South Florida is a popular destination for scuba divers, but all too often accidents spoil a diving trip and can even result in tragedy. The better we understand the dangers of scuba diving, the better prepared we will be to cut back on the dangerous consequences that occur when things go wrong.
The many dangers of going under
The Divers Alert Network has been compiling diving incident data since 1989. According to their research, some of the biggest dangers divers face include:
- Running out of air at depth: Drowning is, of course, the most urgent danger divers face and is often precipitated by running out of air. There are a number of situations that can result in air failure, including failure to properly inspect tanks and breathing apparatus.
- Decompression sickness (DCS): Commonly known as the bends, DCS occurs when divers ascend too quickly and gas bubbles form in the bloodstream. The risk is especially high when divers are conducting multi-dive days over a number of days.
- Nitrogen narcosis: This condition most often occurs when divers are at significant depths. While the condition itself is not that dangerous to the body, it often impairs decision making, which is a recipe for disaster for diver who is at depth.
- Inhaling contaminated oxygen: When owners fail to test for air quality, maintain compressors and replace filters according to protocols, the air divers breath can be toxic and even deadly.
- Distressed veins and arteries from wearing heavy diving equipment: Divers with underlying musculoskeletal or cardiovascular health concerns should be especially mindful of the impact wearing bulky diving equipment can have on the body.
We wish you a safe and fun diving experience in South Florida. If an accident does occur and a diving company, rental business, equipment manufacturer or other party is at fault, victims have important legal rights they should know about.