Decompression stop

A decompression stop in scuba diving is a specific depth and duration that a diver must pause during ascent to allow accumulated inert gases, primarily nitrogen, to safely off-gas from the body. This is necessary when a diver exceeds the No-Decompression Limit (NDL) or engages in technical dives that require intentional decompression.

Decompression stops are critical to prevent decompression sickness, a condition caused by the formation of nitrogen bubbles in the bloodstream. Technical divers using enriched air or engaging in deep dives follow specific decompression schedules. During a decompression stop, the diver remains at a constant depth, allowing the inert gases to be released without forming bubbles that could lead to health risks.

Dive tables, dive computers, or specialized software are used to calculate decompression stops based on dive profiles. Proper adherence to decompression procedures is crucial for diver safety during and after the dive.