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Aust N Z J Public Health. 2009 Jun;33(3):212-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2009.00377.x.

Western Australian recreational scuba diving fatalities, 1992 to 2005.

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School of Population Health, The University of Western Australia, Australia.



To investigate recreational scuba diving fatalities within Western Australia (WA) between 1992 and 2005.


Coroners reports for 24 diving fatalities were reviewed to determine anthropometry, certification status and breaches of safe practices for each.


Certification status was known for 20 divers and of these six (30%) were uncertified. Certified divers breached significantly fewer safe diving practices than uncertified divers (p<0.01). Existing regulatory mechanisms require training certification only for dives made from commercial dive boats, yet the number of deaths involving shore dives or private craft (n=15) were triple the number diving from commercial boats (n=5).


Uncertified divers are less regulated and breach more safe practices than certified divers.


We recommend changes to existing regulations governing dives made from shore and private craft in WA, requiring that all divers be certified.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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