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 Results in a Potentially Rapid Descent

Some dive shops may not maintain their equipment well. The divers did their due diligence by inspecting the facilities and equipment in advance only to find the equipment they were given was not in working order.

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Immersion Pulmonary Edema (IPE)

This diver experienced classic symptoms of immersion pulmonary edema (IPE). IPE has been reported in warm water and with immersed activity of varying exertion.

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Partially Closed Tank Valve Causes Buddy Separation and Angst

Stay within eyesight of your buddy when descending. If you lose sight of your buddy you need to make sure that you do not forget normal practices (such as a controlled ascent) when trying to regain contact.

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Near-Drowning Due to Entanglement in Fishing Line

A case of near-drowning due to entanglement was reported and summarized by an emergency room physician.

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Steel Tank Causes Diver to Become Inverted While Descending

Do not dive without formal training when trying new specialized gear for the first time.

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Weight Belt Adjustment

Do not dive without formal training when trying new specialized gear for the first time.

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Do Instructors Know Your Buoyancy Without Checking?

Diver in advanced diving class struggled due to excess buoyancy. Instructor failed to recognize and correct the problem.

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Postdive Symptoms Possibly Caused by Gas Contamination

Two cases of postdive symptoms likely caused by contaminated gas. Predive checks and proper equipment maintenance may help to mitigate risk

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An Unexpected Solo Dive

Each diver is ultimately responsible for their own safety. The culture of dive safety is improved when divers speak up about unsafe situations.

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Untrained Diver Dies Entangled in Kelp

When prepared with formal training and certifications, divers will experience less stress and anxiety in life-threatening situations.

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