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March 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 28, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Dead Divers’ Bad Mistakes: Part I

like wearing a too-small BC -- or diving without one

from the March, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Most diving deaths are avoidable. They're caused by bad decisions, diving beyond one's experience, diving with known medical conditions, diving in bad conditions -- problems that might be avoided with just plain common sense.

For many years, we've discussed why divers die, relying in large part on cases presented by the Divers Alert Network (DAN). It has discontinued its reporting, so we are turning to other sources, in this case, DAN's Asia-Pacific division in Australia and its Asia-Pacific Dive Fatality Reporting Project. We hope by explaining these cases, divers will understand better how they might contribute to their own demise, and exercise proper judgment throughout their diving career.

Don't Dive Cold After a Long Break

If it has been a few years since your last dive, a refresher is essential for remembering how to manage your gear and avoid panicking. This 51-year-old man claimed to have made more than 1,000 dives over a 40-year period, but none in the past four years. Despite his claimed experience, he was anxious prior to the dive, and he panicked when his mask flooded underwater. Despite efforts from the divemaster to help him to the surface, he continued to panic and became unconscious before reaching the surface. He began breathing again after CPR was performed on the boat, but he never regained consciousness. He died several days later. Cause of death: Heart failure, likely induced by the stress underwater....

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