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Taravana
by Dr. Sam Miller
2010 Dr. Sam Miller
All Rights Reserved.

"Free diving bends" was first brought to life and identified by the late, great E. R. Cross. In the late 1950s had sold his Sparling school of diving in Wilmington and set out on a round the world trip to collect sea shells, do research and teach the natives the new art of "Aqua Lung Diving" aka "Lung" diving now called "SCUBA" diving.

In the Tuamotos he encountered native divers who demonstrated classic signs of DCS. His subsequent investigation revealed that the S&S appeared since they had began diving increasingly deeper as the pearl beds of the shallow water were depleted. Thereafter the divers began demonstrating the DCS symptoms.

The natives called the affliction "Taravana" which translated means "Walk (or Fall) crazy"

His findings first appeared in print in 1962 in the then only journal available to divers at that junction in history "Skin Diver Magazine." Since that first report professional researchers through out the world have been studying Taravana; its causes and effects.

I have been a party to two cases occurring at Catalina Island all before ER's report was published. One was an LA County Underwater instructor (prior to NAUI, PADI and the rest of the alphabet) who, after checking out his class did some serious spear fishing, the other was a very serious recreational diver who dove several tanks then also participated in serious deep water spear fishing. I am some what suspect there were a number of other cases in that era who went unreported and untreated, but at this late date would be impossible to verify.

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