your ear that sound like the engine hum from Star Trek, right?


I can too, I would describe it as the muscles you feel in the back of your jaw / thoat when you yawn.


Wait, do you get a sort of crackling sound and a tightness in your jaw?


I just try to blow through my nose while holding it closed with my hand.


Not recommended if you can do the gentler method as the tympanic membrane can get stretched out.


I kinda unlatch my jaw to do it like I stuffed my mouth with popcorn and just let it hang all the way




New sub, thanks!


Thanks. I was afraid of telling people i can do this and people wouldnt believe me


I feel like a ton of people learn this growing up in the mountains.


If you swallow a plane, you can equalise the pressure in your ears while diving? Got it.


Love planes. Don't think I could finish a whole one though.


Works driving through the mountains too


\[LPT\] To the people who aren't able to do this: pinch your nose with your thumb and index finger, close your mouth, then try to gently blow air into your nose.


This is one thing that stopped me from progressing with diving - no matter how i tried i just couldn't equalize the pressure in my ears.


Yeah, it’s a deal breaker unfortunately. I can kind of equalize pressure in my left ear, but it’s always hard. Made scuba diving untenable :-(


There's four or five methods to do it, traditional nose pinch, moving your jaw in a pattern, swallowing, a few others I don't recall. If you really want to dive and are willing to work at it, one will work for you. Find a good dive instructor/school locally with a pool and spend a few hours in their pool with an instructor and have them show you all of them. If you really still can't do it, see an ENT, because there's perhaps a structural anomaly they can identify and perhaps correct if you want.




Same boat. I'd get it so bad that it could end my whole day. I had a bunch of flights one year, so out of desperation, I tried those "airplane" earplugs that are supposed to help with the pressure. Absolute life changer. Haven't had a single issue with flights since I started using them.


After landing the pressure sometimes doesn't equalize for 2 days.


Hi I'm a scuba instructor. Sometimes this can be caused by even a slight amount of congestion -- you might have luck with saline nasal spray or a decongestant before flying.


What if you close your nose by squeezing it with your fingers and then force exhale (not too hard please) through your nose?


Doesn't work for me. With some more pressure i can clear one ear. I do eventually get it, but my dive group is typically at 10 meters with me taking at 1.5m, slowly descending. Once below 10m I have few issues, and going up is fine. A trick I've learned after my last dive was closing one nostril, moving the jaw to the same (or the opposite, I forget) side and exhaling forceful through the nose. Clear that troublesome ear no problem.


Always go steady and slow! Never rush equalisation and never be afraid to wait a moment at your current depth until you equalise. I know too many people who rush equalisation and it’s not fun


The swallowing thing is useful on airplanes or when descending mountains, too. Of course it's not *as* useful since atmospheric pressure is peanuts compared to water pressure at depth, but swallowing to equalize pressure in your ears is a useful tip for most people.


I did a tune-up course after not diving for a few years, dude made me take off the mask, unclip the BCD and completely remove it with the tank and put it back on underwater. When I slid the vest back on, I snagged the main hose for the regulator and couldn't find it. No big deal, I leaned over, traced the hose from the tank, got it unstuck, put the regulator back in, put my mask back on, cleared the mask... and the instructor was two inches away from me with his octopus regulator ready to jam into my mouth and his eyes were big as saucers. I don't think he thought I was going to make it. He was like "Yeah, you pass."


Yeah, my instructor took away all my equipment (except weights, obviously) piece by piece in the pool stage of training to make sure I could retrieve it safely.


To pass their normal swimming class, my kids’ instructor had them wearing their street clothes over their swimwear then jump into the pool. This made sense, you don’t usually fall off a boat in your swimwear, if you do you are just going swimming.


I remember doing that for a basic rescue and water safety class. We had to wear jeans then take them off, tie knots in the legs, and pull them out of the water over our head to fill them with air to make a makeshift float.


Yeah, same here. Which brings back fond memories of summer camp!


Never heard of that, as i didn't take rescue training. But you sir just thought me a potential life saving technique, thank you very much.


"splash" air in the jeans to create a float. This expends less energy and its quicker than trying to blow them up with your mouth. Lifting over your head to start works (like opening a trash bag) , but they do slowly lose air. Source - Mom was a wsii and I was the 'victim' for rescues.


