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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.

Author information

1
School of Population Health, The University of Western Australia, Australia. pbuzzacott@meddent.uwa.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

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

METHODS:

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

RESULTS:

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).

CONCLUSION:

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

IMPLICATIONS:

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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