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March 2008    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 23, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Poor Buoyancy Is a Bigger Factor in Dive Accidents

from the March, 2008 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Poor buoyancy control is to blame for a dramatic rise in ascent-related diving accidents in the United Kingdom and should be made a priority in training. Brian Cumming, safety officer for the British Sub Aqua Club, said that for the first time, this type of accident has taken over decompression illness as the worst issue for divers.

“The number of ascent-related incidents has risen dramatically over the last ten years,” he reports. The total for 2007 is slightly down over the prior year but “overall, the trend has been one of a strong increase. Typically, these accidents involve a rapid ascent, often with missed decompression stops,” says Cumming. The majority of the 91 ascent-related accidents of British divers were directly related to poor technique, as well as gear problems with drysuits, BCs and safety sausages. The findings are applicable to divers everywhere.

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