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.

Leaking Glove Leads to Ear Barotrauma

Distractions happen to us all. But you need to stay alert and present to avoid emergencies and injuries.

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Diver’s Muscle Weakness and Tingling in Legs Indicate Possible Spinal Cord DCI

Muscular leg weakness after a dive should always be treated as an emergency, and divers should receive a full neurological evaluation, first aid oxygen and evacuation to the nearest emergency room.

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Mayhem Dive in a Strong Current Leads To Near Drowning and Multiple Injuries

Diving in a current is always a hazardous activity and requires proper risk evaluation, adequate planning and safety measures.

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A Free-Flowing Regulator Leads to an Out-Of-Gas Ascent

Prior to any dive, divers should have a gas management plan, even if it just a rough idea of how fast the gas should be consumed based on the dive depth, conditions and previous experience.

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An Air Diver Gets Lost and Suffers Apparent Decompression Sickness

During a substantial dive, a diver follows a grouper away from a shipwreck and makes an ascent without a reference, then exhibits symptoms associated with decompression sickness.

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Inflator Causes a Runaway Ascent Under Thick Ice

Diving underneath ice, like cave-diving, requires specialist training so that when the unexpected happens a diver will keep a cool head.

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Diver Feels Crushing Chest Pain

Every diver should consider taking additional emergency training just in case their dive buddy is ever in need.

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Immersion Pulmonary Edema (IPE) in a New, Healthy Diver

A diver requires rescue after experiencing shortness of breath and coughing up blood while performing surface skills for entry-level scuba certification.

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A Diver Turns Her Valve Off Instead of On

Turning the tank valve back half-a-turn often confuses divers and can inadvertently make breathing difficult at depth.

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A Skin Bend Cuts a Diving Holiday Short

While many divers trust their dive computers completely, the fact is that no dive computer knows who is wearing it, they all simply estimate no-stop limits based on a theory.

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