AAO x 3 – Awake, Alert and Orientated to Time, Place, and Person. Used to show victims level of consciousness.

ABCs – Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Spine. First items to evaluate in the exam of any victim. Steps of basic life support.

ABDOMEN – Large cavity below to the diaphragm and above the pelvis.

ABDOMINAL – Pertaining to the abdomen.

ABEAM – Amidship, at a right angle to the keel.

ABNORMALITY – Not normal or malformed; abnormal.

ABOARD – Into or on a boat.

ABRASION – Portion of body denuded of skin by rubbing, scraping, etc.

ABSOLUTE PRESSURE – Sum of the atmospheric pressure and the hydrostatic pressure, expressed – psia.

ABSORPTION – Passage of a substance through a membrane into blood.

ABT – Actual Bottom Time

AC – Alternating Current

ACTIVATED CHARCOAL – Substance used to absorb ingested poisons.

ACTUAL BOTTOM TIME – Total underwater time from beginning of descent to beginning of ascent.

ACUTE – Having a rapid onset and severe symptoms.

ACUTE ABDOMEN – Condition caused by abdominal injury or irritation or inflammation of the peritoneal lining, with severe pain.

ACUTE MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION (AMI) – Period of cardiac ischemia caused by sudden narrowing or complete occlusion of a coronary artery.

ACUTE RESPIRATORY INSUFFICIENCY – Any condition in which breathing is inadequate to supply oxygen or remove carbon dioxide from tissues.

ADJUSTED NO-DECOMPRESSION LIMIT – The no-decompression time minus the residual nitrogen time for a specific repetitive dive. Actual bottom time is not to exceed this time.

AERODONTALGIA – Tooth Squeeze.

AFLOAT – In the water.

AGROUND – Stuck on the bottom.

AHEAD – Forward on line with the keel.

AIR HUNGER – Another term for dyspnea, or shortness of breath.

AIR EMBOLISM – Results from expansion of air in the lungs as the outside pressure decreases during ascent. The trapped gas may cause overexpansion of the lungs and/or rupture of the lung tissue, with air escaping into the blood vessels which may result in air blockage of blood circulation to vital areas.

ALEE – To the leeward side.

ALIMENTARY TRACT – Digestive tract as a whole.

ALLERGEN – Substance that produces allergic symptoms.

ALLERGY – Abnormal susceptibility to any substance that does not ordinarily cause adverse symptoms in the average person.

ALTERNATING CURRENT (AC) – Electric current whose direction reverses at regular intervals, contact can cause the victim to freeze to the source.

ALVEOLI – Saccular units at the distal end of the bronchiole where gas exchange takes place.

AMI – Acute Myocardial Infarction

AMIDSHIP – Mid-section of a vessel.

AMNESIA – Loss of memory.

AMPULE – Sealed glass container of sterile medication.

AMPUTATION – Severing of a part of the body.

ANALGESIC – An agent that relives pain.

ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK – Allergic reaction with severe bronchospasm and vascular collapse, may be fatal.

ANATOMIC – Pertaining to anatomy or structure.

ANATOMY – Study of the body structure.

ANEMIA – Condition where victim is deficient in hemoglobin or RBCs.

ANTL – Adjusted No-Decompression Time Limit.

ANCHOR – To hold fast in the water or secure to the bottom by means of a chain or rope.

ANEURYSM – Sac or bulge resulting from weakening of the wall of a blood vessel

ANGINA – Any disease marked by attacks of chocking or suffocation. Steady severe pain in the region of the heart.

ANGINA PECTORIS – Sudden pain in chest caused by embarrassment of circulation to the cardiac muscle.

ANGIONEUROTIC EDEMA – Condition of allergic origin characterized by hives and swelling of various tissue.

ANOMALY – Any feature that departs from the normal significantly.

ANOREXIA – Lack of appetite.

ANOXIA – Complete lack of oxygen in the tissues.

ANTERIOR – Situated in front of or in the forward part of. In anatomy belly side of the body.

ANTIBIOTIC – Agent derived from living sources that kills or inhibits the growth of bacteria.

ANTICOAGULANT – Substance that prevents blood from clotting.

ANTIDOTE – Substance used to counteract the effects of a drug or combat the effects of a poison.

ANTIHYPERTENSIVE AGENT – Drugs used to lower blood pressure.

ANTISEPTIC – Substance that prevents the growth of bacteria.

ANTISERUM – Serum that contains antibodies against a specific disease producing agent, may be human or animal origin.

ANTIVENIN – Serum that contains antitoxin specific for an animal or insect venom.

ANXIETY – A feeling of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear.

AORTA – Largest artery in the body.

AORTA ARCH – Portion of the aorta that curves and begins to descend.

APHASIA – Defect in speaking or comprehending in the normal manner caused by injury or disease in the brain centers.

APNEA – Absence of breathing.

