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.

“Normal” Dive Resulted in Decompression Sickness

This case serves as a reminder that our dive computer may well keep recalculating our allowable limits but that does not mean we should dive to those limits.

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Lost at Sea, Drifting

As this incident shows, at the end of the day it is our own lives in the balance and the diver now intends to take more responsibility for his.

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Yachtsman Suffers Stroke, Evacuated by DAN

“When we arrived at the airport, DAN had arranged for customs to be there to clear us and had an ambulance waiting to take us to the hospital.”

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When the Dive Boat Hit a Wave This Diver Was Thrown Into the Air

When travelling in a small boat, the general rule is to maintain three points of contact with the boat at all times

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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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