Lv 4
? asked in SportsSwimming & Diving · 2 months ago

What would happen if someone was in a pressurized facility deep under water and tried to swim out and up to the surface?

I feel like I've seen this in movies a ton, where a character who is in some type of underwater facility breaks out and swims hundreds of feet up to the surface to escape something. Is this actually plausible?

Would there be any pressure effects? Would there be issues with narcosis from oxygen issues in the lungs? 

And if this is plausible at all, how deep could a facility be before it stopped being plausible (as in, how far down could a facility be placed in the ocean before the people inside were incapable of swimming out and up to the surface if there was an issue and needed to leave in an emergency)?

Thanks for any help!

3 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    If a person was several hundred feet underwater for any extended period of time and the atmosphere was pressurized to that extent and then suddenly swam to the surface they would die of nitrogen narcosis if they did not get immediate help

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  • 2 months ago

    There is an escape suit for underwater locations. It is good to 800 feet in depth provided the ascent rate does not exceed 3 meters per second.

    Divers who work at depths greater then 100 feet for greater then 30 minutes requires attention to be given to decompression requirements.

    A person has to breath, holding using what air is in the lungs long enough to ascend becomes the issue. Three meters per second works out to be about 180 feet provided the person can control their breathing so they make it to the surface. Beyond that some sort of device (improvised or stolen) would be needed.

    • Reginald
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      The word "breath" without an E on the end is a noun; "breathe" is a verb.

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  • 2 months ago

    It is possible to swim up to the surface if you have an oxegen tank (without one you would likely drowned) but you have to be careful not to swim up faster than your air bubbles or you risk getting the bends and dying. I am not sure at what depths it is unsafe to go out into the water, a pressurized suit would surely extend the depths to which one could safely swim. But as certain depths are able to crumple a submarine's hull like a tin can i can only imagine what that would do to a human being. I would assume any underwater facility would be required to have ample escape submarines.Take everything I have said with a grain of salt as I only have rudimentary knowledge on this subject

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