ARCHIMEDES’ PRINCIPLE – A body immersed in a liquid, either wholly or partially, is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the liquid displaced. For a submerged body subtract the weight of the object from the weight of the displaced water.

ARREST – A stoppage, usually referring to respiration or heart.

ARTERIOSCLEROSIS – Condition in which the walls of the arteries thicken and become inelastic.

ASPHYXIA – Suffocation; characterized by hypercarbia and hypoxemia.

ASPIRATE – To inhale foreign material into the lungs; to remove by suction

ASTERN – Toward the stern.

ASYMPTOMATIC – Showing no symptoms.

ATELECTASIS – Collapse of the alveolar air spaces.

ATHWART – Across

ATM – Atmosphere. Every ATM = 14.7 psi, or 33 feet seawater.

ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE – Pressure of the weight of atmospheric gases and acts on all bodies, is equal in all directions, 14.7 psi at sea level.

ATTENDED DIVING – Diving with a lifeline or breast-rope. Also diving with an air-pipe designed to serve as a lifeline controlled by an attendant.

AUDITORY NERVE – Hearing and balance, the eighth cranial nerve.

AURA – Premonitory sensation of impending illness,

AUSCULTATION – Listening to and interpreting body sounds.

AUTOTRANSFUSION – Transfusion effected by redirecting the patient’s own blood from one part of the body to another by use of Military Anti-Shock Trousers (MAST).

AVULSION – An Injury that leaves a piece of tissue either partially or completely torn away.

AWASH – At level with the water.

AYE – “Yes” or “I understand.”

BABINSKI REFLEX – Reflex response of the big toe seen in head injury victims. When the sole of the foot is stroked the big toe turns upward instead of downward.

BAIL – To remove water from a vessel.

BALLAST – Material in the bottom of a vessel to keep it steady.

BANDAGE – Material used to hold a dressing in place.

BARBITURATE – Class of drugs that produce a calming effect; downers.

BAROTRAUMA – Results when a diver is unable to equalize the pressure in a rigid air-containing space (sinuses) with the external pressure.

BATTLE’S SIGN – Discoloration over the tip of the mastoid behind the ear signifying a possible basilar skull fracture.

BATTEN – Thin strips of plastic or wood set in pockets sewed into a sail to improve the set of the sail.

BCD – Buoyancy Control Device

BEACON – Post or buoy placed at a shoal or bank to warn vessels, can also be a signal mark on land.

BEAM – Vessel width amidship.

BEARING – Point of the compass in which an object is seen or a direction.

BELAY – To make fast or a command to stop.

BELOW – Under the deck.

BENADRYL – Diphenhydramine an antihistamine used in allergic reactions.

BENDS – Painful condition in limbs and abdomen caused by nitrogen bubbles in the blood and tissues as a result of rapid reduction of pressure. Caisson disease, decompression sickness.

BIFURCATION – Dividing into two branches.

BILGE – Lower internal part of a boats hull.

BIOLOGIC DEATH – Irreversible brain damage usually occurring after 3 to 10 minutes of loss of blood supply to the brain.

BLADDER – An organ of the urinary system located in the pelvis just behind the pubic bone, can rupture in motion injuries when full.

BLIND PANIC – A reaction seen in situations of mass casualties in which persons judgement is impaired.

BLOCK – A device with pulleys by which extra leverage can be obtained or a line can be controlled.

BLOOD PRESSURE – Pressure exerted by the pulsatile flow of blood against the arterial walls.

BLOOD VOLUME – Total amount of blood in the body, Adult 6 – 8 liters.

BOOM – A spar used to extend the foot of a sail.

BOTTLE – Air tanks; scuba tanks

BOW – Front of a vessel.

BOYLE’S LAW – For any gas at a constant temperature, the volume will vary inversely with the absolute pressure while the density will vary

directly with the absolute pressure. 2x pressure 2x density 1/2 volume.

BP – Blood Pressure

BRADYCARDIA – Slow heart rate, normally less than 60 per minute.

BRIDLE – Span of line with the ends secured and another line attached for towing or lifting.

BRONCHIOLE – Small division of a bronchus.

BRONCHITIS – Inflammation of the bronchi.

BRONCHOCONSTRICTION – Narrowing of the bronchial tubes.

BRONCHODILATOR – Agent that causes dilation of the bronchi.

BRONCHUS – Main branches of the trachea carrying air into the lungs.

BRUISE – A Contusion.

BULKHEAD – Vertical partition in a vessel.

BUOY – Floating anchored aid for navigation or reference.

BUOYANCY – See Archimedes’ Principle

BUOYANCY CONTROL DEVICE – An inflatable bladder which can either be orally or mechanically inflated to increase buoyancy to off set the effects of increasing water pressure. Can provide surface support but is not a PFD.

BUOYANT – Ability to float.

BURN – Injury caused by extreme in temperature hot or cold.


