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Whales apparently avoid the bends by exhaling most of their air at the surface before diving.
Another way that I have read it might be possible for a person to escape from a submarine is via one of the torpedo tubes. Even so it is a frightening prospect having to escape from a submarine, but I would count myself lucky if the depth was only 50m. 
The Royal Navy later adopted the practice of blow and go, in which the sailor would exhale continuously during ascent to avoid air expanding in the lungs, which could cause them to rupture. Postwar, submariner Walter F. Schlech, Jr., among others, examined submerged escape without breathing devices and discovered ascent was possible from as deep as 300 ft (91 m): "in one sense, the Momsen Lung concept may have killed far more submariners than it rescued".