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BSAC 2021 Incident Report released



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, 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 – – 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  

Marine Life & Conservation

Watch The Real Watergate from Live Ocean Foundation (Trailer)



Sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke established Live Ocean Foundation out of their deep concern for health of the ocean and the life in it. Through their sport they champion action for the ocean, taking this message to the world.

Many of the issues the ocean faces are out of sight, but the science is clear, the ocean is in crises from multiple stressors; climate change, pollution and over-fishing. We’re not moving fast enough, not even close.

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Thanks to generous core donors who cover their operating costs, 100% of public donations go directly towards the marine conservation projects they support.

Find out more at


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Marine Life & Conservation

World Oceans Day: Fourth Element and Love The Oceans join forces




Fourth Element, a leading provider of high-quality dive gear, and Love The Oceans, a non-profit organization dedicated to marine conservation, have announced their new partnership on World Oceans Day, June 8th, 2023. This collaboration represents a shared commitment to protecting our oceans and promoting sustainable practices within the diving community.

Love The Oceans is widely recognized for their exceptional work in marine conservation and their dedication to community development in Mozambique. The organization’s approach involves not only protecting marine wildlife and habitats but also empowering local communities to become guardians of their own environment.

Photo: Kaushiik Subramaniam

They place a strong emphasis on empowering women in the field of marine conservation. The team actively supports and encourages women to participate in their research programs, providing opportunities for training, leadership development, and career advancement, inspiring a new generation of female scientists and conservationists.

Love The Oceans seek out passionate individuals within local communities and provide them with training and resources. Fourth Element will then support these champions to become divers and ambassadors of the ocean, spreading awareness, implementing sustainable practices, and inspiring others to join the movement.

Photo: Mario Guilamba

“We are thrilled to embark on this partnership with Love The Oceans,” said Jim Standing, co-founder of Fourth Element. “Our shared commitment to sustainable practices and marine conservation makes this collaboration a natural fit. We believe that by joining forces, we can amplify our efforts to protect our oceans and inspire positive change within the diving community.”

Francesca Trotman, Founder and CEO of Love The Oceans, expressed her excitement about the collaboration, stating, “We’re thrilled to be working with Fourth Element, a brand that aligns with our values and ethos. This partnership will enable us to get more local community members scuba diving in Mozambique, monitoring our reef systems, and striving for better protection of our marine world. Working together, we’re conserving Mozambique’s coastline for generations to come.”

For more, visit

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