The number of diving incidents in the UK has fallen to its lowest level in 21 years, according to the latest figures from the Coastguard.
Even so, there were 136 incidents in 2013, which included 10 fatalities.
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 included lost or missing divers, broken down vessels and divers with other medical problems.
Now with the Easter holidays approaching, divers are once again being reminded of essential safety advice.
Ken Bazeley, the Coastguard’s National Diving Liaison Officer, says: “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. 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.”
The figures for the last four years are as follows.
2010: 230 incidents, 11 fatalities
2011: 196 incidents, 14 fatalities
2012: 177 incidents, 16 fatalities
2013: 136 incidents, 10 fatalities
As the figures are from the coastguard, they refer solely to open water dives and not any freshwater accidents.
The reductions may be because of poor weather between March and June meaning less diving took place. Indeed, much of the country had snow during Easter, and May was the coldest for a hundred years.