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April 2007 Vol. 22, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Dive Accidents Above Water

from the April, 2007 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Just because you’ve finished a dive doesn’t mean you’re safe. Dive boats can be dangerous places. On a moving dive boat, divers balancing heavy tanks on their backs can be easily knocked off balance. On a moored dive boat, divers walking across the deck in full gear wearing their fins can easily stumble or fall (smart divers put their fins on where they expect to enter the water, not walk duck style across the boat to get there). Aging divers and those not in the best of shape have increased risk while on a moving boat.

Take this case from one of our readers, Ginny Shaw (Citrus Heights, CA), who broke her right ankle while on the second day of her dive trip with Red Sail Sports at Morritt’s Tortuga Club and Resort in Grand Cayman. “The water was rough, and we thought the captain was driving too fast but we didn’t say anything, we just held on.” Shaw had a tough time getting a dive booties off, so she stood up while holding on to the camera table and stuck her foot out so her sister could pull it off. Just then, the boat hit a big wave and Shaw was slammed to the floor, her right leg buckling under. It turned out to be a broken ankle. Shaw needed a cast, ending her dive trip.

Shaw had dive insurance with Divers Alert Network, but DAN said they could offer no help. On-board accidents like Shaw’s are considered non-diving accidents, so instead of looking to your dive insurance company for reimbursement, you’ll have to file a claim with your medical insurer instead.

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