CAPACITY PLATE – Gives the maximum weight capacity and horsepower rating of a boat, must be in full view of operators station.

CAPSIZE – To turn over.

CARBON DIOXIDE – End product of carbohydrate metabolism, eliminated from the body by respiration.

CARBOXYHEMOGLOBIN – Hemoglobin that is combined with carbon monoxide.

CARBURETOR BACKFIRE FLAME ARRESTOR – Required on all motorboats except outboards and diesels. Reduces the chance of backfire in internal combustion engines.

CARDIOGENIC – Of cardiac origin.

CARDIOVASCULAR – Pertaining to the heart and blood vessel.

CARDINAL POINTS – Four main points of a compass: North, South East and West.

CARINA – Point at which the trachea bifurcates.

CAROTID – One of the main arteries of the neck supplying the head.

CAROTID SINUS – Dilated area in the internal carotid artery containing sensitive nerve endings that participate in the regulation of heart rate and blood pressure. Massaging of this area can produce marked slowing of the heart.

CAROTID SINUS MASSAGE – The use of pressure over the carotid sinus to slow down the heart by vagal stimulation, what happens in hood squeeze.

CARPOPEDAL SPASM – Position of the hands in a claw like attitude and the thumb curls towards the palm, may be caused by hyperventilation.

CASCADE – Process with a series of steps each step initiates the next step until a final step is reached.

CASCADE SYSTEM – Type of system used to fill high pressure tanks using a series of larger high pressure bottles.

CAST OFF – To untie or let go.

CATAMARAN – Sailboat with two narrow hulls connected by a deck and two rudders

CENTERBOARD – Pivoting board which can be raised or lowered to reduce a sailboats tendency to sideslip when tacking.

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM – Brain and spinal cord.

CEREBRAL – Relating to the brain.

CEREBROSPINAL FLUID – Fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord.

CHAFE – To wear by rubbing.

CHARLES’ LAW – Any gas at a constant pressure, the volume of the gas will vary directly with the absolute temperature, and any gas at a constant volume the pressure of the gas will vary directly with the absolute temperature. Simply stated for diving: that for every degree of temperature change +/- the pressure in a tank will vary +/- 5 psi.

CHART – A map of a body of water with necessary navigational information.

CLEAT – Piece of wood or metal with projecting ends to which lines are fasten.

CLEW – The rear lower corner of a sail.

CLINICAL DEATH – The moment pulse and blood pressure are absent.

CNS – Central Nervous System

COCKPIT – A well or sunken space in the afterdeck of a small boat for use of the helmsman. Forward cockpits are common on motor boats.

COMA – State of unconsciousness from which the patient cannot be aroused even by powerful stimulation.

COMATOSE – In a coma.

COME ABOUT – To change course, tack, in a sail boat.

COMPASS – The instrument which shows your course.

CONCUSSION – Injury that results from a violent jar or shock.

CONSTRICTING BAND – Band used to restrict venous flow.

CONTAMINATED – Infected with bacteria, refers to food, water, wound.

CONTUSION – Injury that causes hemorrhage into or beneath the skin.

CONVULSION – Violent involuntary contraction of the muscles.

COURSE – The point of the compass in which you are traveling.

COWLS – Hooded openings used for ventilation on a vessel.

CREPITUS – Grating sound heard from fractured bone ends rubbing.

CRICOTHYROTOMY – Surgical airway used in emergency situations.

CSF – Cerebrospinal Fluid

CSM – Carotid Sinus Massage

CTC – Canadian Transportation Commission

CURRENT – The direction the water is moving.

CYANOSIS – Blueness of the skin caused by lack of oxygen; hypoxemia.

DAGGERBOARD – A vertical sliding centerboard on a sail boat.

DALTON’S LAW – The total pressure exerted by a mixture of gases is the sum of the pressures that would be exerted by each of the gases if it alone were present and occupied the total volume.

DEAD AHEAD – Directly forward.

DECK – Permanent covering over a compartment, hull or any part of.

DECOMPRESSION SCHEDULES – Proceeding by which a diver who has been subjected to pressure must be brought to surface.


DECOMPRESSION STOP – The time and depth a diver must stop at and wait during ascent from a deep dive.

DEFORMITY – Unusual alteration in the shape of a part or organ.

DEHYDRATION – Condition of caused by excessive loss of body water.

DELIRIUM – Disturbed mental condition resulting from injury or fever.

DENIAL – Psychic defense of dealing with unwanted feelings.

DENSITY – Mass per unit volume, is usually stated in pounds per cubic foot (lb/ft3), or grams per cubic centimeter (g/cm3).

DENSITY OF WATER – Fresh water = 62.4 lbs/ft3 or 0.445 psi per ft descent. Sea water = 64.0lbs/ft3 or 0.432 psi per ft. descent.

DEPTH – The maximum depth attained during a dive or the working depth.