Haha! If you think you may ever use it, try it in a controlled setting first. I swear I could have floated naturally easier than trying to get those pants to work as a float.


I am usually not near deep water so i don't know if I'll even be in a position to try it. But it will stay in the back of my head in case the day comes. All i remember is that i only have to float for 3 days. After that there is no help as the sea water will dissolve your skin that you can't survive longer. Sorry for the new fears.


They forgot to mention the belt is very important part of making a makeshift PFD. Tie legs and use belt to trap the air inside them


Shoes are like friggin cement blocks in water. No fun to get drug down by em.


Aww I had to do this when I was a kid! It was the best part of swim class 😂


We had to dismantle our gear, hang the ieces that can hang on our arms (mask/fins/belt/regs) hug the bcd and tank (also separated) and jump in the pool. You failed if any part of you touched surface before it was all back together. The trick was to use the weight belt across your calves to keep you anchored and hook your reg up first. We did have a guy breathe off the tank itself for his first breath using his hand so there were some close calls but we all got through.


It's super important. My family and I were doing a dive a few years back where you went through a tunnel and one of the guys didn't check his air before going in. He panicked when he ran out of air, crawled up my mom's back and ripped the reg out of her mouth. Luckily, that woman is cool as a cucumber and calmly traced her spare, put it in her mouth and kept going. All while dragging this asshole on the short regulator line behind her. I will never forget the look on the dive masters face when they emerged from the other side of the cave... Pure horror.


I almost don’t believe this. What instructor doesn’t check everyone’s air before they go into a tunnel? Also what dive do you go on where you actually run out if air? Every dive I’ve been on in my life stops at 50 bar, which is about 10 or 15 minutes of air. And you wouldn’t be able to see the dive masters face because it’s covered by a regulator and a mask…


I'm kind of agreeing here. Evey dive master I've had to work with (Ironically, I'm not scuba cert, but i worked on the ocean for a tour company that has dive masters a long time ago) are super serious about this. If a tourist dies, company is toast. so they go and triple check everything on everyone before going down.


Well, in various countries, there are sometimes boat operators who are, shall we say, not so careful.


> Also what dive do you go on where you actually run out if air? The person could have just been sucking down more air than everyone else. It happens all the time. Something could also have happened to close the valve. Not likely, but not impossible. The real question, as you said, is why the dive master didn't do a check first. > And you wouldn’t be able to see the dive masters face because it’s covered by a regulator and a mask… I've seen a whole range of emotions through Paintball masks, from fury (stitched a ref from head to toe with a rope of paint but he knew he was in the wrong and couldn't boot me from the competition) to horror. Someone in a scuba mask and regulator is an open book by comparison.


We were in San Salvador. Very small dive resort, 10 ppl, all very experienced. I can't explain why the dive master didn't check our air beyond the assumption that since most of us had at least 100 dives, he assumed we knew what we were doing. Homey was clearly inexperienced and did indeed suck down air faster than the rest of us.


This stuff happens more often than you think. Dive company I work for habitually has people show up who blow through their air in 10-15 mins. It's usually the 100ft profile but still, boggles my mind


Shit you got to do yours in a pool? I was in a 50*F lake with three feet of visibility


Props to you for doing your open water cert in those conditions! All my contained dives were still in open ocean…although with great visibility. I know plenty of people who’ve done it in your conditions. I don’t think I could do it 😬


Still haven’t gotten a chance to do ocean diving but it looks like it’d be way more fun! Still had a blast in the lake though, it was pretty dark so it felt like being at the bottom of the ocean even though we were only at 30ft


“Not panicking” is the most important rule! Lost your reg? Sweep your arm around and you’ll find it. Water in your mask? Deal with it. It’s panic that kills you. This is why you train!


My boss is a pilot and says the most dangerous thing you can do in an emergency is forgetting to fly the plane. Engine problems, fuel leaks, instrumentation failure, poor weather, etc etc. No matter what, you cannot panic and forget about flying the plane.


Okay I ready that as lost your leg and was like WTF stay calm and sweep till you find then what do you do use it a floatie


It's cool, just use your backup leg


That’s why you have two 💁‍♂️


I read it exactly like you did... I thought it was just a sarcastic post for a minute. I never trained for amputation as part of my open water cert. Lol. 😆


Maybe that’s in the rescue dive cert


I remember my reg got knocked off and I had my backup reg in my mouth within a second like a reflex I never trained.


