When accidents happen…

A medical guide to handling interactions with marine creatures

By Joseph Becker, M.D. and Paul Auerbach, M.D., M.S.

No matter how careful they are, sooner or later most divers are stung, bitten, punctured or poisoned by a marine animal. While a healthy respect for marine life and the environment is a good safety measure, accidents happen and serious afflictions may result.

Sharks are commonly thought of as the animal most likely to cause injury, but in truth, there are many other marine animals that are more likely to injure divers. Creatures such as barracuda, seals, otters and eels – while not normally aggressive – may sometimes react defensively and bite humans. Continue reading “When accidents happen…”

The SS President Coolidge: the world’s largest, most accessible wreck

Remnants of the Second World War can be found scattered throughout the Pacific, from the jungles and lagoons of Micronesia and Papua New Guinea to Pearl Harbour in Hawaii. One of the most famous (and largest) wrecks however, is found somewhere in between, in Vanuatu: the SS President Coolidge. Continue reading “The SS President Coolidge: the world’s largest, most accessible wreck”

Koh Ha: Thailand’s royal dive destination

Koh Ha is a tiny group of islands not far from Koh Lanta on Thailand’s south west coast. The tall rocky limestone karst islands are very picturesque, like many of the islands in this part of the world, similar to Koh Phi Phi and the so-called James Bond island in Phang Nga. But the real beauty of these islands is to be found underwater. Continue reading “Koh Ha: Thailand’s royal dive destination”

DAN Incident Insights: Quiet Rupture

A “mild” barotrauma leaves a diver with potentially permanent hearing loss. By John Lippmann, DAN AP Founder, Chairman, Director of Research

Diver’s Background. “James” (not his real name) is a 62 year-old Australian male. He is an experienced diver, logging more than 1500 dives over 33 years, mainly in the cooler waters of southern Australia. However, he has also done at least one overseas diving trip each year, mainly to tropical locations. Continue reading “DAN Incident Insights: Quiet Rupture”

Decompression Recovery

Almost half of those who are treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy have some neurological symptoms or pain for several days or weeks after hyperbaric therapy was completed. On average, 16 percent of injured divers will still have symptoms for up to three months after they have been treated.

DAN was contacted by a diver who had received eight hyperbaric treatments for decompression sickness six weeks ago. He was in good physical shape and an hour after diving he experienced numbness and tingling in his left arm, hand, leg and foot and felt very weak and fatigued. At the end of his treatments all his symptoms had alleviated and four days later he flew home without issue. However, he reported that in the last two weeks he had noticed a return of some of the tingling in his left arm and foot that comes and goes but doesn’t completely go away. He was wondering if this was a normal side effect of decompression illness and whether he should seek further recompression. Continue reading “Decompression Recovery”

Diving Nusa Penida’s colourful Crystal Bay – but beware the downcurrents

Nusa Penida’s Crystal Bay provides an animated visual feast of colourful marine life, but beware the currents that create the show.

As you might expect the waters of Crystal Bay in Nusa Penida are crystal clear and I don’t mean like glass, I mean like crystal, every colourful fish positively sparkling in Technicolor! Continue reading “Diving Nusa Penida’s colourful Crystal Bay – but beware the downcurrents”

DAN AP –‘Incident Insights’ – Dec 2017

DAN AP presents our monthly precis of serious incident calls to DAN AP – and most importantly – what we can learn from them

DAN AP presents our monthly precis of serious incident calls to DAN AP – and most importantly – what we can learn from them. Sadly, DAN AP was also advised of two fatalities. Continue reading “DAN AP –‘Incident Insights’ – Dec 2017”