DAN annual diving report, 2016 edition: A report on 2014 data on diving fatalities, injuries, and incidents

Peter Buzzacott

Research output: Book/ReportOther output


In this latest DAN Annual Diving Report we received reports of 50 US recreational diver fatalities occurring in the US in 2014. The Sport and Fitness Industry Association annual participation figures for 2014 estimate that 1.1% of the US population went scuba diving that year, some three million divers, making on average ten dives each. Without knowing how many of those dives were made overseas, and how many dives are made in the US by visiting divers, we cannot say with certainty what the absolute risk of death or injury is while recreational diving. In Brazil, for example, the annual number of fatalities increased from 0.5 per year in the 1990's, to 1 per year during 2000-2009, to 3 per year 2010-2014. Once again though, it should be remembered that without a reliable denominator we do not know if the absolute number of deaths is increasing in line with increased participation, or if improvements to surveillance are merely identifying a greater proportion of fatalities, or some combination of both. Work continues towards clarifying these uncertainties in the US and around the world. Meanwhile, our preliminary investigations suggest in the US we may end up finding a fatality rate of around two deaths per million recreational dives, and that around one out of every 10,000 Emergency Room (ER) presentations relate to scuba diving. If such a low prevalence reflects what is happening in ERs then it should be no surprise that DAN Medical Services are so often called by receiving physicians around the US. It is not uncommon for physicians to call DAN for advice in evaluating their very first diving injury patient, and DAN is there to assist any receiving physician, to ensure divers receive the most appropriate treatment available
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDurham
PublisherDivers Alert Network
Number of pages129
ISBN (Print)9781941027752, 194102775X
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


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