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BSAC 2021 Incident Report released

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The British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) has released the latest annual Diving Incident Report. As part of its role as National Governing Body, BSAC reports on diving incidents in the UK, from all diver training agencies. Compiled by BSAC Incident Advisor, Jim Watson and Data analyst, Ben Peddie, the report has been released annually for almost 60 years.

The Incident Report and its data analysis aim to promote diver safety as well as understand any trends that can support all the diving agencies in their diver training programmes and safety advice. It contains details of UK diving incidents occurring to divers from all agencies and backgrounds, plus incidents occurring worldwide involving BSAC members. The data is gathered from incident report forms, through partners agencies including the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, the RNLI, MOD, RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) and other diving organisations.

The collection of incident information is central to understanding trends in diving safety. The report analyses the background to the incidents, and over many years BSAC and other UK training agencies have updated their training programmes and safety guidance based on the report.

Now available to download online at bsac.com/incidentreport, the 2021 Diving Incident Report has recorded a total of 235 incidents, which includes 17 that occurred overseas.

New webinar for diving industry professionals

BSAC will present its findings to diving industry professionals by webinar on Monday 28 November 2022 at 2pm. Instructors and other professionals from dive organisations and other agencies are all invited on a first-come, first served basis.

Anyone wishing to attend can register using this form, and links to join the webinar will be sent out the morning before. A recording of the webinar will be available afterwards.

Headlines from the 2021 Report 

  • Diving largely returned to pre-pandemic levels
  • Increase in reported incidents
  • 235 incidents reported in calendar year 2021
  • 16 diver fatalities in 15 incidents
  • Slight rise in incidents related to equipment failure
  • RNLI called out 45 times; helicopters called out 26 times

Some of the conclusions from the report were…

From the number of incidents reported we can surmise that, although there was a slow start, diving activity has largely returned to pre-pandemic levels in 2021. As this was a period of inactivity, there is some evidence that some equipment failures may have been affected by the extended period of lay-off due to the pandemic. This may be why few incidents were reported in the first three months of the year, although it picked up rapidly from April onwards.

Decompression Illness (DCI) was the most reported category of incident, followed by surface/boat incidents and injuries.

Separation and solo diving continue to feature prominently in the factors associated with incidents resulting in a fatality.

BSAC Incident Advisor Jim Watson said:

“As with previous Incident Reports published over many years, some incidents reported in 2021 could possibly have been avoided had those involved followed a few basic principles of safe diving practice. In addition, many of the unavoidable incidents are prevented from escalating into something more serious by the prompt utilisation of rescue skills and the rapid support of the rescue services. BSAC publishes online advice on ‘Safe Diving‘ summarising all the key elements of safe diving practice, and we urge all divers to ensure equipment is maintained properly and to evaluate their own personal fitness levels. Incident analysis shows that through continuous training, skills practice and careful dive planning divers are able to greatly reduce their chances of suffering an incident.”

Safe diving guidance 

Safety is at the core of BSAC’s training programme and the organisation publishes online advice the Safe Diving guide – bsac.com/safediving – which is based on many decades of incident analysis. Review of the 2021 incidents seems to show that some could have been avoided, and/or the severity reduced, if Safe Diving advice had been followed.

Help keep diving safe 

If you have been involved in or witnessed an incident, please report it – in confidence – and help BSAC to continue to shape a safe future for diving. Whether you are a BSAC diver or dive with another agency, a recreational or technical diver or if the incident happened in the UK or overseas, we want to hear about it.

You can report incidents confidentially at any time online at bsac.com/incidentreporting  

Marine Life & Conservation

UK Shark Fin ban moves closer to becoming law

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Bite-Back Shark & Marine Conservation’s relentless campaigns to make Britain shark fin-free reached a new milestone last week when a private member’s bill to ban the import and export of shark fins was voted through parliament with unanimous cross-party support.

The bill is now scheduled for three readings in the House of Lords and, if successful, it will then go to King Charles for Royal Ascent and become law.

