An Unexpected Earplug

Ear barotrauma (pressure-related injury) usually occurs in divers’ middle ears, often as a result of congestion. In this unusual case, however, a diver experienced ear barotrauma that resulted from accumulation of ear wax in his ear canal.

A doctor inspects a man's right ear

Trust But Verify

Ensure your dive shop has properly trained and certified technicians. One couple dealt with a terrible ordeal because their scuba cylinders were improperly checked. Read more about the incident.

Badly injurred diver lies in hospital bed near nurse

Don’t Bite the Hand That Feeds You

With adverse events, there is almost always a cascade in four phases: the trigger, the disabling agent, the disabling injury and the cause of death. Individually, each event is avoidable. Recognizing one at the time of occurrence is an opportunity to react and attempt to mitigate the risk before it becomes a problem. In root cause analysis of adverse events, the most significant factors are the lack of recognition and failure to react to the event.

diver feeding tiger shark

Barotrauma in Bonaire

A 38-year-old diver suffered from a burning sensation in his throat and had discomfort in his neck. The diver had pulmonary barotrauma. Read more about his incident.

A man clutches his chest in pain.

Recognition is Essential

Post dive, a diver had immediate symptoms including shortness of breath and tingling extremities, but the dive boat did not recommend emergency treatments. The situation progressively worsened. Read more about the incident.

Person's right hand holds phone to call 911 and left hand holds DAN emergency card

More Than a Sore Shoulder

I REMEMBER SITTING AT MY COMPUTER while thinking about all the ibuprofen I had been popping for the past 18 hours and wondering why I still had the dull, aching pain in my shoulder. Could this be more than soreness from carrying gear back and forth from our shore entry point or exertion from a […]

Practice What You Preach

All diving has risks. To mitigate them, we must always pay attention to the details. The predive safety check is of utmost importance to help avoid a dive accident. The key elements are for each buddy to check the other’s BCD, weights, releases and air, and then give a final check and decisive OK. I could have avoided the entire incident had I adhered to my predive safety check and not gotten distracted, and I should have performed the safety check again before getting in the water.

A diver with camera gear photographs a manta ray.

Time & Recovery

Decompression illness (DCI), which includes both AGE and DCS, is not always predictable with regard to when and to whom it occurs. It can be equally difficult to predict with regard to recovery.

Diver ascends in bubbles

A Little Detail

I TAKE A GIANT STRIDE off the back of the boat and splash into a cascade of tingling, magical bubbles. The sea’s embrace is chilly; I can feel the 74˚F water through my 5 mm wetsuit and thick 4 mm hood. My vision clears as the …

Sea Lion Bite

Although uncommon, unprovoked sea lion bites can occur, and divers should be aware of the potential hazard. Learn more about how one diver received a bite and how the wound was treated.

A sea lion swims with its mouth open