Diving accidents ‘at lowest level since 1992’

The number of diving related accidents has declined to the lowest level in more than two decades, new figures show.

There were 136 diving incidents involving HM Coastguard last year, an annual total lower than anything seen since 1992 and considerably down on the 2012 total of 177.

The total of 136 incidents sadly included 10 deaths, which compared with 16 deaths in 2012; 14 in 2011 and 11 in 2010.

Decompression illness

Decompression illness was the most common incident last year, accounting for 44 cases, while another 21 incidents were due to rapid descent – which is likely to have developed into decompression illness.

Lost and/or missing divers, broken-down vessels and divers with other medical problems were responsible for other calls last year.

Scuba diving accident advice

Despite the welcome reduction in cases, it is clear there is still a demand for
scuba diving accident advice where incidents do occur as those involved may need to know how to make an accident injury claim.

A specialist team of solicitors is on hand at Accident Advice Helpline to provide advice following a scuba diving accident and they will make an honest assessment as to whether any claim would have a good chance of success.

How to avoid diving accidents

Ken Bazeley, the Coastguard’s national diving liaison officer, commented on the latest figures: “The number of diving incidents has fallen to their lowest level since 1992, but still last year we saw 10 diving fatalities.”

He pledged that efforts will continue towards bringing down the number of serious diving injuries and fatalities.

“The key message for divers is to remember to make a slow ascent, perform a safety stop and have sufficient air/gas for the dive, with enough in reserve,” he advised.

“We hope divers make use of the upcoming Easter break to get out and explore the rich marine life around our coasts, but please dive within your limits.”

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