Campaign director for Bite-Back, Graham Buckingham, said:

“Our goal of ending Britain’s ties with the global shark fin trade is within our reach. This country has a dark history of exporting around 20 tonnes of shark fins every year and it remains legal to bring up to 20kg of dried shark fins through Customs without needing to declare it. This bill could represent a significant blow to the multi-million-pound shark fin industry. It’s now down to the House of Lords to smooth its path to the palace.”

Since July 2022 the charity has been consulting the Labour MP Christina Rees who put forward the private member’s bill after the government failed to bring its Animal Welfare Bill, that promised to ban the import and export of shark fins, into law last year.

To help improve support for the bill, Bite-Back also created a briefing document on the issues for all MPs to reference. During the bill’s final reading in the House of Commons MPs from different parties wholeheartedly endorsed the ban on the import and export of shark fins.

In her closing statement Christina Rees MP said that she hoped this bill would ‘drive up the standards of global shark conservation’.

Bite-Back will now turn its attention to educating and inspiring members of the House of Lords to vote in favour of a ban.

Follow the bill’s progress at www.bite-back.com and learn how you can get involved in supporting shark conservation initiatives in the UK.

Header image: Finned sharks underwater- Copyright – Scubazoo.

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Dive Travel Adventures Winter 2023 out now!

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Join us on some of the most spectacular and exciting Dive Travel Adventures worldwide!

The latest issue of Scubaverse’s printed premium quality, quarterly publication, Dive Travel Adventures, is available now. After an extended hiatus due to world events, we’re delighted to be back bigger and better than ever before as we share with you the Winter 2023 edition.

Packed full of incredible photography and first person travel experiences, Dive Travel Adventures will inspire you to put on your scuba gear and explore more of the underwater world. From amazing marine encounters to edge of your seat expeditions across the planet, Dive Travel Adventures offers you an insight into the hottest and coolest dive travel destinations the world has to offer. Get ready to tick some incredible Dive Travel Adventures off your wish list!

In the new Winter 2023 edition of Dive Travel Adventures:

BAHAMAS
Nick and Caroline’s long-held dreams of epic Tiger Shark encounters come to fruition on their return trip to Grand Bahama.

MEXICO
Black Manta Photography take a trip to Mexico’s Caribbean coast for a twin centre holiday that showcases the incredible underwater diversity of Cozumel and Playacar.

TRAVEL GUIDE: AZORES
Into the Blue: Hovering around the dramatically beautiful mid-Atlantic archipelago with Daniel Brinckmann.

FUERTEVENTURA
Yo-Han Cha takes a short flight to the Canary Island of Fuerteventura for a week of relaxed diving and some winter sun.

LUNDY ISLAND
Lundy Island offers an off the beaten track experience along with fantastic scenery above and below the waterline. Jane Morgan explores.

SNORKELING SCOTLAND
Nick and Caroline take advantage of the international travel hiatus to seek out some underwater highlights a little closer to home.

PALAU
Jay Clue heads to Palau to discover what makes this spectacular Pacific archipelago one of the most diverse dive destinations on our planet.

JORDAN
Sean Chinn returns to Aqaba for the scuttling of a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar Plane.

EGYPT
After many a difficult time with suspended flights and then the COVID pandemic, Sharm el Sheikh is firmly back on the map for UK divers. Nick and Caroline head out to see what’s new.

View or download a digital copy of the WINTER 2023 edition of Dive Travel Adventures HERE.

Want a printed copy? The printed edition of Dive Travel Adventures is available to pick up FREE from dive centres throughout the UK and Ireland now, so make sure you pick up your copy today. See a complete list of stockists HERE.

New outlets where you can pick up Dive Travel Adventures are being added to the list all the time. In addition to being available from dive centres, copies will also be delivered to your door with selected orders from leading manufacturers and retailers. You can also pick up your FREE copy of Dive Travel Adventures at various dive shows and events.

We hope you enjoy reading the latest edition of Dive Travel Adventures! Let us know your thoughts on our new publication in the comments below!

Keep up to date with all things #DTA on our Dive Travel Adventures Facebook page and on Instagram.


Look out for the Spring 2023 edition of Dive Travel Adventures coming soon!

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