DIAPHORESIS – Profuse perspiration.

DINGHY – A small open boat.

DISLOCATION – Disruption of the normal anatomy of a joint.

DISORIENTATION – Disturbed mental state regarding person-time-place.

DIVE SCHEDULE – The depth and total bottom time of any dive.

DKA – Diabetic Ketoacidosis

DOA – Dead on Arrival

DOCUMENTED VESSEL – Vessel registered with the U.S. Coast Guard.

DOS – Dead on Scene

DOT – Department of Transportation

DOWNERS – Barbiturates

DRAFT – The depth of a vessel below the water line.

DRIFT – Amount a vessel is pushed off course by the current.

DROWNING – Asphyxia caused by immersion.

DRT – Dead Right There

DRY ROT – A fungus decay which causes materials to become brittle.

DRY SUIT – An exposure suit designed for cold water that does not let water enter the suit.

DYSPNEA – Sensation of difficulty in breathing.

EARDRUM – Flexible structure stretched across the far end of the ear canal whose vibrations conduct sound to the middle ear.

EBB – The reflex of the tide.

ECCHYMOSIS – Blood under the skin causing a black and blue mark. EDEMA – Swelling; fluid accumulation in body tissues.

EIP – Equipment Inspection Program.

EMBOLISM – A mass of solid, liquid, or gas that is carried in the circulation and may lead to occlusion of blood vessels.

EMESIS – Vomiting

EMETIC – Substance that produces vomiting.

EMPHYSEMA – Infiltration of any tissue by air or gas.

EPIGLOTTIS – Thin structure located behind the root of the tongue that shields the entrance of the larynx during swallowing preventing the aspiration into the trachea.

EPISTAXIS – Nosebleed

ER – Emergency Room

ESTUARY – An inlet.

ETA – Estimated Time of Arrival

EUSTACHIAN TUBE – Tube leading from the back of the throat to the middle ear whose purpose it is to equalize pressure.

EXPOSURE SUIT – The protective clothing used to protect persons from the cooling effects of long exposure in water.

EXTRICATION – Freeing an entrapped victim.

FAINTING – Momentary loss of consciousness caused by insufficient blood supply to the brain; syncope

FATHOM – Measurement of depth equal to six feet.

FALL OFF – To maneuver away or away from the wind.

FINS – Provides effective underwater propulsion by providing a large surface area, and leaves the arms free for other things.

FLAIL CHEST – Condition where several ribs are broken each in at least two places or in which there is sternal fracture or separation of the ribs from the sternum producing a free floating segment of the chest wall that moves paradoxically on respiration.

FOWLER’S POSITION – Semisitting position.

FREE DIVER – A person who uses only mask, fins, snorkel, weight belt and vest.

FROSTBITE – Local damage to tissues resulting from prolong exposure to cold.

FOOT – Lower edge of a sail.

GAG REFLEX – Automatic spasm of the airway in response to irritation of the throat.

GAIT – Way a person walks.

GASTRIC – Pertaining to the stomach.

GAUGE PRESSURE – Pressure in a closed container minus 1 ATM

GERIATRIC – Referring to the elderly.

GESTATION – Pregnancy

GIVE-WAY VESSEL – A vessel which is directed by the “Rules of the Road” to keep out of the way of another vessel.

GLOTTIS – Opening between the vocal cords.

GLUCOSE – A simple sugar.

GOOD SAMARITAN ACT – Statute providing limited immunity from prosecution to persons responding voluntarily and in good faith to the aid of an injured person outside an hospital.

GROUND – Touching the bottom.

GROUP DESIGNATION – Alphabet letter used in dive tables to designate amount of residual nitrogen in a diver.

GUNWALE – Upper edge of a boats side.

HABITAT – Underwater dwelling place in which the personal may are may not be subjected to pressure.

HALLUCINATION – Sense perception not founded in objective reality.

HALLUCINOGEN – Agent that may stimulate hallucination.

HALYARD – A line and/or wire used to hoist a sail or flag.

HARD HAT DIVING – Where the diver wears an incompressible helmet to which the gas supply comes via a hose from the surface.

HATCH – An opening in a vessel to allow persons or cargo to go below.

HEAD – A marine toilet.

HEAD TILT – Maneuver to open the airway by hyperextending the neck.

HEADWAY – Moving forward in the water.

HEART ATTACK – Layman’s term for an acute myocardial infarction.

HEAT STROKE – Life threatening condition caused by a disturbance in the temperature regulating mechanism. Sym: Hot dry skin, extreme fever, bounding pulse, delirium and, coma.

HEAVE – To throw or pull.

HEEL – To lean or tip but not capsize.

HELM – Wheel or tiller by which a vessel is steered.

HEMATEMESIS – Vomiting blood.

HEMATOMA – Localized collection of blood in the tissues as a result of a broken blood vessel.

HEMATURIA – Blood in the urine.

