Left at Sea

When diving offshore, always carry emergency signaling devices such as a surface marker buoy, signal mirror and emergency strobe.

A group of divers pose in the water. They are holding an emergency signaling device.

Know the Risks

Nitrogen narcosis can lead to deadly consequences. Understanding the risk factors and ensuring that you and your dive buddies have discussed how to mitigate risk can potentially save lives. If you are stung by a jellyfish, watch for symptoms associated with Irukandji syndrome. If symptoms develop, know that it is a potentially deadly condition that doctors can help treat. Pay attention to local marine life bulletins and announcements. The best ways to mitigate jellyfish envenomation risk are to wear full exposure suits and avoid jellyfish when they are prevalent in the water.

Wearing appropriate exposure protection and being aware of the marine life where you are diving will help you reduce the risk of injury from underwater hazards.

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

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 …

Trouble in Galápagos

DAN EMERGENCY SERVICES RECEIVED A CALL via satellite phone from a liveaboard anchored off a remote island in the Galápagos. A DAN member was concerned about their bunkmate exhibiting symptoms […]

Confessions of a Yahoo Diver

A COMMERCIAL DIVER FRIEND TOLD ME YEARS AGO that people like me — recreational divers who do commercial diving work — are often referred to as yahoos.
I was always comfortable underwater and, at 78 years old, still am.

Don’t Ignore Your Medical History

A scientific diver, participating in training exercises with her team, became overheated and called off the dive. Read more about the incident, diagnosis, treatment and more.

Female diver in a drysuit holding a flashlight

Diver and Dive Operator Ethics

My first reality check as a dive professional came after a week of working with a couple. Every day they asked for private dive guides and customized support.

illustrating an in-water rescue tow back to the boat

Safety Equipment: A Necessity Even in Paradise

AS DIVERS, WE MUST take extra steps in our predive checks to ensure that our buddy has their safety and signaling equipment so we can be prepared in case of an emergency.

Heartbroken After DCS

A divemaster hopeful had an unfortunate bout of decompression sickness during a routine dive. But it was through DCS treatment, that the diver discovered she had a heart condition.

A diver swims around an old shipwreck