Incident Insights

Learning from your own mistakes and misfortunes is crucial, but don’t miss the opportunity to learn from others’.

DAN has maintained a diving incident database since 1989. Originally limited to scuba diving incidents, it now includes open-circuit scuba, breath-hold and rebreather incidents. We collect, analyze, anonymize and publish this data in the DAN Annual Diving Reports and in these insights for the benefit of the diving community. Often featuring expert commentary, these summaries help divers of all experience levels improve their risk management skills and identify safe diving practices. Scroll down to browse the case summaries, or use the search field to the right.

To report an incident, click here. DAN relies on divers to voluntarily report cases and near misses. No individual will be identified in any case reports published or presented orally. We appreciate every diver’s time and effort in telling their stories and sharing their insights.

Freediving Spearfisherman Bitten by Shark 

As the fish was coming in, the diver made a 360-degree turn to check the surrounding area for any sharks. Then, while the diver wasn’t looking, a shark bit their shoulder from behind.

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Lightning Strike During Line Laying Operation 

Divers experienced an electric discharge through their limbs while holding conductive metal materials.

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Buford Sink Dual Fatality

Two divers in an overhead environment. One surfaced and was found deceased. The other one was later found at 137 feet.

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A Case of Caustic Cocktail

A diver could not talk for about 30 minutes once back onboard.

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Hypercapnia During CCR Dive and Persisting DCS Symptoms 

Divers should be diligent about doing a through “pre-flight” checklist prior to any dive but especially before a complex technical rebreather dive.

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Missing Mouthpiece

A diver on the fourth day of diving lost their mouthpiece while on the second dive of the day.

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Diver Fight Club

A group of divers on an 80-foot ocean drift witness an altercation between one of the divers and their guide.

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Buddy Separation During Scientific Diver Training

Two divers conducting scientific research were separated from each other due to low visibility and strong surf.

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Decompression Sickness in CCR Diver

A well-trained technical closed circuit rebreather diver planned their dive, dived their plan, and still encountered decompression sickness.

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Dehydration During Freediving

Three divers diving from a charter vessel participated in an introductory-level freediving course. One diver began to cramp, feel flushed, and fatigued after the first dive to 8 meters / 24 feet.

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