A researcher has noted transverse furrows, or Beau’s lines, in the fingernails of all 6 divers following a deep saturation dive to a pressure equal to 335 meters of sea water, and in 2 of 6 divers following a similar dive to 305 meters. Both dives took place at the Ocean Simulation Facility of the Navy Experimental Diving Unit in Panama City, Florida.
All divers performed hard work on bicycle ergometers during the dives.
Beau’s lines have been reported in numerous medical conditions such as typhus, rheumatic fever, malaria, myocardial infarction, and other severe metabolic stresses. To the researcher’s knowledge this is the first report of Beau’s lines associated with saturation diving.
Journal Reference: Undersea Hyperb Med. 2006 Jan-Feb;33(1):5-10.