Toughing It Out Is Dangerous

This story about a diver who pushed past his limits and overexerted himself is a testament to the importance of caution, being aware of your divers, and remembering that DAN is here in case of an emergency or unexpected trouble.

The diver was on a trip to Tulamben, Bali, for three days. The first day he did two recreational dives. He woke up on the second day feeling sore and sleepy. He had a slight headache and saw shimmering lights before entering the water but decided to push through these symptoms and proceed with the technical dives he had planned for that day. He was alarmed when he had trouble equalizing, and the strong current suddenly pushed him deeper than he had planned to go. The current made for a challenging and exhausting dive. Back on the surface, the diver immediately experienced difficulty breathing, feeling as if there was a tight belt strapped across his chest. He began to feel dizzy, the shimmering lights returned, and his right arm became tingly and weak. Recognizing that he was in trouble, he alerted the dive guide who promptly called the dive shop and asked them to call DAN.

DAN recommended immediate treatment, and the guide dropped everything to take the diver to the hospital. By the time they reached the hospital, the diver could not sit up due to vertigo. He remembers undergoing an X-ray and being moved to a private room. The dive guide’s quick thinking and decision to contact DAN may have prevented a dire situation from turning into a catastrophic one. The diver’s doctors noted inner-ear damage and suggested that it would take up to six months for it to heal. Had it not been for the fact that this diver was immediately put on oxygen and connected with DAN as soon as he verbalized his symptoms, the outcome may have been much worse. DAN’s dedicated 24/7 emergency hotline is there to assist divers in urgent need of assistance, and DAN’s network of hyperbaric chambers ensures that dive guides and their divers are looked out for in the event of a crisis.

For as little as US$40 per year for an individual or US$60 per year for a family, DAN takes the guesswork out of emergency logistics and provides dive professionals peace of mind knowing they and their divers are backed by the most trusted name in the diving industry. Once a member calls the 24/7 hotline, DAN arranges whatever care is needed — including evacuations and complex air travel arrangements if necessary. Behind the scenes, DAN specialists coordinate medical care and transportation with local agencies, and in dive emergencies, DAN medical staff can even consult with local physicians who may not be familiar with dive medicine.

With more than 40 years of experience managing emergencies around the globe, DAN helps ensure you and your divers are fully prepared no matter where your adventures take you. Learn more about the benefits of being a DAN member.