HEMOPTYSIS – Coughing blood from the lungs.

HEMORRHAGE – Bleeding, particularly excessive.

HEMOTHORAX – Bleeding into the pleural cavity.

HIKING STRAP – A strap attached to floorboards or a centerboard trunk under which a crewman can hook his foot allowing to hike his body out over the side of the boat.

HISTORY – Information about the patient’s chief complaint, present signs and symptoms and previous medical illnesses.

HOOD SQUEEZE – Caused by wearing a hood that is too tight, added water pressure with a tight hood may cause carotid sinus massage which can lead to bradycardia black out due to insufficient blood to the brain.

HP – High Pressure

HULL – The body of a vessel.

HYDRO – Hydrostatic test.


HYDROSTATIC TEST – A water pressure test done on high pressure cylinders done every five years as required by DOT and CTC.

HYPERCARBIA – High partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the blood.

HYPEREXTENSION – Overextension of a limb or other part of the body.

HYPERPNEA – Increased depth of respiration.

HYPERTHERMIA – Abnormally increased body temperature.

HYPERVENTILATION – Increased rate and/or depth of respiration that results in abnormal lowering of atrial carbon dioxide.

HYPOGLYCEMIA – Deficiency of sugar in the blood.

HYPOTENSION – Low blood pressure.

HYPOTHERMIA – A physical condition when the body losses heat faster than it can produce.

HYPOVOLEMIA – Decreased amount of body fluids and blood.

HYPOXIA – A shortage of oxygen.

IDIOPATHIC – Of unknown cause.

IM – Intramuscular

IMMOBILIZATION – Holding a part firmly in place

IMPALED OBJECT – An object that has caused a wound and stays there.

INBOARD – Towards the center of the boat.

INCISION – A wound usually made deliberately in surgery; a clean cut.

INFARCTION – Death of tissue due to loss of blood

INFERIOR – The lower surface; below or downward.

INFLAMMATION – Tissue reaction to injury or infection causing redness swelling, pain, and heat.

INFUSION – Administration of fluids into a vein.

INGESTION – Taking in of food or other substances by mouth.

INHALATION – Active phase of respiration, air drawn into the lungs.

INSPECTION – Careful visual examination

INSULIN – Hormone that promotes utilization of sugar by the body.

INSULIN SHOCK – Severe hypoglycemia caused by excessive insulin.

INTERCOSTAL – Between the ribs.

INTERMITTENT POSITIVE PRESSURE BREATHING (IPPB) – Ventilation under positive pressure to the spontaneously breathing patient.

INTERMITTENT POSITIVE PRESSURE VENTILATION (IPPV) – Ventilation under positive pressure to the non-spontaneously breathing patient.

INTOXICATION – State of being poisoned, condition caused by excessive use of alcohol, or drugs.

INTRAVENOUS – Into or within a vein.

INTUBATION – Insertion of a tube into any hollow organ such as the trachea or stomach.

IV – Intravenous

J-VALVE – Primarily regulates the air flow from a SCUBA tank by means of a on/off knob but has the added feature of a warning device that lets the

diver know that the tank is running low.

JAW THRUST – Used to open the airway by pushing forward on the jaw.

JIB – A triangular sail set on a stay, forward.

JIBE – To tack before the wind in a sailboat, sometimes accidentally.

K-VALVE – Regulates the air flow from a scuba tank by means of a on/off knob.

KEEL – Principal backbone member of a vessel running fore to aft.

KETOACIDOSIS – Condition in diabetics where the insulin dose does not meet their needs, blood sugars reach high levels and fat is metabolized to ketones and acids. May also occur in conditions other than diabetes.

KNOT – To bend a line; a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour.

LACERATION – Wound made by a tearing or cutting

LARYNGOSCOPE – Instrument for visualizing the larynx.

LARYNGOSPASM – Constriction of the larynx, often in response to noxious stimuli, or allergy.

LARYNX – Organ of voice production.

LATERAL – Toward or on the side.

LEE – The side opposite to that which the wind blows.

LEECH – The after edge of a fore-and-aft sail.

LEEWARD – Turned away from the wind.

LEEWAY – The amount a vessel is carried leeward by the winds force.

LETHARGY – Lack of ambition to do anything, with a feeling of sleepiness.

LIFT BAG – Device used in salvage operations for the lifting of objects underwater.

LINE – A rope.

LIST – The leaning or incline of a vessel.

LNG – Liquified Natural Gas

LOADING DOSE – Initial large dose of a drug that provides a blood level necessary to achieve its therapeutic effects.

LOC – Loss Of Consciousness

LOG – A record or diary.

LOTION – Preparation for external use.

LP – Low Pressure

LPG – Liquified Petroleum Gas

LUBBER LINE – A mark or permanent line on a compass that shows the center line

LUFF – The forward edge of fore-and-aft sail. Also to cause a sail to flutter.

