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Dive Industry News Headlines

Welcome to the section that grows every day as our research team and writers cover the recent scuba diving news headlines with in-depth reports and invaluable insights.

Browse through the list of topics and then follow the links in the table of contents below to read news stories about scuba diving and snorkeling activities happening around the world.

What's the Latest News about Scuba Today

Having the current dive industry news is a must-have online resource for scuba divers and snorkelers - especially for beginners.

Go ahead and bookmark this scuba diving news journal and stay up to date with all the important content, photos, and videos you need.

Important: The content in this scuba diving website is independently-written and unique. We do not use artificial intelligence (AI) to create any of the scuba news stories listed below.

Accidents and Insights

Even though humans can learn from their own mistakes, we can also learn from the misfortunes of others and prevent a repetition of similar scenarios.

Recent scuba news:

  • Interrupted Decompression Ends in Decompression Sickness
  • Unintentional Dropped Weight Belt Causes a Runaway Ascent
  • What to Do if Lightning Strikes the Dive Site?
  • Spearfisher Bitten on the Shoulder by a Shark
  • Dislodged Power Inflator Causes an Uncontrolled Ascent
  • Buford Sink Cave Diving Disaster Claims the Lives of Two Divers
  • Diver's Death at Stoney Cove Leads to Sentencing for TDI Instructor

This new section highlights recent scuba diving accidents and incidents with critical insights for improving safety and regulation in the industry.

Commercial Diving News

Enormous Fine Issued to Commercial Diving Company

Apart from reducing workplace harm for commercial divers, another role of WorkSafe Victoria in Australia is improving the outcomes for injured workers.

WorkSafe Victoria Issues Enormous Fine for Commercial Diving CompanyThat is exactly what happened after issuing Underwater Inspection Services Pty Ltd with a huge fine of A$730,000.

The company pleaded guilty to multiple safety violations and seven charges falling under the Occupational Health and Safety Act in the Melbourne County Court.

What happened?

It seems the main issue was company negligence. They failed to maintain adequate safety measures during, what appears to be, routine underwater inspection procedures.

A lack of appropriate training, and failing to perform proper risk management procedures, resulted in the litany of charges. Prosecutors said:

"The actions of the company 'gravely' endangered the lives of its employees. In addition, it left them at risk of being involved in serious diving accidents."

Company Fined after Scuba Diver Death

The Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia published a decision about the death of a worker during a complex scuba diving operation.

It seems the diver was involved in an underwater task to recover a sunken boat when a medical event occurred. Unfortunately the diver died.

The report states that the diver who died was working for Central Coast Marine Services at the time of the incident. The company was in the process of building a wharf at Duncanby Landing (a remote fishing lodge) north of Vancouver.

And the decision?

"WorkSafeBC investigation determined that the firm had not provided adequate diving supervision or a standby diver as required for an occupational dive, and had not confirmed the medical certification of the worker."

"In addition, the firm had not conducted a risk assessment for the recovery work and had not put adequate safe work procedures in place."

In conclusion, WorkSafeBC fined the firm $15,887 stating that the company failed to ensure the health and safety of its workers.

3 Reasons for Veterans to Become Commercial Divers

People in the general workforce lack many of the qualities and attributes that veterans already have. Some of the most notable include commitment, determination, and a unique prowess in problem-solving.

As a result, if you are a veteran looking for work, you may be well-suited to the challenges and rewards of a career in commercial diving.

But, choosing this career path has obvious dangers. Despite having a military background, the specialised training required to become a commercial diver will be physically demanding.

So, here are three reasons why men and women with armed forces experience might choose commercial diving as a new career:

  1. Unparalleled Experience and Unique Analytical Qualities
  2. Financial Benefits Available for Veterans in the Commercial Diving Industry
  3. Proven Principles for Success through Discipline and Teamwork

Note: This is only a snippet of the job opportunities in the diving industry. Please use the contact form to send us your questions or comments if a scuba diving career appeals to you.

Dive Equipment Reviews

Suunto Ocean Dive Computer

One of the latest offerings from Suunto is a watch-size, colour screen, multi-sport computer with Global Positioning System (GPS) and free maps.

Designed and built in Finland, the Suunto Ocean All Black dive computer comes with a heart rate monitor, 95 different sports modes, extra long battery life, and an affordable price tag.

