An Encounter with SIPE
from the September, 2023 issue of Undercurrent
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I experienced Submersion Pulmonary Edema (SIPE) while diving on the Aggressor II in Egypt on July 3. I began to experience it but didn't recognize it at the end of a 47-minute dive in 74°F water wearing an old 3mil suit. At the end of the dive, I suffered breathlessness but decided I must just be out of shape. After 3-plus hours off-gassing, we penetrated the wreck of the Thistlegorm for 83 minutes (76 °F). Although diving 31 percent Nitrox, my blood O2 level was 84 percent at the end of the dive, and I was coughing blood. After 100 percent O2 and a two-hour trip back to a rendezvous close to Hurghada, I got a marine rescue trip to the hospital, where I spent the next three days. I'm 71 years old and in good health. My last 80-plus dives were in 84°F water in Raja Ampat in November 2022 without incident....
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