LUMBAR – Region of the spine below the thorax, the lower back.

M.A.E. – Moves All Extremities.

MAIN – In all vessels it applies to the principal mast and sail.

MAINSAIL – The largest sail hoisted directly on the mast.

MALAISE – Generalized feeling of discomfort.

MARKED DIVING – Diving with the divers towing a surface float so that their position may be monitored from the surface.

MASK – Allows a person to see clearly underwater by maintaining the air space in front of the eyes.

MAST – A spar set upright to support rigging. Military Anti Shock Trousers.

MECHANISM OF INJURY – The way an injury occurred and the force.

MEDIASTINAL EMPHYSEMA – Results from lung rupture and escaping air accumulates in the area around the heart, major vessels, neck etc.with resulting difficulty in breathing and/or circulation.

MIXED GAS – Breathing mixtures of oxygen and inert gasses such as helium, used by professional, military and commercial divers for deep dive operations.

MIZZEN-MAST – The aftermost mast of a vessel.

MOORING – Anchor, chain, buoy, pennant, etc. by which a vessel is permanently anchored in one location.

MOORING BUOY – A buoy to moor to, instead of anchoring. The only buoy that you may legally secure a vessel to.

MOTORBOAT – Any watercraft propelled by machinery, whether or not such machinery is the principal source of propulsion.

NARCED – Having of have had nitrogen narcosis.

N.A.S.D.S. – The National Association of Scuba Diving Schools. A diver training and certifying agency.

NASOPHARYNX – Part of the pharynx that is continuous with the nasal passages.

N.A.U.I. – The National Association of Underwater Instructors. A diver training and certifying agency.

NAUTICAL MILE – In practice it is taken to be 6,080 feet. At any place on the Earth’s surface the length of one minute of arc measured along the meridian through that place.

NECK LIFT – Maneuver to open the airway by lifting up on the neck.

NITROGEN NARCOSIS – Euphoria feeling brought on by excessive nitrogen under pressure, caused by breathing too high a partial pressure.

N.O.A.A. – The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

NO-DECOMPRESSION LIMIT – Maximum total bottom time that can be spent at a given depth without a decompression stop.

NUN BUOY – A conical red buoy bearing an even number and marking the starboard side of a channel from seaward.

OAR – An instrument with flat blade used for propelling boats.

OCCIPITAL – The back part of the head.

OCCLUSION – Stoppage or closure of a passage.

OCCLUSIVE DRESSING – Airtight or watertight bandage.

OROPHARYNX – Area behind the base of the tongue.

OUTBOARD – Away from the center or towards the outside of the vessel.

OUTBOARD MOTOR – An engine which is placed outside a boat.

P.A.D.I. – The Professional Association of Diving Instructors. A diver training and certifying agency.

PAINTER – A line attached to the bow of a boat used for making it fast.

PALLOR – Paleness of the skin.

PARADOXICAL RESPIRATION – Seen in flail chest where the inhalation phase causes chest collapse.

PARESTHESIA – Sensation of numbness indicating nerve disfunction.

PARTIAL PRESSURE – In a mixture of gases, the proportion of the total pressure contributed by a single gas in the mixture.

PEDAL -Pertaining to the foot.

PERFUSION – Flow of blood through the tissues.

PFD – Personal Floatation Device.

PHARYNX – Portion of the airway between the nasal cavity and larynx.

PHYSIOLOGY – Study of body functions.

PITCH – The fore or aft movement as the bow and stern rise and fall due to wave action.

POINT – One of 32 points of the compass equal to 11.25 degrees. There are 10, 12, 20 and 32 point lights indicating the arc of the compass through which they are visible. Also a sailboats ability to sail close into the wind.

PORT – Left. On a vessel it is to the left when facing the bow.

POSTERIOR – Towards the back.

POSTICTAL – The period after a seizure.

POSTMORTEM – After death.

PNEUMOTHORAX – Total or partial collapse of the lung; results from trauma or gas over pressure.

PRESSURE – Force acting on a unit area, is usually expressed in pounds per square inch (psi) or kilograms per square centimeter (kg/cm2).

PRN – As Needed

PRONE – Lying flat face down.

RBC – Red Blood Cells

RECUMBENT – Lying down.

REDUCE – To restore a part to its normal position.

REPETITIVE DIVE: A dive made between 10 minutes and 12 hours of a previous dive.

RESIDUAL NITROGEN – The nitrogen remaining in the body from dives made within past 12 hours.

RESIDUAL NITROGEN TIME – Amount of time added to the bottom time of a repetitive dive to represent the residual nitrogen from a previous dive.

RESPIRATION – Act of breathing; exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lung.

RESPIRATORY ARREST – Cessation of breathing.

RESUSCITATION – Act of reviving an unconscious person, not breathing.

REVERSE SQUEEZE – Results when expanding air is trapped in the middle ear or sinuses during ascent due to eustachian tube or sinus block.

