[abstract] BUDDY VERSUS SOLO DIVING IN FATAL RECREATIONAL DIVING ACCIDENTS

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[abstract] BUDDY VERSUS SOLO DIVING IN FATAL RECREATIONAL DIVING ACCIDENTS

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Title: [abstract] BUDDY VERSUS SOLO DIVING IN FATAL RECREATIONAL DIVING ACCIDENTS
Author: Caruso, JL; Uguccioni, DM; Ellis, JE; Dovenbarger, JA; Bennett, PB
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Most major diving training agencies emphasize diving with a buddy. Many experienced divers dive alone, citing that a buddy is a liability. Their argument is that diving with a buddy may result in injury or death to both divers and places an undue burden on the more experienced diver to render aid to the less experienced diver. The Divers Alert Network (DAN) collects and analyzes all available information on diving related fatalities and makes recommendations that promote safe diving. METHODS: The DAN recreational diving fatality database was queried for cases involving solo divers and those with multiple fatalities on the same dive. DAN staff and a physician who is both a diving medical officer and a forensic pathologist reviewed all cases. RESULTS: There were 886 diving fatalities reported for 1992-2001; information regarding the lack of or separation from a dive buddy was known in 821 cases. Of those 821 fatalities, the diver entered the water without a dive buddy in 141 (17.2percent). In 31 accidents more than one diver died, representing 3.8percent of all fatal diving mishaps. Many solo diving fatalities involved circumstances where the presence of a dive buddy may have resulted in a different outcome (e.g., out of air, entanglement). In the majority of multiple fatality cases, the divers were entrapped (cave, wreck); a buddy was inconsequential. A few double fatality cases involved a diver returning to depth to look for a missing diver. CONCLUSIONS: Nearly one in five diving fatalities involve a diver who enters the water unaccompanied. A greater percentage of diving fatalities involve separation from the dive buddy. Fatal recreational diving accidents involving more than one diver are far less common. The recommendation by most diving training organizations that divers always dive with a dive buddy in close proximity during the dive seems prudent.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. (http://www.uhms.org )
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/1375
Date: 2003

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  • UHMS Meeting Abstracts
    This is a collection of the published abstracts from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) annual meetings.

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