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Diving Accident Management

The PADI Emergency Action Plan (EAP Worksheet) is a free template that gives accident assistance and guidance to help rescuers during patient response.

So, what information should the best scuba Emergency Assistance Plan template include? This help guide explains how to follow, and implement, a dive safety plan.

An Effective Diving Emergency Action Plan

Serious emergencies are not common occurrences in diving. Even so, following a functional EAP usually means rescues run 'smoothly'.

Active dive professionals are busy people. They need to keep track of many things, including the individual needs of their students.

Moreover, responding to a scuba emergency - especially in the water - can be a little unnerving for some.

As a certified Rescue Diver, you need to have an emergency response plan sample that is easy to follow and effective.

Furthermore, being familiar with the dive site and having easy access to the relevant equipment increases success. So, let's look at the logistics of managing a diver emergency.

Developing an Automatic Response

Often, being able to commit a diver rescue plan to memory is better than having it written on paper. Nonetheless, you must understand the plan and be rescue ready - especially when pressure builds.

DAN's EAP guidelines are something that Rescue Divers can practice - and have fun doing so. Practising the steps on a regular basis means it will become an automatic response.

Put another way:

The first step is identifying the need to deal with an injured diver. Without having to think about what to do, your EAP training should 'kick in' and automate your response. Follow that by evaluating the situation and carry on with any further measured and appropriate steps.

Note: Learning about the common diving mistakes can help to reduce the likelihood of you falling victim of severe scuba accidents.

Managing the Dive Scene

Your own safety, as well as the safety of any divers who got injured, is vital when you manage the scene. You must also be aware of any dangerous external factors, such as:

Administering firm commands to others is an integral part of any emergency response. You may need to control a crowd of people by creating a safe perimeter around the injured diver(s).

Your objective should be to create a safe space that allows you to provide medical care. Doing so also reduces the risk of further harming everyone involved.

Communications and Logistics

Being clear and direct with your communication during an emergency response helps to reduce stress levels and improve the likelihood of positive outcomes for patients.

This step is important:

Communicating 'effectively' with emergency medical personnel can be critical. In most cases, it will increase the speed of their response. Thus, relaying valuable information about the patient to any receiving physician is vital.

Many dive centres will supply handheld radios or satellite phones to their staff (e.g. for remote diving expeditions).

Furthermore, having a fluent native speaker on staff can help relay important information to healthcare personnel. Hence, it can avoid having any awkward or misleading language translation issues.

Note: Another section explains more about the role of Divers Alert Network (DAN) with information on their safe diving practices.

PADI Rescue Diver Emergency Action Plan Example

The written example below is prepared as a dive emergency action plan for Rescue Divers and for Divemasters to use during their training.

That being said, beginners will also find the EAP example a useful PDF download to study while taking PADI Scuba Diving Courses as part of their continuing education.

In case you were wondering:

A scuba diving assistance plan is meant to be completed at the scene of any serious accident requiring immediate action and assisting ultimately in satisfactory patient response.

It's important to hand over the diving Emergency Action Plan to medical specialists. This ensures they get accurate details about any medical treatment given to the patient.

Note: The scuba accident emergency assistance plan (EAP) is meant to be a helpful guide for certified divers. The free sample does not replace professional training in critical patient response and accident management (such as the curriculum found in the PADI Rescue Diver and Divemaster Course).

PADI Emergency Assistance Plan [required information]

Has there been a scuba diving accident or incident requiring medical attention? If yes, please notify your name, telephone number, and your location to:

Was there any first aid equipment available at the scene and was it administered (e.g. did you give CPR)? Typical examples of emergency response gear include:

Use emergency radio communications where possible (e.g. local radio channels):

Important: Official statistics show that the number of scuba diving deaths per year are 'relatively' few. Even so, following this Diving Accident Management Flowchart PDF will make it easier for Rescue Divers to respond.

Diving Emergency Action Plan FAQ

How to Control a Panicked Diver at the Surface?

One effective technique used to calm down a panicked diver is to place a hand on their shoulder and try to make direct eye contact with the person. If they are responsive, the next steps will include:

What's the Most Frequent Emergency in Scuba Diving?

The DAN Emergency Hotline reports three diving injuries and illnesses as being the most common. They are:

What is a DCI Diving Emergency?

One of the notable diving injuries is decompression illness (DCI). It can occur when an uncontrolled ascent results in an abrupt change in ambient pressure. So, divers can avoid some of the effects of DCI by making slow, controlled ascents.

Will Scuba Diving Shorten Your Life?

The environmental factors that relate to breathing scuba can affect your cardiovascular system. Even so, reasonably fit divers who limit physiological stress should not suffer serious harm.

What Kills Scuba Divers?

Accurate data from research done to determine what kills divers the most is sparse. That said, running out of breathing gas is highly documented by accident investigators.

Other common scuba problems that can lead to death include poor buoyancy control, misuse of equipment, entanglement (including entrapment), rip currents, and making an emergency ascent.

Provide name of injured diver(s) and details of the dive.

Use the emergency dive plan template to record information and details about the diver and any determined scuba diving injuries or associated problems.

PADI Emergency Action Plan Template PDF

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