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.

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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Denial and Delayed Treatment 

A diver completed eleven dives over seven days and felt dizzy approximately forty minutes after the last dive.

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Distraction, Unplanned Exposure, and a Lucky Outcome 

A diver was diving with a group to sightsee and take photos. Distracted by the photography, the diver descended further than planned and reported feeling dizzy and began to panic…

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Drysuit Diving Requires Extra Steps 

A diver outfitted in a drysuit with a twin-set and suit inflation cylinder ran into an issue when trying to inflate his drysuit…

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Exhaustion After a Long Day of Training

A diver seemed confused and wasn’t listening to instructions, ultimately leading to an overnight stay in the hospital.

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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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