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.

An Assistant Instructor Suffers a Reverse Block

A reverse block can happen even when everything else went well in a dive and this diver followed the correct procedure by re-descending to take the pressure off.

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Diving in an Overhead Cavern With Half Empty Tanks

Twice as many untrained cavern or cave divers have died in U.S. caves than properly trained cave divers.

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Underweighted Diver Was Lost, Suffered Buoyancy Problems and Ran Low on Gas

Ascending with a near empty tank, with buoyancy problems, unable to make a safety stop or to safely control his ascent rate before surfacing far from his intended exit; this diver was lucky to suffer only a case of mild embarrassment.

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Buoyancy Wing Comes Loose During Dive

This incident serves to remind all divers wearing double tanks to tweak-down their wing-nuts when attaching a back-plate and wing.

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A Momentary Lapse Led to Trauma

Always sit the BCD down or have a buddy hold it securely before undoing the quick release clips.

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Unrehearsed Valve Shutdown Training Led to Confusion Underwater

During dive training it is always preferable to rehearse a new skill on land before the dive. This diver is to be commended for not panicking during the ascent.

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Diver Entered the Water With Tank Valve Turned Off

If the pressure gauge indicates you have gas, and it does not move when you breathe from the regulator, then you will not find yourself in the same situation as this diver.

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Wearing Mask Under the Hood Ended a CCR Dive

In this case, the diver felt his mask needed adjustment and he soon found himself out of breath so aborted the dive.

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Free-Flow Led to Emergency Ascent

A sudden free-flow can be alarming but breathing from a free-flowing regulator is a skill taught to open water divers and should not normally require a rapid ascent to the surface.

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Regulator Explosively Failed Under Pressure

This vivid and alarming incident serves as a reminder that in diving, as in life in general, you frequently get what you pay for and diving equipment is certainly worth investing in.

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