The body of this "repairable" machine is light, slender, and sporty. If you include the buttons, the Suunto Ocean is fifty two (52) millimetres across and it measures fifteen (15) millimetres from the sensor section to the top of the screen (thickness).

Suunto Ocean Dive Computer ReviewThe body is made of glass fibre-reinforced polyamide with a stainless steel bezel. There are three different colour options:

  • All Black
  • Black and Silver
  • Light Cream

Suunto also provides a wide range of straps, including a textile strap for everyday use as well as a long silicone strap with customisable colours.

Note: Another section contains more information about the best diving computer and scuba watch with expert reviews and unboxing instructions.

Mares Ultra 62X Dive Regulator

With a combined weight of 851 grams (DIN), the best regulator set for divers who enjoy traveling to faraway destinations could be the Mares Ultra 62X.

Note: Another section contains the full review about the best scuba regulator for travel with a list of technical specifications and unique features.

Seac Icona Frameless Mask

The silicone of the new Icona frameless, single-lens, two-tone, dive mask bonds directly onto the tempered glass.

Seac Icona Scuba Mask ReviewKey Features

  • The Italian company Seacsub produces the new Icona scuba mask with a price around 2,000 THB.
  • 3D rocker buckle design provides enhanced adjustment and ease of use (even when wearing thick diving gloves).
  • Using frameless technology with an overmolded skirt and two different silicones maximises the ergonomics.
  • The low internal volume makes it easier to equalise and the opaque interior helps to eliminate bright sun reflection in the water.
  • The 'rounded' skirt edge increases facial comfort and creates a better grip without leaving the telltale mask marks on the face after a prolonged dive.

Note: Another section contains reviews about the best scuba mask with comments and reviews from experienced divers to help you choose.

J-1900 Delta BCD

The manufacturers (IST Sports Corp) say the superior adjustments on the J-1900 Delta BCD means 'one size fits most'.

As a result, the Delta buoyancy controller (BC) is a compact, single back-inflation system with forty (40) pounds of lift.

It has two easy loading, integrated weight pockets with zips at the top and you can ditch them with a simple pinch of the buckles.

Another handy feature is the sternum straps that you can slide vertically on adjusters to get the best fit.

J-1900 Delta BCDSize, Specifications, and Unique Features

  • 33 lbf(147N) back inflated bladder with 40 lbs. of lift
  • 2 stainless-steel D-rings (2 on shoulder, 2 on waist harness)
  • K-style power inflator with pull dump
  • 16-inch military-grade corrugated rubber inflation hose
  • 2 quick-release weight pockets; maximum load 8.8 lbs. (4kg) each
  • Reshaped and upgraded bladder for vertical position at the surface

Note: Another section explains how the Buoyancy Control Device (BCD Setup) functions with some safety tips for beginners.

What's the Best Dive Knife for 2024?

There are many different styles and sizes of scuba diving knives to choose from. But, we recently reviewed the Promate Titanium models - and here are the results.

This diver's tool definitely has a sleek design. The most notable features include a robust finish and comfortable leg straps.

Promate Barracuda Sharp Tip Titanium Diving Knife (5-inch)The blade is made from lightweight titanium, so the edges should stay sharp for many dives. The handle has an easy grip and there are sharp or blunt tip designs available.

Size, Specifications, and Unique Features

  • Titanium Alloy (rust proof)
  • Serrated blade, fishing line cutter, and hammer
  • Blade Length: 4.5 inches (12.7 centimetres)
  • Handle Length: 5 inches (11.4 centimetres)
  • Moulded thermoplastic rubber (TPR) and nylon grip
  • Strong lock sheath with quick disconnect buckles
  • Quick release and adjustable rubber straps

Note: Another section contains a comprehensive list of scuba dive equipment and accessories. It is a useful resource guide for anyone looking to buy cheap scuba gear.

T-60 Apollo Dive Light

There is no substitute for a good dive light when scuba diving in low light conditions. So, if you're into cave diving, wreck diving, or night diving, you need a good underwater torch to help keep you safe.

T-60 Apollo Dive Light ReviewThe T-60 Apollo LED torch (made by IST Sports) is sleek and extremely versatile.