RIB – An athwartship frame on a vessel.

RNT – Residual Nitrogen Time

ROACH – The curved stern edge of a sail. Unused end of a marijuana cigarette.

ROLL – Sideward motion of a vessel caused by wind and/or waves.

RUDDER – A device used for steering and maneuvering, attached to a stern or rudder post – not necessary on outboards because the motor is used to change direction by thrust.

RULES OF THE ROAD – The international regulations for preventing collisions at sea.

SAILBOAT – A boat powered by the wind by the use of sails, may or may not have an auxiliary engine.

SATURATION DIVING – Describes the state which a diver will reach after a prescribed period at a constant pressure, the body will not absorb any further gas and the decompression required will not change for any additional time at that pressure.

SCOPE – The length of the anchor line or chain from the vessel to the anchor.

* Scope = Length/Depth

SCUBA – Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.

SCUBA DIVER – Person who uses SCUBA

SCUBA TANK – Cylindrical metal container used to safely store high pressure air for breathing underwater. Are subject to regulation set down by U.S. Department of Transportation (D.O.T.).

SCUPPER – Holes that allow water to run off a deck.

SEA ANCHOR – A drag thrown over the bow to keep a vessel pointed into the wind or sea.

SEMICIRCULAR CANALS – Small structures in the inner ear that maintain equilibrium.

SHEET – Line used to trim a sail.

SHIP – Any vessel of considerable size navigating deep water. A sailing vessel with a bowsprit and at least three square rigged mast.

SHIP’S COMPANY – The crew of a vessel.

SHIP OF THE LINE – Front line Naval vessel, a man-of-war large and strong enough to take its place in the line of battle: All Aircraft Carriers, Battleships, Light and Heavy Cursers.

SHOCK – State of inadequate tissue perfusion, which may be caused by, heart failure, volume loss, vasodilation or any combination.

SHROUDS – Lines or wires that run down from a mast to the sides and serve as bracing. Rigging.

SIGN – Evidence of disease or injury found on physical examination.

SINUSES – Any cavity having a narrow opening.

SKIN DIVER – A person who uses only mask, fins, snorkel, weight belt and vest, also called a free diver.

SLOOP – A small sailing vessel with one mast forward with only a mainsail and jib can have topsails and staysails.

SNORKEL – Tube that allows a person to breathe on the surface without lifting their head out of the water.

SPAR – General term for mast, yards and booms.

SPAR BUOY – A channel marker bearing an uneven number and showing the port side of the channel from seaward.

SPASM – Sudden involuntary contraction of a muscle or muscle group, passage, canal, or orifice.

SPECIFIC GRAVITY – Is the ratio of the density of a substance to the density of fresh water. Substances heavier than fresh water have specific gravity greater than 1.0 and substances lighter are less than 1.0.

SPG – Submersible Pressure Gauge

SPINNAKER – A light sail, of considerable spread roughly triangular and fully cut, which is hoisted forward of the mast to increase speed when reaching or running. Also called a chute.

SPINNAKER POLE – Spar which holds the spinnaker

SPLINT – Anything used to immobilize

SPRAIN – Injury to the ligaments; joint trauma.

SPREADER – A bar or strut that projects from a mast in order to spread shrouds or stays and give better support to the mast.

SQUALL – A brief storm that arrives and departs suddenly.

SQUEEZE – Barotrauma

STANDARD DIVING – Hard hat diving.

STAND-BY DIVER – A diver qualified to perform the same task as the in water diver in case a problem arises or capable to render direct assistance at the maximum depth of the working divers. This diver is geared up and ready to enter the water at a moments notice.

STARBOARD – Right. The right side of a vessel when facing the bow.

STAY – A line or wire which supports the mast fore-to-aft.

STERN – The back or after end of a vessel.

STIMULANT – Agent that increases the level of body activity.

STOW – To pack away.

STRAIN – Overstretching of a muscle; soft tissue injury of muscle.

STRIDOR – Harsh high pitched respiratory sound associated with upper airway obstruction.

STUPOR – Mental confusion; state of reduced

SUBCUTANEOUS EMPHYSEMA – Results when gas builds up sufficient pressure to rupture the lung and accumulates in the tissues under the skin; air under the skin.

SUBMERSIBLE PRESSURE GAUGE – Gauge that allows continuous read out of tank pressure, attaches to either the tank valve or regulator; SPG.

SUPINE – Lying flat with face up.

SURFACE INTERVAL – The time between dives, anywhere between 10 min and 12 hours.

SYMPTOM – Abnormal feeling of distress and/or awareness of disturbance of body function.

SYNCOPE – Fainting

TACHYCARDIA – Rapid heart rate; Adults over 100 per minute.

TACHYPNEA – Rapid rate of breathing; Adults over 25 per minutes. TACK – To come about, so that the wind from one side is brought around to the other.

