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.

You Should Still Do Buddy Checks

Prior to a dive, always perform a gear check with a buddy. Read an incident how one group of divers skipped a predive check and had a malfunction with a brand-new BCD.

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Two Missed Deco Alerts, Computer Freeze, and Skin DCS

After some routine divers, a diver noticed odd symptoms including slight pain on the torso — but there were no alerts from the dive computer. Read more about the incident.

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A Diver Experienced Arm Swelling 10 Days Postdive

Nearly two weeks after a dive vacation, a diver noticed his shoulder was hurting and his arm was swollen. At the doctor, he was diagnosed with something unexpected and life threatening.

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Never Too Experienced to Refresh Skills

Divers need to be ready for any scenario and training is key. Taking refresher courses can be beneficial and lifesaving — they ensure you are prepared for anything that may happen above or underwater.

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Repeated Pulmonary Edema with a Happy Ending

Pulmonary edema in divers may be fatal and divers must take precaution. Read a case summary of one diver’s experiences with pulmonary edema and what should have been done.

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Air Starvation at Depth: Equipment or Human Failure?

Are you prepared for an air-out at depth, and are they caused by human failure or equipment malfunction? Read a case summary to learn more.

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Breathing Gas Contamination: A Case for Education and Maintenance

Breathing gas can become contaminated — so divers should always trust their noses. Read a case summary of contaminated breathing gas and what can be done should it happen to you.

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DCS After Six Deep, Recreational Dives

A diver discusses her experiences with decompression sickness after several deep dives.

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Left at Sea

Diving with signaling devices, whistles and surface marker buoys can help in certain emergency situations. Read one incident of how SMBs were critical in rescuing divers.

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Rebreather Setting Leads to Dangerous Equipment Failure

An equipment failure can be incredibly dangerous. One diver shares their experiences with improper settings of regulator line pressure.

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