Is Scuba Diving Dangerous?
This is a question that gets asked to us many times throughout the year. Unfortunately, the only honest answer is “yes, but…”
How Dangerous is Scuba Diving
Scuba diving is a sport that can be enjoyed by everyone, in many different ways. Swimming over a shallow reef, exploring a Caribbean shipwreck, shark diving off the Galapagos, pushing deeper into a cave than anyone else, or diving under ice. The image that most people have of scuba divers is one of adventurers, treasure hunters and spear fishermen.
The reality of scuba diving is that we are using life support equipment to function for extended times in an environment that would not otherwise sustain life. Fortunately, the data shows that due to the steps we have taken to mitigate risks, accidents resulting in serious injury are incredibly low when compared to other adventure activities.
Statistically, fewer dives end in fatalities than driving a car, having a baby, or even running a marathon. Divers Alert Network records all of this information and releases an annual diving report free to the public as part of their mission to make diving a safer activity. According to the "Diver's Alert Network (DAN) 2010 Diving Fatalities Workshop Report", a diving fatality occurs in 1 out of every 211,864 dives.
What can I do to be safer?
The easy answer here is...
Training, training and more training.
Learning to dive with any training agency should be looked at as a progressions. The PADI Open Water Course is an introduction to the basic skills needed to function on scuba underwater. This allows a person to begin to enjoy the underwater world. The "Advanced" program and all of the specialties are a way to begin to refine skills and develop a sense of what activities you enjoy most when diving. Rescue is the course that people take when they start to notice how they can impact the divers around them. All of these courses can help you become a safer, more competent diver.
Several years ago, Divers Alert Network created an online course called the "Prepared Diver" that was made freely available for all dive instructors to share with their students. This was a program that addressed the biggest contributing factors to reported diving accidents.
- Ignoring their limits - environmental, physical or physiological
- Improperly managing air consumption which leads to out-of-air situations
- Discounting the importance of proper equalization and ignoring problems
- Failing to learn proper buoyancy control
- Lacking control on ascent or discounting safety stops
If you would like access to this free resource, simply complete the contact form below. You do not have to be a diver, a DAN member, or even a RAD customer. Your information will not be used for solicitations of any kind, only to enroll you in the Prepared Diver Course from DAN.