The old days of getting certified were brutal. My brother did NAUI in 1977 and all the instructors were old Navy divers. Throw all your gear to the bottom of the pool (deep end) and you had to go get it. The first thing you do is put on a weight belt, if you didn't do that first you had to start all over at the surface. Once the weight belt is on you can turn the air on and start breathing. You then put all the gear on and finally mask on and clear it. Once you were good at that you had to do it with all the lights turned off. Another was sit at the bottom of the pool and instructors would swim by and mess with you, rip your mask off, turn air off, rip reg out of your mouth. This was also done with all the lights turned off. I did PADI in 1992 and didn't have to do any of that. We did have to swim 200 yards without touching bottom or pushing off, and tread water for 20 minutes. Open water dives you did have to take mask all the way off, put it on and clear.


Hah my dad was this generation of diver and that is exactly what he made me do. When I was still learning he would mess with me and cut off my air or inflate my BCD to make me deal with an emergency. Then again when I was a small child he pushed me off a dock to see if I could swim so..


Mine was much the same without the hose snagging. Sat on the ocean floor (it was only 12m/40ft deep) and take off bcd, mask, then reg. Let go of it all then reg (purge), mask (clear), bcd back on. Had some massive internal conflict happening - part of me was freaking out going fuckfuckfuckfuckgonnadie, but another part of me was cool as a (sea)cucumber telling myself I knew what to do, my stuff was right next to me, and I could do it. And I did it. I was, and still am, proud of myself for that. That was back in '97 and I still remember it clearly. It burns things into your brain, and there is a real urge to gtfo, when you're doing it a few metres from a memorial plaque for someone killed in a shark attack at that spot nearly 4 years earlier. RIP John Ford, put himself between the great white and his new wife, sacrificing himself to save her. Also RIP Steve Brackenrig (taken by cancer, not a shark, in 2015) who went in the water to either save John or retrieve the body while the shark was still there, while Johns wife Debbie was being rescued. John and Steve are both absolute legends who deserve to be remembered.


For my certification my instructor took us wayyy out in the ocean and then stabbed me several times! Didn't even give me a scuba tank, just a concrete block that I had to untie underwater after he kicked me out of the boat and drove away. I kept thinking, "wow this wasn't in the training AT ALL. That was one tough massage school I tell ya what.


My lifesaving instructor used to say that he learned to swim at a young age because his father tossed him in a river. "Learning to swim was easy, but getting out of that burlap sack, man.."


Groupon is cheaper for a reason sometimes.


Luxury! We never had a concrete block to sink us, just a potato sack with a bunch of rocks we had to dig ourselves!


Rocks, you say? Why, I can’t think of a time we didn’t wish for rocks! We had to make our own bricks with sand and straw!


Bloody luxury!


If I can't massage eels then what has this all been about?


Must've been training to be the Cleveland Browns new massage therapist. Gotta be tough for that job.


I warned you that Jimmy Hoffa Scuba School sounded sketchy.


I think you accidentally signed up for "Learn freediving in one easy lesson"


Yes, but did you LEARN from this tough love training? Are you not a better massage therapist for it? I’ll bet you are!


Diving certifications really make sure of 2 things; 1. You know how to operate all the gear and not get the benz 2. You don't panic when you have to hold your breath for a few seconds while you figure out why you're not getting air.


2. you don't hold your breath but maintain a small exhale of air while in such a situation because if you end up unable to retrieve your reg or an octopus and have to make an emergency swimming ascent. Holding your breath can lead to pulmonary barotrauma/air embolism as the expanding air during ascent has no place to escape.


I know all about that, but have never failed to do the exhale... Still I gotta wonder, wouldn't you *very* much feel pain in your lungs before it gets dangerous? The emergency ascents I did was part of submarine certification, so they were a bit more extreme; 20 meters of depth to surface in 2 seconds. Not much time to sense much of anything, but if you're propelling yourself towards the surface you should notice the overpressure, or?


> wouldn't you very much feel pain in your lungs Yes, yes you would. Feels like a ripping, tearing. > before it gets dangerous? No, no you wouldn't. That shit happens _fast_.


