Diving incidents drop to lowest level in two decades
14 April 2014
The number of diving incidents has fallen to its lowest level in 21 years, according to latest figures from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.
"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," says Ken Bazeley, MCA National Diving Liaison Officer.
The most common incident was decompression illness, with 44 cases recorded last year. A further 21 incidents were down to rapid ascent, which is likely to have developed into decompression illness.
Other calls in 2013 included lost and/or missing divers, broken down vessels and divers with other medical problems.
There were 136 incidents in 2013, which included 10 fatalities. These figures relate only to those in which HM Coastguard was involved in search and rescue.
National diving statistics, including both open water and inland diving together with detailed analysis, are available from the BSAC.
With the Easter holidays approaching, divers are being reminded of essential safety advice.
"The number of diving incidents has fallen to its lowest level since 1992 but we still saw 10 diving fatalities last year," says Bazeley. "We will continue to strive for a reduction in fatalities and serious injury.
"The key message is to remember to make a slow ascent, perform a safety stop and have sufficient air/gas for the dive, with enough in reserve.