It measures thirteen centimetres long (5.2 inches), and the 1200 Lumens compact dive light is equipped with a sliding shade and removable light diffuser.

The magnetic power switch cycles through five (5) individual brightness settings (high, mid, low, SOS flash, and off).

Thanks to the slender aluminium housing, this illumination device is rugged and lightweight.

Furthermore, the manufacturers say it is waterproof rated to one hundred (100) metres (328 feet).

Key Features

  • Brightness 1200 Lumens
  • Buoyancy Negative
  • Dimension 13.2cm x Ø2.6cm (5.20" x Ø1.02")
  • Patented built-in sliding light diffuser
  • Lightweight 6061-T6 aluminium material (dry) 116g / 0.26lb (without battery)
  • Burn Time: 2 - 10 hours (depending on operation mode)
  • Bulb Type: CREE LED XM-L2 U3 life 50,000+ hours
  • Dimensions: 13.2 cm x 2.6 cm (5.20” x 1.02”)
  • Battery type: 18650 rechargeable Li-ion x 1 (recommend) or CR123A primary lithium batteries x 2 (batteries not included)

Note: The scuba equipment section contains further information about underwater flashlights and some safety tips for beginners.

WR3-F Glow-in-the-Dark Underwater Writing Slate

The multi-side underwater writing slate made by IST Sports is ideal for scuba teachers as well as for recreational divers.

We often get asked 'can you talk while scuba diving'. Well, this is one of the clearest methods that some instructors use for communicating safety instructions with students underwater.

Furthermore, the WR3-F Underwater Writing Slate glows in the dark (ideal for the PADI Night Diver course or for diving in low-visibility).

Key Features

  • Review of the WR3-F Glow-in-the-Dark Underwater Writing SlateThe unique slate with elastic hinge bands creates extra writing space without losing its compactness
  • Dimensions: 4.1 x 4.7 inches (10.5 x 12 centimetres)
  • Velcro™ strap attaches to a diver's forearm for optimum streamlining with high-visibility Neon Yellow
  • Having a charcoal pencil helps to prevent corrosion (attached with stretchy plastic coil and handy storage facility in the integrated sleeve)
  • 3 snap open layers with 5 writing surfaces with large side tabs is great for easy opening and closing (even when you're wearing neoprene dive gloves)

Note: The equipment section contains information about scuba log books and underwater slates, with some extra safety tips for beginners.

Featured Articles

Scuba Diving Tourism | Is Scuba Diving Eco Friendly?

"The travel-oriented component in scuba diving is often neglected. Yet, it is an indispensable part of the industry because it services the goals of sport divers at various destinations worldwide.

This article overviews the pivotal relationship between scuba diving ecotourism and diver training, guided experiences, equipment sales, and most of all - the environment."

Note: This snapshot comes from an article about scuba diving tourism and how novice divers may be impacting delicate ecosystems.

How to Prepare for Scuba Diving?

"Breathing underwater for the very first time is an amazing experience. In recreational scuba, you breathe normal air through a regulator while swimming underwater.

Your equipment and apparatus supplies you with breathable air regulated to be the same pressure that surrounds you (ambient pressure).

As a result, the popular sport has been revolutionised in the last few decades. It is now accessible and available to almost anyone who is in general good health and comfortable in water."

Note: This brief excerpt comes from one of our featured articles. Click here to read the full article about first time scuba diving tips with five key suggestions for beginners and non-swimmers.

How to Start a Scuba Diving Business?

"If you are ready to develop your dream job, be your own boss and earn money from scuba diving, then maybe you are ready to enjoy the unique and envious lifestyle of a dive shop owner.

The combination of helping new divers to transform their daily lives, and earning a good income from a self employed job that you love, is an unparalleled situation that attracts many dive centre proprietors to go ahead and set up.

The project will undoubtedly be exciting and a challenge. But, introducing fresh individuals to the heart of our industry also brings additional privileges and responsibilities."

Note: This brief excerpt comes from one of our featured articles. Click here to read the full article about setting up a scuba diving business with some useful tips to help you get started.

Industry Events

"Mossy" Recognised as First Female Cave Diver

The Women Divers Hall Of Fame (WDHOF) inducted a British diving pioneer named Penelope Powell to its "Class of 2024".

