DEAR ABBY: As the summer progresses, many people will try recreational scuba diving for fun. Please warn your readers how dangerous scuba diving can be.
Abby, three years ago, our 21-year-old son, Randall, decided to take a break from his studies and be a foreign missionary. He went on vacation with friends, and while scuba diving had an attack of asthma. Only after his death did we learn about the danger of diving when one has a serious medical condition.
According to a study titled "Medical Examination of Sports Scuba Divers," edited by Dr. Alfred Bove, no one should dive if he or she has chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, headaches, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, congenital heart disease, etc.
Also, divers should wear a buoyance compensation device. It costs about $150 and will take a diver to the surface and keep him or her buoyant until help arrives.
Our hope is that others will now be more cautious. If you publish this information, you will save many lives. -- SARAH MOODY, CHARLESTON, S.C.
DEAR SARAH: Please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of your son. Scuba diving is a popular sport that requires training and certification, and I hope your warning will be heeded by amateurs who consider sampling its pleasures.