Edition: 5th 2013
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Description: From the Preface: NOAA is nearing 50 years of scientific diving operations, working in waters throughout the continental United States, offshore oceans, and even international waters while serving U.S. territories. In this time, the diving program has grown from a few volunteer researchers to one of the largest, safest, best-equipped, and most respected dive operations on the planet. This Fifth Edition of the NOAA Diving Manual continues to build on those earlier efforts, combining new developments and cutting edge methods as well as commonly used procedures to provide a reference text that is useful to divers and diving scientists not just within NOAA, but for all those involved in exploring the seas and fresh water bodies of Earth. The Fifth Edition took over four years to complete. During the process, leading recognized experts both within and outside of NOAA were asked to review, revise, and update each of the chapters in the manual. In some cases, new chapters were proposed, and others combined. After this first draft was received, each chapter underwent comprehensive editing, in some cases passing through more than five levels of review. The result is a document that is broad, wide-ranging, and current in state-of-the-art scientific and working diver information and procedures. Within the NOAA structure, this manual is meant to be used in conjunction with the NOAA Scientific Diving Standards and Safety Manual and the NOAA Working Diving Standards and Safety Manual, both of which were developed concurrently with this edition of the NOAA Diving Manual. Conceptually, this manual provides general safety information and background on all aspects of diving, while the two standards and safety manuals outline the specific rules and procedures under which NOAA divers operate. While Imperial units have been used throughout the text, conversions for the International System of Units (SI, from the French Le Système international d unités) have also been included. This resource could not have been developed without the assistance and efforts of a broad panel of experts. These contributors are recognized in the Acknowledgements section of the manual. Likewise, an extended team assisted in editing and review. They are also listed in the Acknowledgements. The NOAA Diving Program (NDP) office and staff provided significant support, as did members of the NOAA Diving Control and Safety Board (NDCSB).