DEMA (The Diving Equipment and MarketingAssociation) has published a press releases announcing their deep sadness bythe recent events that lead to a diver’s death after participating in a sharkdive in the Bahamas last weekend.
This tragic incident is an unusualoccurrence, yet serves as a reminder of the importance of following guidelinesput in place for specialty dives such as shark diving.
Shark diving has been practiced safely andsuccessfully for the last 25 years without major incident. Guidelineswere formalized in 2001 by the Global Interactive Marine Experiences Council inthe “Florida Guidelines and Management Programs for Interactive MarineExperiences” which are available industry-wide. These guidelinesinclude: safe environmental practices; staff training for interactive marineexperiences; marine animal feeding practices; participant preparation andeducation; marine animal conservation efforts; safety considerations forinteractive marine experiences; location of interactive marine experienceprogram sites; risk management and awareness; establishing an emergencyprocedures plan; and appointing an administrative officer and safety officerfor interactive marine experience programs.
DEMA strongly encourages dive operators toreview their interactive marine experience practices to ensure their adherenceto the guidelines that have been established to reduce the likelihood of anaccident happening in the future. While any type of diving inherentlyinvolves some level of risk, pursuing safe, recreational diving experienceswill greatly reduce that risk. This particular incident last weekendappears to have been an extreme form of the sport involving some of the moreaggressive shark species.
For more information about interactive marineexperiences, or to receive a copy of the safety guidelines, please contact DEMAat +1-858-616-6408.