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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Dangers of going scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef


    Declared a World Heritage site in 1981 and the only living structure visible from outer space, the Great Barrier Reef consists of around 3,400 individual reefs and stretches for over 2,300 km from Fraser Island (just off Queensland, Australia’s coastline) to the coast of Papua New Guinea. Spectacular coral formations and the reef’s immense diversity of marine life make the Great Barrier Reef a highly popular destination for divers.

    Diving in the Great Barrier Reef

    Unfortunately, diving in the Great Barrier Reef is not entirely without risk. Many marine life species which divers are likely to encounter when diving in the Great Barrier Reef are highly venomous and can deliver potentially fatal bites or stings. Such species include, for example, the:

    • Irukandji jellyfish
    • Box jellyfish
    • Blue-ringed octopus
    • Cone shells
    • Lion fish
    • Stone fish
    • Stingrays

    There are also about 15 species of lethal venom producing sea snakes. While not typically aggressive and small-fanged, these snakes, like all of the above, should be treated with utmost respect at all times.

    Other dangers while diving in the Great Barrier Reef

    Then, of course, there is the risk of cyclones or storm tides causing diving accidents including crew members or passengers being swept overboard or sustaining injuries by falling objects or being thrown about on board.

    Other risks

    Wet surfaces, stored tackle and other hazards on board or while boarding/disembarking from diving tour boats could also result in injuries by slips, trips and falls. In addition, faulty equipment may cause divers to experience difficulties or sustain injuries while under water.

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    Your rights as a diver

    Specialised dive operators have a duty of care towards their passengers. This means they should take all necessary precautions to prevent accidental injuries and includes:

    • Providing adequate instructions for beginners and suitable, well-maintained equipment
    • Providing warnings and instructions concerning how to approach (or not, for that matter) potentially dangerous marine life
    • Monitoring weather forecasts and returning divers to safety before weather conditions become too dangerous
    • Keeping the deck of their boat as dry and clutter-free as possible to prevent injuries by tripping, slipping or falling

    Should you be injured in a diving or boating accident caused by your diving tour operator breaching his duty of care, you could have the right to claim travel accident compensation. Call our freephone advice line on 0800 689 0500 (landline telephones) or 0333 500 0993 (mobile phones) to learn more about making personal injury claims with the help of Accident Advice Helpline’s legal experts.

    Date Published: December 9, 2015

    Author: David Brown

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.