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.

Non-Functioning BCD and Too Much Weight Sinks Diver

Always do proper pre-dive equipment checks and if you’re sinking, drop your weights.

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Incompetent Skipper and Failing Boat Spoiled the Dive Trip

Always ask for references when coordinating a dive. And ensure that your dive operator has proper contingency plans in place.

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When Too Much Air Is a Bad Thing

In the event of a rapid ascent, there are a few things that can be done to try to mitigate it.

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Unintentional Ascent by Student Diver

Accidents happen without notice, but the inopportune activation of his BCD may have been a sign that he is not yet familiar enough with its use and could have benefited from additional instruction.

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Safe Diving Tips During Lobster Season

Lobster hunting season attracts many divers and often results in a number of incidents and fatalities for varying reasons. Recently, five fatalities occurred within the first week of opening of the lobster season.

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High-Pressure Hose Cracked During Descent

A calm head and good training and help you in any emergency.

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Inspecting for Breathing Gas Contamination

A diver presenting symptoms finds oil and water in his tank during a visual inspection.

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BC Damaged in Boat Fire

While this type of incident is uncommon, it may be worth bearing in mind to always check your gear a second time especially when an unusual event occurs, like a fire.

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Regulator Inadvertently Kicked Out of Mouth by Buddy

Diver lost his primary regulator due to interaction with buddy and could not use his secondary regulator which got entangled in bungee cord necklace.

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Left-Sided Tank Valve Causes an Out-Of-Air Incident

If ever presented with a piece of equipment that you are not familiar with, always ask for assistance. Never assume anything. Using unfamiliar equipment can be dangerous if you are not educated on its use.

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