A couple of metres of ascension can be enough for an over expansion injury (as you know yourself from witnessing Boyle’s Law in action when adjusting your BCD as you change depth), and your lungs don’t have pain receptors in them so they wouldn’t hurt (it’s the muscles around your ribcage that start to hurt when you are ill with a cough, not your lungs themselves). Would you *die* holding your breath with such a small ascension? Maybe not. But you could still permanently hurt yourself. Either way, I wouldn’t like to find out the hard way just how much my lungs can personally stand.


You can hold your breath if you are not ascending. There is no harm in holding it for a few seconds at depth.


Yep, I had to take off and put my mask back on at depth; I was taught that my mask could be kicked off by another diver so you have to know how to get it back on and cleared. I also had to remove my BCD and put back on at depth. Edit: multiple typos


> I was taught that my mask could be kicked off by another diver so you have to know how to get it back on and cleared. Wow. That is some solid logic as to why that's important to do.


It's far more likely another person is gonna kick your mask off and regulator out of your mouth than pretty much any other reason.


I did this to my buddy during our final advanced open water certification dive. We were gradually making our way towards the surface along a lake bottom single file, and he swam too close to me and my fin knocked the regulator out of his mouth. He panicked and swam straight for the surface, which is definitely *not* the right thing to do - you can rupture your lungs if you don't exhale as you go, or give yourself the bends. The dive instructor and I didn't even know he was missing until we surfaced, several minutes later. He floated up to us and fortunately he was okay; he confirmed that the incident happened *after* we passed a landmark that was at 25 feet, so he was not in much danger of decompression sickness, and obviously his lungs were intact. Somehow I was the bad guy of the story for having kicked his regulator, despite the fact that all I was doing was kicking to swim.


The kicker always gets blamed haha. But that's just a common thing for new divers. They stick really close to their buddy and that kind of thing happens. It's why you get taught to find your regulator and put it back, and to clear your mask. Unless you are fixing with an octopus the only other likely thing to take your mask off is you


you could also lose it if you're surfacing in rough seas. I nearly lost an underwater camera that way.


I think losing a mask is one of the major sources of new river panic. Luckily it’s very easy to train for. Just jump in a pool with a mask and pull it off and put it on a lot.


> new river panic Once it forms a delta it'll be just fine.


My instructor covered our masks with duct tape, threw our gear at the bottom of the pool and made us go down and feel around for it. It was a little over the top but I’m glad I got the experience.


My instructor beat me with jumper cables.


Damn, that's harder. We just had to let ours fill with water


Man, my scuba instructor pulled off my mask, my regulator, and turned off my air for my pool check dive. I had to get to my octo, find my mask at the bottom of the pool, and turn my air back on to pass my NAUI cert


That's hardcore but I suspect you're now a more confident diver


I had the same in my training, in a pool it isn't that big a deal, if you botch the drill you can just surface, if you botch surfacing the instructor either hands you his backup or drags you up. If the instructor really thinks you need a challenge he loosens the tank before he cuts off you first stage so that when he pulls your mask the tank drops and you have to remove the rig to turn it back on.


That's good though. I'd much rather prepare for the worst case scenario than not. I had to just take my mask off and refind my regulator, I think...can't quite remember because it was ages ago.


Now I know how long ago you got certified! Instructors don't teach that way any more, but they used to. The skills are still involved but in a much more controlled manner. I believe the Navy still does that to their divers, at least for the SEALS program I think. Not military though so not too sure on that part.


got trained in 2003/4. I think the SEALS do something even crazier where they tie the regulators in a convoluted knot that they have to untangle before they can breathe.


I know the SEALS program is super intense. But yeah your instructor shouldn't have taught you that way by that time. I'm sure it was a hold over thing for them though. They stopped that method quite a while ago.


Yeah, it was a lot but we were in 5-6ft of water. If something went south I could just stand up


Sounds like my man was legit tryna kill you.


They did go overboard, but honestly it's because instead of taking my dive cert in an extended weekend/2 weeks, I got it through college. We had a whole semester of pool and class time. Got my basic, advanced, and nitrox in one go. 16 glorious weeks of 1.5hr class time on Tuesdays, 1.5hr of pool time on Thursdays. We practiced in the 20ft dive pool. And practiced floating through hula hoops, In the 6 foot pool, we did a variation of the Floor-is-Lava game where we were 1-2ft from the bottom and our instructor tossed us various dive weights and we had to adjust our bouncy and trim without touching the bottom or breaking the surface. The assistant instructor would randomly go around pushing our inflator hoses to screw with our bouyancy. I came out of all of that a pretty confident diver. Still have a bit of issues with keeping a level trim when I'm not moving, I still hate to do tables and tend to rely on my computer. Really only plan my surface intervals based on planned depth since I don't do deco diving.