Even though she passed away at the age of 60 in 1965, the posthumous award recognises "Mossy" as being the first woman cave-diver. She was also a co-author of the first cave-diving book called The Log of the Wookey Hole Exploration Expedition.

In Britain, the first successful cave dive using breathing equipment took place in 1935 at "Wookey Hole Caves", the Mendip Hills, in Somerset. Penelope Powell was only 31 years old and designated as "Diver No' 2" for the expedition.

Rebreather Forum 4

DAN Europe confirmed the date for the Rebreather Forum 4 (RF4). It will take place from the 20th to the 22nd of April 2023 in Malta.

Pro Tip: Another section explains more about rebreathers in scuba diving, including why they are becoming popular, how they function, and how the features differ to open-circuit units.

Business and Career Development Seminar

PADI seminars create opportunities for staff to share their knowledge and expertise in several key areas, including:

  • Business development
  • Career pathways
  • Dive industry success stories
  • Professional certification marketing

PADI Members can attend any or all of the three seminars taking place over five days in Goa from the 14th to 18th of June 2023.

Duikvaker Expo Houten

The Dutch Dive Show (Duikvaker) takes place on the weekend of the 4th and 5th of February in Houten 2023. It includes 150 exhibitors, 80 guest speakers, and 10,000 ocean lovers and water sport enthusiasts.

DEMA Show 2023

The DEMA Show is the largest trade-only event in the world for companies that do business in the scuba diving, ocean water sports, and adventure or dive travel industries.

Every year it attracts hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of professionals who work in the dive and travel industry.

Don't forget the date: Starting the 14th of November through to the 17th of November 2023, New Orleans, LA.

The Intentional Sinking of HTMS Chang

Thailand gets a new shipwreck for divers on the 16th of August. As a result, diving at Koh Chang Island is a much-improved destination for a scuba vacation.

The Intentional Sinking of HTMS Chang at Koh Chang IslandThe huge vessel was originally built in Philadelphia for the US Navy in 1944 to assist with the Pacific war efforts.

The boat was capable of transporting troops, tanks and gear directly to the shores of countries that were engaged in the conflicts.

The USS Lincoln County was given the hull number 898 and its first trips involved the invasion of imperial Japan at Okinawa. She was later decommissioned in March of 1961.

For almost 50 years, the tank landing ship provided transport for troops and vehicles for the Navy. Then, 712 HTMS Chang was moored near Bangkok in 2006 and partly gutted out.

The Navy then decided to sink it as an artificial reef in the vicinity of Koh Chang Island, a popular holiday destination with tourists.

Its journey to the southeastern island (near the Cambodian border) was executed by two tugboats. It arrived on Koh Chang's Navy pier in July 2012.

Note: The daily boat trips in Koh Chang offer divers the full range of 'Discovery Programs', PADI® Certification Courses, and a selection of Technical Diving opportunities.

Article First Published 2012

Thai Navy Ship Sinks at Pattaya Coastline

The small vessel, HTMS Mataphon, was slowly lowered to the bottom of the seabed by a floating crane on the morning of the 20th of October.

They chose Had Nuan Beach on the coral island of Koh Larn (a short boat trip from the Port) as a good location for the intentional sinking.

This new shipwreck is smaller than the other two wrecks, HTMS Khram and HTMS Kut. Even so, it gives local scuba divers an alternative dive site for wreck diving adventures.

Article First Published 2012

Science and Innovation

Using Robots to Help Regrow Coral Reefs

The power of robots is rarely contested. Now, thanks to an Australian scientist, robotic technology is helping to regrow vulnerable reefs in the azure waters of the Abrolhos Islands (400 kilometres north of Perth).

Coral Maker: Using Robots to Help Regrow Coral ReefsThis pioneering project is able to cultivate coral by harvesting fragments taken from the ocean.

Then, robots glue them onto special plugs and insert them into the limestone base.

Finally, scuba divers plant the entire skeletons back into the ocean for regeneration.

This process bypasses years of calcification by providing them with a premade skeleton.

The company, called Coral Maker, reiterates that having humans conduct assisted migration of coral by hand is laborious and costly. After teaming up with AI business Autodesk, robots are performing the repetitive tasks much quicker, and could eventually be cultivating around 100 hectares of coral per year.

