Ever wondered how many freediving accidents — fatal or non-fatal — occur every year? Well, the Divers Alert Network has some answers.
DAN this week issued its latest annual compilation of dive accidents, and includes freediving as one of the categories.
The 127-page report covers the years 2010 to 2013, and includes data for a whole bunch of areas like “state-by-state fatalities, fatal vs. non-fatal breath-hold diving reports, diving incidents worldwide and root causes of diving fatalities.”
On freediving, the report has some sobering numbers:
“A total of 300 breath-hold diving incidents occurring between 2010 and 2013 were collected by DAN; 243 fatal (81%) and 57 non-fatal (19%). The victims were most often male (83%). The most commonly identified disabling agents were hypoxic blackout (likely facilitated by excessive hyperventilation), animal-involved interactions (primarily between shark and spearfishermen), health issues (primarily cardiac), environmental conditions, and boat strikes, respectively. Improving the appreciation of hazards may offer the greatest defense against future adverse events. Sharing incident information is an important part of that process. Our efforts will continue to expand case collection, both fatal and non-fatal, and to provide insights for the community.”
The reason for publishing such a report is to “characterize the, who, what, where, when and why of dive incidents in order to identify the factors that lead to adverse outcomes. The data DAN collects can be used to develop targeted education and outreach initiatives that will help improve risk management and, more importantly, save lives,” according to Dr. Petar Denoble, DAN vice president of mission.
According to Dr. Peter Buzzacott, DAN‘s director of monitoring and injury prevention:
“Because there is a great deal of variability in dive incident reporting from year-to-year the report becomes an important tool in keeping the diving community up-to-date.”
This year’s compilation also for the first time includes dive accidents gathered from DAN‘s online incident reporting system.
The book also includes an appendix with a list of breath-hold incidents, as well as dive fatality reports from Australia and the Asia-Pacific Region, along with an international section featuring Japanese divers.
To read the full report, check out DAN’s website.