I took SCUBA as a course in college as well. Had one semester my freshman year for basic and took another semester my sophomore year for advanced. I’ll never forget the first day in the pool. We swam 500 yards. I had been a competitive swimmer in high school and that would have been a light warm up to me a year prior; so wile a little out of shape, it was still no big deal. I finished, climbed out and sat on the bleachers for a bit before deciding to go to the bathroom for a sec. Came back in and the instructor asked me if I was okay, he thought I had overworked myself and then gone to puke in the bathroom. LOL. Sat there for another ten minutes waiting for the rest of the class to finish and some still had to try again later. Definitely remember taking the entire apparatus off in the deep end and having to put it all back on again. They used to offer certification dives in a rock quarry about an hour away or they also planned trips to the Bahamas every spring break and May. So I skipped out on the quarry and went to the Bahamas after my fresh/soph years. That’s been 25 years now and I’ve never been back. Just don’t have a circle of friends that would provide me with a dive partner. My wife has rheumatoid arthritis and my kids seem to be afraid of fish for some reason. Would love to go again sometime.


NAUI training seems to be better or more thorough than PADI or SDI in my opinion.


Basically the same thing I guess. We had to take it off completely as well - I remember thinking it was a bit scary, sitting at the bottom of the ocean and removing the mask with your eyes closed (or open, if you can manage getting saltwater in your eyes). But actually learning the technique I found extremely useful when diving. Also deliberately taking in water to clear any fog.


Doing this was the closest I've ever been to having a panic attack. Something about having water pressure push up my nose convinced my brain that I couldn't breathe, despite the fact that I was hyperventilating through my regulator. Took me a solid 20-30 seconds to force myself to breathe normally before I could finish the exercise.


Something about mouth breathing underwater made me hyperventilate and I think it’s a common thing to panic. You feel like you’re not getting enough air but really you’re just clearing too much co2 which your body has many receptors for. Not fun if you’re already panic prone.


when my mask came off for the test it took me a solid 4 tries to remember I could still breath


When I did my course, it wasn't an option — we had to open our eyes and remove the mask. Instructor really wanted us to be able to clear our masks if it happened for real lol


We had to take off the mask and let go of it for 10 seconds, then put it on and clear it. Eyes had to be open or you'd be unable to find your mask.


what a nightmare, fuck man I had to do underwater helicopter egress training just to do a photoshoot on an oil rig. I’d never scuba dived or breathed air underwater at all. It was one of the most anxiety inducing things I’ve had to do for work. Part of it required me to put the suit’s emergency tank regulator in after we had been submerged and flipped upside down and my body just would not let me take a breath unless my nose was pinched shut or something


Same here. It really is super simple and easy. The main thing the training does is teach the diver to not panic if they get their mask knocked off. EDIT: A word


Been a long time but I thought I had to remove my mask and toss my regulator behind me. Then retrieve everything and put it back on.


Same. We had to take off all of our gear at the bottom of the pool, swim to the surface, and then swim back down and put all the gear back on. Putting that regulator back in my mouth and taking a breath while 12’ underwater was one of the scariest things I’ve done. I thought everyone had to do this, I guess my instructor was just a little sadistic (but I’m glad I know how!).


You shouldn't have had to do that unless you got certified over 20 years ago. Major certifying agencies don't teach that way as it's more risk than need to teach the skills. Of that's recent then you probably had a really old school instructor, or someone taught by one, and they were doing something they shouldn't have.


It was just a little over 20 years ago. Guess I’m now one of those “back in my day” guys :)


I had to do the same stuff as you and I got certified in 2001 and… yeah ok time flies lmao


When I got certified by PADI way back in 1985 we had to completely remove our masks and put it back on at 20 feet deep. Not a hard thing to do if you are comfortable in the water.


Depth is not an issue with taking off mask. Water temperature is) It's really uncomfortable to do below about 8 C.


