Natasha Were –
In the overwhelming majority of dive accidents and dive fatalities, human error was the primary cause, said Dan Orr, president of Divers Alert Network, during a presentation he gave on dive safety while in the Cayman Islands last week.
During the seminar, which was aimed at dive professionals, Mr. Orr presented the results of his organisation’s analysis of available statistics on divers and dive related accidents and fatalities, and examined ways in which these could be prevented. DAN is an international dive safety organisation that researches medical issues affecting divers in order to develop diving safety guidelines, as well as operating an emergency hotline, dive evacuation service and offering dive insurance.
Although the organisation does not have access to data concerning every dive related injury or fatality that occurs worldwide, it has analysed almost 1,000 files on dive fatalities to determine the root causes of these incidents, and therefore re-examine how such incidents could be prevented.
This analysis revealed some significant trends: Fifty per cent of all dive fatalities were in the 40 to 59 age group.
“The dive community is ageing,” said Mr. Orr.
“Twenty two years ago, the average age of a DAN member was 38. Now it’s 45.”