The British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) has published its Annual Diving Incident Report for 2014. The 2014 report records a total of 216 incidents.

BSAC have monitored and reported on diving incidents since 1964. Their report contains both details of UK diving incidents occurring to divers of all affiliations, and incidents occurring world-wide involving BSAC members.

In the last three years the number of reported incidents has declined by approximately 60 per year.

BSAC conclude that the decline may be because a normal amount of diving has taken place but:

  • either it has been safer and fewer incidents have occurred,
  • or a normal number of incidents have occurred but fewer have been reported.

Alternatively, less diving may have taken place and thus fewer incidents occurred.

There are some trends identified in the report that indicate that there are improvements to diver safety with respect to decompression illness and buoyancy control, and also a reduction in boating incidents.

BSAC say that most of the incidents reported could have been avoided had those involved followed a few basic principles of safe diving practice. Several incidents involved rapid ascents due to panic and a rush for the surface, poor buoyancy control, out of air, delayed surface marker buoy issues or a weight-related issue. Interestingly, there was also an increase this year in the number of cases which identified the malfunction of inflation or dump valves on a BCD or drysuit.

The “Incident Year” in the report ran from 1st October 2013 to 30th September 2014. Of the 216 incidents, 16 were fatal. Six cases probably involved divers who suffered a ‘nondiving’ related medical incident (for example a heart attack) whilst in the water. Four cases involved a separation of some kind. One case involved a diver who died as a result of breathing poisonous gas in a dry passage in a partially flooded mine.

Full details of each incident are covered in the report.

Further Reading:
BSAC Diving Incident Report 2014


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