It's a basic skill, you'll have to demonstrate it to your dive master any time it's been more then a year since your last dive.


[YouTube Clip](https://youtu.be/PuVXxj70s1w?t=36) of what u/bourj just described


I really liked that aspect of my SCUBA training. The fact is you must be able to recover from these mishaps, you can't just pull over for a timeout. For non-SCUBA folks you can't just shoot up to the top to fix it then come back down. You have to go up slowly so the compressed gases can leave your blood without creating bubbles. I was trained only as fast as the smallest/slowest bubble you can see rises. It's why your tank has two regulators and you go with a buddy who also has two regulators. Backups for the backups.


All my training was with BSAC and they have a huge emphasis on safety training. Probably because most of the associated diving is in cold water with poor vis. Saved my skin a couple of times.


You PUSH the top of the mask against your face - Tilt head back slightly and exhale thru nose. Don’t lift it off - if you aren’t level you will let more water in. In PADI certification you have to take mask, BCD off completely - then it it back on again, underwater. In Advanced you have to remove weight belts as well. (Don’t let go though - otherwise you on an express ride to the surface. ). You roll out of the belt, and roll back in. It’s for the unhappy event you get snagged on something.


Second thing they teach you once in the water juster after teaching you to spit in your mask :D.


You don’t even need to lift the bottom of the mask. Just push it tight at the forehead and blow air out your nose. The water will leave without lifting.


Actually, you don’t lift the mask away, you push the top against your forehead and exhale through your nose. Since the top is pressed to your forehead, the bottom is where the air can escape. And as the rubber/silicone flaps with that exhalation, the water will find openings to escape. Since you’re pushing air out, the flow is in one direction and outside water can’t get in.


The bottom of the mask lifts away when you push at the top of your forehead. I was trying to ELI5.


What's also fun is how to clear the fog from your googles. Letting a little water in, shaking it about, then purge


Spot on, however rather than lift the bottom of the mask, I was taught to press the top against your face and simply exhale through your nose. The positive pressure will automatically separate the bottom of the mask from your face and release the water.


I always wanted to try scuba diving. Just mild stuff to get the experience. But I can’t just because I would have to breathe through my mouth. I have chronic asthma and if I breathe solely through my mouth it triggers and asthma attack 😂😞😞


They do have full face masks, they’re kinda expensive but they exist and you could probably rent one from a good enough shop


Wow Had no idea they even existed!


Not to be a dick, but if you have asthma that bad it's probably best you don't dive. You'd need a doctor's approval to start class anyways. Which depending on your severity might not be an issue anyways. Not trying to gate keep diving by any means. I love sharing that part of the world with people. It just sounds like you have a pretty rough form of asthma. Having an asthma attack at 60 feet underwater isn't going to be a fun experience if it happened. They do have full face masks though so maybe that would solve your problems! Just keep in mind to let those you dive with know of the potential and how to help if something happens.


In this rescue they used positive pressure full face mask. This means air was constantly being forced into the mask which would push out any water. Typically divers use demand valves that only uses air when you inhale. Since the boys were effectively sedated they needed to use the positive pressure as they would not be able to clear on their own.


The amount of technology and inventiveness behind this rescue is amazing to me. Though a lot of that inventiveness was likely aimed at solving the problems behind failed rescues in the last hundred years.


I went to sleep last night thinking about how probably 50 years earlier none of that was possible and how in the past it would have just been a tragedy.


It was the most amazing rescue I have ever seen or heard of. The only thing that approaches it is Shackleton and the Endurance.


Even when it was happening it was thought to be impossible.


Elon Musk: *slaps roof of kid-size sub* Fucking pedos never used it!


He's still working on having enough children of his own so he can repeat the scenario and prove that it would have worked.


It still blows my mind that he reacted that way. Literally the entire world was rooting for that team of divers and Elon Musk called them pedophiles. I used to have a lot of respect for him before that — I had previously worked for him at SpaceX and thought the world of him.


Most people tend to get progressively more inflated with their own BS after they acquire a rockstar fandom cult.


If his kid-sized sub went the way of Hyperloop, I think we should all just be very glad he wasn't involved.


I was very glad he was not mentioned at all in the new movie


Oh wow, I may have to watch it then. I was imagining there were going to be constant cuts to: "Meanwhile, back at crazy Elon's kid-submarine startup lab and pedo honey-trap..."


