Diving into the sea has been an adventure for humanity for centuries. However, this aquatic escapade comes with its own risks. The number of scuba diving deaths annually has been the cause of much concern among the diving community and relevant authorities, owing to its shockingly high figure. Let’s take a closer look.
Unveiling the Shocking Reality
Scuba diving involves a level of risk. Every year, divers all around the world tragically lose their lives, leaving their families and friends in shock. The large number of deaths annually due to scuba diving is an issue that requires attention, as it can be prevented.
The numbers speak for themselves. In 2018, the Divers Alert Network reported that an estimated 397 scuba divers died, making it one of the deadliest years in history. Moreover, the death rate globally is 2.2 deaths per million dives. This means that out of a million dives, an average of 2.2 people will die.
To put it into perspective, the number of scuba diving deaths annually is higher than the number of deaths in airplane accidents. In 2019, the number of airplane fatalities in the US was 765. Meanwhile, the number of diving deaths in the US reached the staggering figure of 67, according to the Divers Alert Network.
Examining the Annual Numbers
In total, the Divers Alert Network reported that the number of scuba diving-related deaths in 2019 was 421, with a drastic increase from the figure in 2018.
The statistics from the Divers Alert Network reveal that the average age of the decedents is 43, with the majority of deaths being male (83%). It is concerning to note that the largest number of deaths comes from certified divers, with an alarming 55% of deaths caused by certified divers.
Moreover, the majority of deaths (73%) take place in open water, with a further breakdown of 32% in the sea, 20% in lakes or reservoirs, and 21% in quarries. The rest of the deaths (27%) occur in pools.
Exploring the Causes
The common causes of scuba diving deaths include drowning, marine animal attacks, decompression sickness, and hypothermia.
Drowning is the most common cause of scuba diving death. It can be caused by panic, exhaustion, or simply a lack of oxygen due to poor planning.
Marine animal attacks, such as those from sharks, are relatively rare. However, they do occur and can be fatal.
Decompression sickness, which is also known as “the bends”, is caused by a diver ascending too quickly from the depths of the sea. This can result in nitrogen bubbles forming in the bloodstream and blocking the flow of oxygen, leading to death.
Hypothermia is a potentially fatal condition that can occur while scuba diving in cold water. It is caused by the cold water lowering the body temperature, which can lead to unconsciousness or death.
Scuba diving deaths are a cause for concern. It is essential that divers take the necessary safety measures to ensure their safety. They should follow all safety protocols, use the proper gear, and do their best to properly assess the risks before taking the plunge. With proper planning and caution, the number of scuba diving deaths annually can be reduced.