Know the Risks

Nitrogen narcosis can lead to deadly consequences. Understanding the risk factors and ensuring that you and your dive buddies have discussed how to mitigate risk can potentially save lives. If you are stung by a jellyfish, watch for symptoms associated with Irukandji syndrome. If symptoms develop, know that it is a potentially deadly condition that doctors can help treat. Pay attention to local marine life bulletins and announcements. The best ways to mitigate jellyfish envenomation risk are to wear full exposure suits and avoid jellyfish when they are prevalent in the water.

box jellyfish

More Than a Sore Shoulder

I REMEMBER SITTING AT MY COMPUTER while thinking about all the ibuprofen I had been popping for the past 18 hours and wondering why I still had the dull, aching pain in my shoulder. Could this be more than soreness from carrying gear back and forth from our shore entry point or exertion from a […]

hyperbaric chamber

A Little Detail

I TAKE A GIANT STRIDE off the back of the boat and splash into a cascade of tingling, magical bubbles. The sea’s embrace is chilly; I can feel the 74˚F water through my 5 mm wetsuit and thick 4 mm hood. My vision clears as the …

scuba diver performing a giant stride

Trouble in Galápagos

DAN EMERGENCY SERVICES RECEIVED A CALL via satellite phone from a liveaboard anchored off a remote island in the Galápagos. A DAN member was concerned about their bunkmate exhibiting symptoms following the day’s dive activities. The diver had completed four dives that day. Although she began to show symptoms following the second dive, the inexperienced […]


Confessions of a Yahoo Diver

A COMMERCIAL DIVER FRIEND TOLD ME YEARS AGO that people like me — recreational divers who do commercial diving work — are often referred to as yahoos.
I was always comfortable underwater and, at 78 years old, still am.


Diver and Dive Operator Ethics

My first reality check as a dive professional came after a week of working with a couple. Every day they asked for private dive guides and customized support.

illustrating an in-water rescue tow back to the boat

Safety Equipment: A Necessity Even in Paradise

AS DIVERS, WE MUST take extra steps in our predive checks to ensure that our buddy has their safety and signaling equipment so we can be prepared in case of an emergency.

DSMBs can help surface support personnel and other boats locate divers on the surface

Panic Leads to Diver Fatality

AS A WILDLIFE OFFICER, I spend countless hours on the water. As an instructor for the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI), I have also spent a lot of time teaching and diving.

two pro divers

Komodo Islands Close Encounter

BEING STUNG BY A LIONFISH is like being bitten by a poisonous snake. I found that out the hard way.


Speak of the Spiny Devilfish

The spiny devilfish (Inimicus didactylus) is a member of the family Scorpaenidae, which also contains the venomous lionfish, stonefish, and scorpionfish. These fish conceal glandular venom-producing daggers within their dorsal, pelvic, and anal fins. Divers — especially underwater photographers who may focus on one creature while others sidle up under their legs — must be aware of these animals’ subtle defense maneuvers.

Red Spiny Devilfish