For that particular rescue, if memory serves, full face masks were used. These tend to not leak as much as traditional masks and allow breathing through the nose and mouth. Additionally, water is effectively removed from the mask automatically as any water in the mask tends to end up at the lowest point, the regulator, and is ejected with each exhalation. Of course, you can get standing water if you're on your back looking up at the surface or standing on your head but these unusual attitudes would have likely been minimized as much as possible in this case.


Yes. Just listened to the Against the Odds Podcast season on this. Full face masks, but they modified them with a lot more straps and tested them on local kids first. Any leak would have caused the sedated boys to drown. Pretty intense story.


Hold up. They sedated some kids, strapped some masks on them, tossed them in the water and were like "if they leak, the kids are dead" ??? I'm gonna have to go listen to this, I've never heard of this podcast. Edit: nevermind, I forgot this was about the rescue in the caves and not just an experiment on diving masks


> They sedated some kids, strapped some masks on them, tossed them in the water and were like "if they leak, the kids are dead" That is kind of a good summary of the rescue though. Also, if I remember correctly, the volunteer divers involved were basically told by their home countries "if they die, we can't guarantee what will happen, you might get imprisoned and executed and we won't be able to save you". (At least one of the people got promised diplomatic immunity at some point, but IIRC there was some debate about whether it'd actually hold up.) To continue the ridiculousness, do you know how anesthesiologists are among the best trained, highest paid doctors and how complicated their work is even in a well equipped hospital? Well... they got extremely lucky because one of the rescue divers happened to also be an anesthesiologist, but not all of them were, so it basically boiled down to "here, take this unconscious kid, tie him up, push him under water, and try to not kill him while you drag him through the cave for three hours. oh, and when he starts to wake up stick him with one of those."


One was an anaesthesiologist and one was a veterinarian, both from Australia and very experienced cave divers.


Lol, let me show you my jump to conclusions mat


Clearly I need one as well


It has different conclusions on it, that you can jump to.


That would be pretty wild, though. Obviously just tested the masks on the local kids to ensure they worked. NOT the whole "let's sedate them and see if they die while trying these masks" thing. "We'll, we saved the 13 kids trapped in the cave, and only 25 other kids died testing our methods. LOL


"shit, we're gonna need a new batch of kids..."


It's also important to remember that the rescue divers were fully aware that it not only was very possible for the kids masks to end up seeping water and that the kids could have died, they expected it. If I remember correctly they expected only 20% to survive the rescue, as so many things could have gone wrong. Cave diving is extremely dangerous to highly trained divers, to bring children that distance, in the harsh conditions of that cave, while sedated, without an anesthesiologist to monitor them the entire time, while they are bound, with equipment that can fail or leak or be knocked off, and them not being able to check during each stage until they passed them off, is near impossible. The divers were not told which child they were taking, only referring to them as "packages" in the inevitably that some would die on the mission. The fact that all of them made it out alive is a miracle. Listen to the Against The Odds podcast season about it, one of the best I've ever heard.


The most dangerous part of rescue diving is the person you are rescuing indeed.


The Nat Geo documentary "The Rescue" is fantastic. On Disney+.


In the film at least, which I just watched last night and is amazing, they had a big thing about having the kids face down.


This is the key to a FFM with unconscious patient. It allows most of the water to drain to the exhaust in the face mask. If you watch the original documentary (I don’t know if the later ones follow suit) on their original GoPro videos there are a couple times (Josh’s kid comes to mind) where they made a point of rolling the kid over to face up, to check how they were doing.


I just watched the movie last night but I definitely preferred the documentary. Everyone was great in the movie but you really can’t fake the emotion that the real people felt during the whole thing.


I was really amazed they walked away with enough GoPro footage to make it. Usually that stuff is held for release by the authorities.


A lot of the footage came from Thai Navy Seals. [Jimmy Chin and Elisabeth Chai have spoken a lot about how they obtained it](https://youtu.be/xqUGxAUPwSw) and the authenticity makes The Rescue far superior than the feature film in my eyes.


Does the movie include the part about Elon Musk accusing a diver of being a pedophile?


No, i wondered if it would...or at least mention the mini sub plan. Wisely it concentrates on the relevant stuff. Last thing we need is more airtime for Elon.


True, lol. I just remember that as a moment where I thought, "what a douche!"


