Can You Throw Up During a Dive – What Happens?

Last Updated: July 17, 2023

Vomiting while scuba diving can pose serious risks if:

  • you lose your regulator,
  • you clog your regulator,
  • or take a deep breath after vomiting without having your regulator on.

vomiting after scuba diving

However, if you know what to do and don’t panic, throwing up underwater is manageable.

This article will detail the factors surrounding how to properly vomit while scuba diving, risks, and how to avoid it.

Why do people vomit during a dive?

Getting seasick due to the boat ride to the dive site is a significant reason why people get sick. The seasickness is due to motion that is felt but not seen. Other factors related to the dive may be vertigo, dehydration, emotional stress, or reaction to certain odors.

Benefits of vomiting underwater, really?

Once the person has vomited, the symptoms may be alleviated. Several endorphins are released after the body has purged itself. The vomit may also attract several fish to the area, which may be a great opportunity to take pictures.

What To Do If I am Going to Vomit Underwater

The first thing to remember is to stay calm. If you panic, it may end up turning into a very serious situation. The major concern is that you no longer have the regulator in your mouth and end up taking a deep breath.

Do I remove the regulator?

The immediate reflex after throwing up is to take a deep breath of air into the lungs. If you throw up into the regulator, there is the risk of clogging the it. However, vomiting can be done through a regulator. The purge button should successfully ensure it is thoroughly cleaned out.

Will I lose my regulator?

Losing the regulator is a risk if you suddenly retch and forcefully expel the regulator. Should the regulator be lost, all divers carry a second-stage regulator. This acts as a backup in the event that the diver needs more air. If you have a buddy, they can provide you with assistance as well.

What if I clog my regulator?

The purge button on the regulator should free the regulator from any debris. Remove the regulator from your mouth, point the mouthpiece downwards, then use the purge button the clear it out.

How to Avoid Vomiting While Scuba Diving

There are medications, such as ginger and dimenhydrinate, to help control nausea from seasickness. Also, ensure to stay properly hydrated, eat only a light meal, get plenty of rest and avoid alcohol. Despite these precautions, some people are prone to seasickness, so throwing up may be unavoidable.

Can I still vomit if my stomach is empty?

Even though your stomach is empty, you can still vomit up bile-like substance. This smooth type of vomit will be easier to purge from the regulator, but you may end up with a burning sensation in your throat due to the expulsion of the stomach acids.

What is the best thing to do if I start feeling nauseous?

If you don’t feel well, cancel the dive. Should you start feeling nauseous while under the water, start ascending at a safe rate. However, if you start vomiting, stop ascending since this can be very dangerous and cause pulmonary barotrauma.

Where am I most likely to get seasick?

The most likely place to get sick is on the boat. Some people feel less queasy once they get into the water. However, the waves and motion of the water are more strongly felt near the surface, which may contribute to seasickness when snorkeling too.

What do I do with my regulator after I finish the dive?

It is very important to ensure the proper cleaning is performed on the regulator. This involves soaking the regulator and making sure that all particles are scrubbed from the inside. It may be necessary to disassemble it to clean out any remaining debris.

Final Thoughts

The best way to deal with the fear of throwing up underwater is to not worry about it at all, and if you do get sick, you have to accept that it is a normal part of the scuba diving process. Thorough training is the best thing to ensure you know what to do if you throw up.

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