Diving Incident Summaries

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 case summaries 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.

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.

Marine Stings in Remote Locations

A DAN World Member shares her experience following a marine sting and provides advice to fellow divers to be cautious when diving, particularly in remote locations.

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Breathing Gas Contamination: A Case for Education and Maintenance

Breathing gas can become contaminated — so divers should always trust their noses. Read a case summary of contaminated breathing gas and what can be done should it happen to you.

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Immersion Pulmonary Edema (IPE) in a New, Healthy Diver

A diver requires rescue after experiencing shortness of breath and coughing up blood while performing surface skills for entry-level scuba certification.

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A Diver Turns Her Valve Off Instead of On

Turning the tank valve back half-a-turn often confuses divers and can inadvertently make breathing difficult at depth.

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A Skin Bend Cuts a Diving Holiday Short

While many divers trust their dive computers completely, the fact is that no dive computer knows who is wearing it, they all simply estimate no-stop limits based on a theory.

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Rapid Ascent Due to Broken Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB)

Equipment failure during DSMB deployment causes multiple problems for this diver.

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Diving and Drinking Do Not Mix

Do not drink and dive. A diver dove too deep and ran out of air. His emergency ascent proved extremely hazardous.

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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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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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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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