Saturday, June 22, 2024

DEMA Lobbying For Support For ‘DIVE BOAT Act’


DEMA is warning that a brand-new liability requirement imposed on small vessel operators is threatening to put many dive operators throughout the industry out of business and making dive trips significantly more expensive and less attainable for the average diver.

A provision in the 2023 defense authorization bill named the “Small Passenger Vessel Act (SPVA)” removed longstanding liability limits and created retroactive liability exposure (2 years) for a subset of boats and the recreation industry – including those that support scuba diving and snorkeling.

According to DEMA:

“Lawmakers in the last Congress had intended for the SPVA to create a fix for the families who lost loved ones in the tragic Conception Dive Boat fire of 2019. However, the language from the original bill changed several times before it was added to the NDAA. As a result, there are no safety requirements in the final bill, and no compensation for the families of the Conception was included.

“As a direct result, dive centers, day-boat operators, dive training organizations, and dive travel providers are seeing their insurance costs go up exponentially. Those costs are being passed on to dive customers—making dive trips significantly more expensive and less attainable for the average diver.”

DEMA’s “DIVE BOAT Act” proposes a solution that would help ensure vessels that are operating safely and lawfully are not unduly burdened with the threat of unlimited liability for an incident that may have occurred two years prior.

Check out more info here.

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.