Beran Island Resort
Indies Trader III
Guide to the Mentawais
Bikini Dive Trip
Requirements & Safety
Agreement & Waiver
MV Indies Trader
Indies Trader III
Bikini Agreement & Waiver
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As Indies Trader Marine Adventures enters it’s 10th (2019) season of diving at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, we feel that it is necessary to re-visit and reiterate our safety policies regarding dive operations. Incidence of decompression illness (DCI) continues to be our foremost concern, as, obviously, any occurrence is one too many and we continue to see a couple of cases per year. We are fortunate to have had a number of prominent hyperbaric physicians and general MDs come diving with us, and the fact that they approve of our diving operations suggests that while we are following established protocols, perhaps the protocols need to be re-written to some extent to suit the unique conditions encountered while diving at Bikini Atoll.
Some of the factors that may contribute to a higher incidence of DCI are:
Many of our divers have travelled from halfway around the world. They may be very tired, jet-lagged, dehydrated, and may possible have picked up a virus during their air travel. There is also a 220-mile sea voyage to Bikini Atoll, during which seasickness may contribute to fatigue and dehydration.
The climate in the Marshall Islands can be very hot, with very strong sunlight. It is easy to get dehydrated and overheated, leading to an elevated risk of heatstroke or DCI.
The wrecks at Bikini Atoll are lying in depths of over 50 meters. While these depths are accessible to the average technical diver, their accessibility tends to lead to longer run times and large decompression obligations.
Multi-day deep, decompression diving has a cumulative effect in terms of nitrogen loading and general physical well being. We feel that this effect is not well understood and is not accurately weighted in common decompression algorithms.
There is a very real and direct correlation between alcohol abuse and incidence of DCI.
We have noticed a higher incidence of DCI among closed circuit rebreather divers than open circuit divers. We feel that the algorithms currently in use perhaps give too much weight to the advantages of constant, higher PO2. Rebreather divers tend also to have longer dive run times, resulting in higher inert gas loading. An additional level of conservancy should be incorporated into rebreather diving.
Initial DCI Precautions
Initial that you have read and agree to the above sections.
With these contributing factors in mind, we have arrived at the following restrictions:
1. Divers over 70 years of age will not be offered diving at Bikini Atoll.
2. Divers are required to report any symptoms of un-wellness to a dive supervisor or medical doctor if one is on board. A determination of fitness to dive will be made by dive supervisors and doctors, and will be binding.
3. Divers will make every effort to remain hydrated and sheltered from exposure, and will avoid strenuous exertion, particularly post-diving.
4. A few drinks in the evening should not affect diving. Gross intoxication or noticeable hangover will result in diving being denied for 24 hours.
5. Dive computers with variable gradient factors must be used. We have found that a GF of 30/ 70 or 30/75 will result in an acceptable decompression schedule. In no case should a GF more aggressive than 30/75 be used at Bikini Atoll. V-Planner may be used provided that the decompression profile is at least as conservative as GF 30/75. Back-up tables should be calculated using the same algorithm and settings as computers. Ratio deco may not be used as the primary means of calculating decompression profiles.
6. All divers will add at least an extra 10 minutes to their decompression schedule sub 3 meters and at high PO2.
7. All divers will take one dive off at around mid- trip, or alternatively there will be a scheduled shallow, no decompression dive.
8. All divers will employ manifolded double tanks, independent twins, or a rebreather with an alternate bailout system. As all dives at Bikini Atoll are decompression dives, there is a “glass ceiling”, and every diver must have a redundant breathing system. Single tank diving is therefore not allowed.
9. Divers using manifolded doubles should use a buoyancy wing of at least 40 lbs. lift capacity and preferably employing double bladders. Should the diver choose not to employ a double bladder wing he must carry an easily deployed lift bag of sufficient capacity
10. Divers will dive in buddy pairs or groups only. A diver must abort the dive should he find himself alone.
11. Pain- only DCI will normally be treated with oxygen therapy in the decompression chamber if strait oxygen therapy in inconclusive, bed rest and perhaps drug therapy or intra-venous hydration. A diver may be able to return to diving 24 hours after full resolution.
12. Type 2 DCI will be treated as per the recommendations of any doctors present or alternatively per directions of the diver’s insurance carrier. Presence of type-2 DCI symptoms will prevent the diver from returning to diving for the duration of the trip.
13. Divers must have attained certification to at least “Advanced Nitrox and Deco Procedures “ or equivalent. It is strongly recommended that divers should have completed a multi-day, decompression diving trip before coming to Bikini Atoll. We have found that some divers cannot tolerate decompression diving, and given the remote location of our operations, this is not the place to discover that you cannot tolerate an intensive schedule of decompression diving.
14. While it is difficult to impose an absolute limit on dive run times, divers must limit themselves to reasonable profiles that they have successfully used before. There is a tendency to push limits at Bikini Atoll, and dive supervisors will not hesitate to impose limits on an individual basis should they observe risky behavior.
I have read the above and agree to the terms. My signature and full name below will act as my digital signature.
