DEMA 2006 Special: DAN's Most Frequent Causes of Diving Deaths

Dr. Petar Denoble of Divers Alert Network led a presentation on the DAN’s Research on the Most Frequent Causes of Fatalities in Recreational Diving. The research presented provided a great contrast between the detailed information available surrounding the 2005 accident at Bushman’s Gat in South Africa with the usual dirth of details surrounding accidents reported to DAN.

In most of these cases, the root cause is rarely available, and the casue of death is often misleading. Fatal accidents are "preceeded by a chain of events caused by multiple factors", explained Denoble, who further indicated the prevention is possible at many steps.

Denoble dicussed the links between cause of death, disabling injuries, disabling agents, and trigger events, as well as contributing factors.

In addition to the Bushman’s Gat case, the presentation discussed 6 additional cases with a variety of causes and scenarios. Drawing from these and other cases, DAN’s research brought some interesting statistics to light regarding mean age, body mass index, and maximum depths, respectively.

DAN hopes to encourage preventative strategies by raising awareness, and by reviewing training standards and practices.

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