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 Lost His Balance, and His Finger

First aid treatment includes wrapping the wound in clean, sterile, moist dressings, applying pressure and elevating the injured hand. Immediate medical assessment is always warranted.

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Diver Continued Diving Even With Possible Skin Bends

Diver, concerned with cost of treatment, continued to dive despite the possibility that he may be suffering decompression sickness.

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Unexpected Weight Loss

This diver attempted to flare out and increase her drag, to slow her ascent. In the face of an uncontrolled ascent this was the best course of action to take.

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High Altitude Dive Landed in Chamber

At high elevations above sea level, the ambient air pressure upon a lake is less than one atmosphere. The means the pressure differences when a diver ascends are greater than if a diver were to make the same ascent from the same depth in the sea.

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Exhausted, Breathless and Coughing up Fluid

While we may never know for sure, this was most likely a case of immersion pulmonary edema (IPE).

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Air Supply Cuts Off When Regulator Failed

Scuba regulators work on a “downstream” principle, where the air flows down from a high pressure to an intermediate pressure and then down to a low pressure.

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Diver Was Half-Swallowed by a Whale Shark

Most animals have the potential to inflict harm if they are distressed or threatened. As divers, we are visitors to their environment and should respect their space.

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Dive Computer Display Led to Running Out of Gas

Tank pressures will change slightly when a tank is left in the sun, or when a diver enters the water, due to temperature change.

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Skipping the Pre-Dive Check Proved Deadly

The examination and testing of the rebreather showed that the unit worked as intended, but did not provide direct answers as to why the diver went off his working rebreather loop and closed the loop mouthpiece.

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Rescue Diver at Powerboat Race Injures Back Standing All Day

“With hindsight, the injury was caused because I chose to stand in full scuba gear to watch most of the event — which overloaded my back muscles.”

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