Agree to Terms
By my signature, I acknowledge and confirm that I have read, understand and agree to all booking conditions set forth. I am aware that a “Indies Trader” trip, in addition to usual and inherent risks, has certain additional risks and dangers which may include: physical exertion for which I may not be prepared: remoteness to normal medical services: weather extremes subject to sudden and unexpected change: and evacuation difficulties if I am disabled. I accept all inherent risks of the proposed trip and possibility of personal injury, death, property damage or loss resulting there from. In entering into the Agreement, I am not relying on any oral, written, or visual representations or statements by Indies Trader, their agents or staff, or any other inducement or coercion to go on the trip, hence, only of my own free will
This is a release of your rights to sue Indies Trader Marine Adventures Inc., the People of Bikini Atoll, the Local Government Councils, and/or any of their employees, agents and assigns, and any entity that exists for the benefit of the People of Bikini Atoll for personal injuries or wrongful death that may occur during your forthcoming dive activities at said Atolls as a result of the inherent risks associated with scuba diving/snorkelling and the unique environment at said Atolls. 1. I acknowledge that I am a certified scuba diver trained in safe diving practices. I have been trained in the proper use of skin and scuba diving equipment and certified through:
Dive Agency Name (e.g. PADI)
Highest Level of Certification
Photo of your Dive Card (Front)
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Photo of your Dive Card (Back)
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2. I understand that diving with compressed air involves certain inherent risks, including decompression sickness, embolism, or other hyperbaric injuries. I further understand that even though I follow all the appropriate dive practices, there is still some risk of sustaining these injuries, and I expressly assume the risk and responsibility of said injuries. 3. I understand that if there is a decompression Chamber on board the diving vessel it is to be used at my own risk and if I receive treatment for Decompression sickness (DCS) or any other condition that I will hold all parties harmless should I incur any
4. I Have Completed at least _____ dives
Please enter number of dives completed
5. My certification level is
6. The approximate date of my last dive was
7. I understand that the safe practices of skin and scuba diving include but are not limited to the following: 7.1. I will not skin or scuba dive while under the influence of alcohol, drugs and / or any other controlled substance. 7.2. I will not dive alone or with a person with whom I have not thoroughly discussed the dive plan. Each of us will review one another’s diving equipment and emergency procedures before each dive. 7.3. I will dive with a buoyancy control device that has a power inflation system, a depth gauge, a submersible pressure gauge and a timing device. 7.4. I will adjust weights to maintain neutral buoyancy with no air in my buoyancy control device at the surface of the water and position weights to keep the quick-release buckle centered and accessible at all times. 7.5. I will not dive in conditions in which I do not feel comfortable or that I believe exceed my physical abilities. 7.6. I will surface with at least 300-500psi in my air tank and will not stay underwater until my air supply is exhausted. 7.7. I am proficient with the use of a dive table and/or a dive computer. 7.8. I understand that the boat Captain and Divemaster(s) will make the final selection of a dive location, based upon weather and water conditions, and I will abide by their selections.
8. I carry adequate private insurance to handle any medical problems that may develop in connection with my upcoming dive trip to the Marshall Islands.
Type of Policy
9. I certify that I am in good physical and mental health. 10. I state that I am at least twenty-one (21) years of age and legally competent to sign this Liability Release and Express Assumption of Risk. 11. I am signing this form at least forty-five (45) days prior to my departure on diving vessel. 12. I understand that this Liability Release and Express Assumption of Risk constitutes a contract between myself and the released parties listed above that I have signed this document of my own free will. 13. I understand that skin diving and scuba diving are physically strenuous actives and that I will be exerting myself during my diving at Bikini. If I am injured at Bikini as a result of a heart attack, panic attack, hyperventilation or other injury/illness related to diving, I expressly assume the risk of said injuries.
14. I understand that most of the dives I will conduct at Bikini Atoll are well beyond suggested recreational limits. Specifically, I understand that most dives will be between 60 and 180 feet. I hereby acknowledge that I have received the proper training or have the necessary skills and experience to safely conduct dives at these depths. 15. Because of the extreme depth involved in diving at Bikini, I understand that I may be engaging in “stage decompression diving”. I understand that this is a specialized procedure, and I hereby acknowledge that I am experienced in and comfortable with the procedures associated with staged decompression diving. 16. I understand that the United States Government conducted twenty-three (23) atomic and hydrogen bomb experiments at Bikini Atoll between 1946 and 1958 and that the ships I will dive on at Bikini received radiation from two (2) 1946 atomic tests. I acknowledge that I have received and read a ten (10) page report by W.L. Robison of Lawrence National Laboratory entitled Estimates of Radiological Dose to People Living on Bikini Island for Two weeks While Diving in and Around the Sunken Ships in Bikini Lagoon. I have also read the summary of this report, which states: “The potential dose to a person swimming in the Bikini Lagoon around or through the sunken ships is so low from both the activation products originally induced in the ships and from radionuclides in the lagoon’s sediment that it can be considered essentially zero.” I further understand that 25% of the world’s population dies of cancer, and I expressly assume the risk (however low it may be) that I may contract cancer or any other radiation-induced disease or illness as a result of my visit to Bikini. 17. I understand that skin diving and scuba diving are physically strenuous actives and that I will be exerting myself during my diving at Bikini. If I am injured at Bikini as a result of a heart attack, panic attack, hyperventilation or other injury/illness related to diving, I expressly assume the risk of said injuries. I HAVE FULLY INFORMED MYSELF OF THE CONTENTS OF THIS LIABILITY RELEASE AND EXPRESS ASSUMPTION OF RISK BY READING IT BEFORE I SIGNED IT ON BEHALF OF MYSELF, AND EHIRS AND MY ESTATE.
Signature of Diver
Printed Name of Diver