There is No Excuse: Stop the madness of losing divers at sea

The report this past week of two more divers left at sea needs to be the last (R J Diving Ventures leaves two divers in open water). The entire dive community needs to send the message to dive charters that there can be no excuse for leaving divers at sea. There are so many simple practices and fail-safe solutions to make sure your divers are back on board we all want to scream, “STOP THE MADNESS.” This should not be happening.

Even on cattle boat dive trips, these solutions work. It is certainly not about the money. DAN (Divers Alert Network) offers a turn-key solution FOR FREE to DAN business members. This DAN solution is the same, simple and well recognized solution used for year by miners, military, firefighters and other emergency services. With the support of DAN Donors, DAN gives away the “DIDS” (Diver IDentification System) FREE to charters. The system needs no explanation, just look at the picture. Divers 3 and 10 are not back, so we cannot leave the site. Anyone working on a charter could build the same system for a few dollars.

As a diver, you can make a difference and end this string of divers left at sea. Every time you book a charter, ask if they have a DIDS or another failsafe way for making sure all divers are back on board. If they do not, tell them about DAN DIDS and that you will book with them after they get a system in place.

We at ScubaGadget will commit to including the availability or lack there of, of DIDS (or similar systems) on charters we review. We are also starting a FaceBook and Twitter “100% DIDS campaign”. We will post the names of dive charters with DIDS on board to encourage full adoption. If you have a charter with a DIDS or know of one, let us know on http://www.facebook.com/ScubaGadget or email john@jmckenzie.com and we will recognize them online.

To contribute to DIDS, call DAN Development at 1-800-446-2671 ext. 444 or email development@dan.duke.edu.