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.

Lobster Divers Attacked by Lionfish

A pair of divers went spearfishing but a lionfish speared them!

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Skin Rash Should Not Be Ignored

Skin manifestations of decompression sickness (DCS) are not uncommon, but many divers are not aware of it. Skin manifestations alone may not require treatment, but they require medical evaluation.

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Omitted Predive Buoyancy Check Leads to Trouble

Scuba diver survives a life-threatening hazard caused by the omission of the predive buoyancy check.

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Vertigo After Dive

Vertigo is a feeling that you or your surroundings are moving when there is no actual movement. The time of symptom onset after the dive increases the probability that it was caused by the dive.

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Diver Using a Full-Face Mask Runs Out of Air

The diver with a hypersensitive gag reflex is at an additional risk of drowning if his reflex occurs underwater. He thought a full-face mask would be a solution.

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Diver’s Air Consumption Appeared Unbelievably Good

Buddies share air on ascent when one of them mistakenly thought he was running out of air.

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Interrupted Decompression Leads to Decompression Sickness

Divers should avoid, by any means, interrupting a mandatory decompression; even when a timely descent to resume decompression seems warranted.

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Inflator Malfunction Causes a Rapid Ascent

An inflator suddenly fires air into the BCD, causing a diver to ascend rapidly. Problems with equipment seem to be a relatively rare occurrence, but can happen to any diver.

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Unintended Rapid Ascent Due to Uncontrolled Inflation

During diver training it is common to practice quickly disconnecting an inflator hose in case just such a runaway inflation were to occur. There is something to be said in favor of all divers regularly practicing this skill at the end of a dive, while at the surface.

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Regulator Gets Harder to Breath the Deeper a Diver Goes

It sounds as though this diver was lucky not to have drowned. As with many near-miss reports, a number of factors conspired to create the circumstances needed to enable this event to occur.

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