TAFFRAIL – Rail around a vessel stern.

TAMPONADE (CARDIAC) – Acute compression of the heart caused by accumulation of blood or fluid in the pericardium.

TBT – Total Bottom Time

TEMPLE – Region on each side of the head above and anterior to ears.

TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT – Articulation of the mandible with the skull

TENSION PNEUMOTHORAX – Leak of air into the pleural space through a hole in the lung acting as a one-way valve causing internal pressure to build up squeezing the heart, major vessels and opposite lung.

THERMOCLINE – An abrupt change in water temperature to colder water commonly encountered in fresh water.

THORACIC – Pertaining to the chest.

THORAX – The part of the body between the neck and diaphragm.

THREADY – A weak or feeble pulse.

THWART – A seat or structural member extending across a vessel.

TIDE – The alternate raise and fall of waters caused by the gravitational attraction of the sun and moon.

TILLER – A bar or handel used to turn a boat.

TINNITUS – ringing or tinkling noise in the ears.

TISSUE – Collection of cells of similar type that are specialized for a particular performance.

TLW – True Land Whale; an morbidly obese person

TOTAL BOTTOM TIME – The sum of the residual nitrogen time and the actual bottom time.

TOURNIQUET – Constricting device used on an extremity to impede venous and/or arterial blood flow.

TOOTH SQUEEZE – Caused by air trapped beneath a filling or cap.

TOXEMIA – A distribution throughout the body of poisonous products of bacteria growing in a local site.

TOXIC – Harmful; poison.

TOXIN – A poison manufactured by animal or plant life or bacteria.

TRACHEA – The windpipe; cartilaginous tube extending from the larynx to the bronchi.

TRACHEOSTOMY – Surgical opening of the trachea to create an airway.

TRACTION – Pulling or exerting force to realign a body part.

TRANSOM – The planking which form the after end of a square-stern boat. (Outboard motors are usually attached to a transom.)

TRAPEZE – A line or wire secured near the top of the mast with a seat or sling on its lower end. In strong breezes a crewman can extend out over the water to counteract the heeling force of the wind.

TRAUMA – Injury

TRAUMATIC ASPHYXIA – Syndrome resulting from a severe compression injury to the chest. Sym: cyanosis, bulging eyes, caved in chest.

TREMOR – Involuntary twitching of an extremity.

TRENDELENBURG POSITION – Patient is placed on his back with legs raised and head down; called the shock position.

TRIAGE – System used to sort patients according to severity.

TRIM – To arrange in such a manner as to obtain desired draft bow to stern.

TRIMARAN – A three hulled sailboat.

UNCONSCIOUS – Non-responsive, comatose.

UNDERWAY – From time when lines are cast off, when not moored, at anchor or aground.


VALSALVA MANEUVER – Forceful exhalation against a closed glottis to equalize the internal pressure in the sinuses and ears. Also used to stimulate the vagus nerve and slow down the heart rate.

VASOPRESSOR – Agent that raises blood pressure.

VENOM – A poison, usually derived from snakes, sea creatures. or insects.

VENTILATION – Breathing, moving air.

VERTIGO – Dizziness, a feeling of movement, sensation of spinning.

VESSEL – Every kind of watercraft, other than water capable aircraft. Used or capable of being used as a water transportation vehicle.

VIABLE – Capable of living.

VIP – Visual Inspection Program.

VISCERAL – Pertaining to the body.

VISIBILITY – Horizontal distance under water at which a diver can clearly see.

VISUAL INSPECTION PROGRAM – An annual inspection program of scuba diving tanks required by the scuba industry and its insurers. Also called EIP, Equipment Inspection Program.

VITAL SIGNS – Measurements of body functions.

VOLUME EXPANDER – Intravenous fluid that stays in the vascular space.

VOMITING – Forceful active expulsion of stomach contents.

VOMITUS – The matter ejected from the stomach by vomiting.

WAKE – Moving waves, track or path that a boat leaves behind it while moving across the water.

WATERLINE – Line on a vessel’s hull which indicates proper trim.

WAY – Movement through the water, interpreted as making progress through the water.

WBC – White Blood Cells

WEIGHT BELT – A belt worn to offset positive buoyancy.

WELL – Area at the rear of a boat. Also oil drilling platform.

WET SUIT – A closed cell neoprene suit designed to fit snugly to protect divers from exposure. Called wet because water gets inside and is warmed by body temperature, the water should not circulate.

WHEEZE – High pitched whistling sound characterizing obstruction or spasm of the lower airways.

WIND DIRECTION – Is always specified as the direction wind blows.

WINDWARD – Toward the wind.

WORKING DIVER – A diver in the water preforming a task. Stand-by divers are not working divers unless they enter the water. XIPHOID – Small, cartilaginous, and bony portion of the sternum attached to the lower end of the sternum.

ZYGOMA – The check bone.

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