You press the top part of the mask against your forehead and exhale out through your nose. The air coming out of your nose goes up, getting trapped in your mask since you're holding it. This displaces the water.


Usually you just blow air through your nose, then flick the mask up slightly to let the water out. In the case of the cave rescue, I believe the boys were in full face integrated dive masks, so the chances of leakage would have been quite low. In normal usage those masks self-clear through the action of breathing, so if water is leaking in, the next exhalation pushes it out and the mask fills with air from your lungs. You then inhale a fresh lungful from your tank via the regulator in the mask. Source: Am diver, have used standard and integrated full face masks before.


Back to OP's original ELIFive request: 1. Imagine starting with mask completely off your head, laying on the sand at the bottom of 15' of water. You have a tank of air and your regulator is working. 2. Visibility is very poor because the water but you can see shadows and shapes, so you feel around and find your mask, and get it basically oriented the correct way in regards to the top and bottom part (where there's a space to cover your nose. 3. Put the mask back on. It will be 100% filled with water, but no problem. 4. Keep breathing as normal through your regulator; take a good breath, tilt your head back, use your hand to gently put some pressure on the mask, mainly the top seal across your forehead, and then breath out through your nose, into the water that is inside your mask. 5. This air in the mask starts to displace the water. By having your head slight back, the air is rising to the front glass and the water is starting to escape out of the sides and bottom of the rubber seal. 6. Do that once or twice, and then tilt your head back to normal upright. You should probably have at least half the water gone and you'll eyes will now be at least mostly in the air pocket, allowing you to see. 7. You can clear the rest of the water (say halfway up your goggles) by keeping your head in the normal upright position, applying slight pressure with your hand on the top forehead seal, and breathing out through your nose. This is enough to watch the water level leak out along the bottom seal. (the seal will kind of vibrate open-close fast as it's both sealing on your cheeks and then blooping out some of the water). That's it. This will clear 95%-100% of all the water in your mask. Note that this nose breathing into the mask will probably fog up the mask, so use that last 5% water to remove the fog by looking down, swishing that water across the glass to remove the fog, and voila. If it sounds panic-inducing, it can be at first, which is why they teach it in scuba class while you're standing/sitting in the 3' end of a clear pool. You just start doing it over and over, 30x or more, until it's as scary as riding a bike. The loss of panic and the gain of control is one of the very best parts of learning to scuba dive. You feel like you could get out of a flooded car without freaking out, or on a deep dive and suddenly chaos happens. It's an empowering skill to know. SOURCE: started scuba diving in the Red Sea in 1980 while I was hitchhiking around the world and got a job on a kibbutz in Israel.


Air from tanks into lungs -> air from lungs out through nose into mask -> nose air pushes out water.


Check out dive talk on YouTube. They have a interview with the diver that saved one of the first divers that got stuck in the cave looking for the kids. He explains basically everything about the whole ordeal and more.


To expand on this question, is facial hair (mustache, mainly) a problem?


It can be. If you’ve got a big, bushy mustache, the hairs can create pathways for water to leak into the mask. When I was selling scuba gear years ago I would suggest trimming a mustache down from the nose a little bit just to have some skin to seal on if they really wanted to avoid leaks. Otherwise just deal with clearing the mask more often.


IIRC they bound the mask onto each child's head and hoped against hope that it wouldn't be dislodged. For anyone interested in this event there's an excellent and detailed telling of the story in a 4-part podcast series called [Against The Odds](https://pca.st/episode/5d9fa0dd-cc11-415d-9cc3-161d5181162a). The podcast covers the activity in the cave and also what was going on above ground, with negotiations, competing views, etc. They follow it up with an additional episode dedicated to an interview with one of the British rescue divers.


I don't know what you mean by "bound the mask". They used a positive pressure facemask ([source](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tham_Luang_cave_rescue#Rescue_operation)).


Would also recommend the documentary The Rescue. The reenactments were done/acted by the actual rescuers.


First you get a well fitting mask so it doesn't leak too much. Second you hold the top of the mask firm to your face and exhale through your nose to force the water out. Third, with a lot of experience you learn to put a small amount of positive pressure into your nose to pure the water a little bit at a time as you dive. TLDR; force air out your nose while holding the top of the mask to clear water out. After many dives it becomes second nature.