Pro Tip: Another section contains essential information about reef producing coral and how these ecosystems provide habitats for more than 800,000 species worldwide.

Thailand Scientists Breeding Corals in the Laboratory

A team of scientists in Thailand collected coral eggs and sperm to breed in the lab. If nurturing the coral spawn becomes successful they will return it to the site near Ko Man Nai, a tiny island in the Mu Ko Man archipelago.

Restoring degraded corals helps to reduce the impact on scuba diving tourism in the north eastern Gulf of Thailand and the local fisheries that depend on healthy reef systems.

The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources started the coral breeding and restoration project in 2016. They chose the southern island of Ko Man Nai because it provides habitats for almost 100 different species of coral.

Despite losing 90% of Thailand's reefs in 2010, thought to be due to rising water temperatures, the department claims to have already restored around 4,000 coral colonies.

Pro Tip: The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that another mass coral bleaching event is imminent. If it happens, it would likely wipe out huge swathes of tropical reefs around the world.

Cave Diver Stretches World Depth Record to 308 Metres

A French cave-diver named Frédéric Swierczynski claimed a new world depth record of 308 metres.

The seven-hour descent into the Font Estramar spring in the eastern Pyrenees took place on the 3rd of November 2023.

Despite experiencing a succession of "strange symptoms" (due to rapid depth changes) he broke the previous official record of 283 metres set by South African diver Nuño Gomez in 1996 at the Boesmansgat sinkhole.

Note: Another section explains how to get a cave diving certification and acquire the special skills and knowledge to do it safely.

Innovative Dive Suit Won't Need Decompression

The United States Navy is trying to develop a dive suit that removes the need for decompression at depth. They are calling it the Deep Sea Expeditionary with No Decompression (DSEND) suit.

They said the DSEND dive suit is lightweight, flexible, and will have significant improvements in its rotary joint design. It is meant to protect the wearer against the effects of water pressure, such as during deep sea dives.

Note: The Navy is currently using the Atmospheric Diving Suit (ADS). But, it is heavy and it lacks maneuverability. Thus, they need large sea craft to deploy it.

Camping in an Underwater 'Tent'

A portable life-support system - called the 'Ocean Space Habitat' - is making its mark with scuba divers and ocean explorers.

The pioneering submersible 'tent' facilitates deeper and longer submersions than the conventional Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) usually allows.

Key takeaways:

It means several divers can swim up together and take cover inside the dry chamber. They can use the tent to decompress, eat, and even take a nap while they rest beneath the surface waves.

Pro Tip: Another section explains more about in water recompression treatment and why it is still used for divers with DCS symptoms in some countries.

The World's First Hydrogen Rebreather Dive

Dr. Richard Harris conducted the first hydrogen (H) rebreather dive (in February of 2023). He tested the new innovative system to a depth of 230 metres (755 feet) at Pearse Resurgence, a water filled cave in New Zealand.


The dive took more than thirteen (13) hours to complete and the primary objectives were to:

  • Determine the practicality and efficacy of using hydrogen as a dive gas.
  • Improve the safety and performance when making ultra-deep scuba dives.

Note: The results and full details will be presented at Rebreather Forum 4 in April at Valletta, in Malta.

Australia Funds the Fight against Reef-Eating Starfish

The battle against the crown-of-thorns starfish in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is relentless. As a result, the foundation is planning to deploy several new innovations, including:

  • Environmental DNA
  • Genetics
  • Natural predators
  • Pheromones
  • Robotics

The Great Barrier Reef Foundation intends to unleash next-generation tools. The aim is to predict, detect, and then respond appropriately to deadly outbreaks of coral-eating starfish.

Note: Another section explains why the crown of thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) is one of the largest coral-eating marine invertebrate sea stars.

Apeks Luna X Umbilical Dive Torch

The new innovative Luna-X torch by Apeks is ideal for communicating underwater and illuminating wide areas.

It is corrosion resistant and rugged enough to withstand the harshest of diving environments. It is lightweight, strong, and it reduces backscatter in murky water.

The new torch is flexible too. You can attach it to a BCD, scuba cylinder, or you can rotate it for use on sidemount applications.

Intelligent Thermal Management

Patented circuitry reduces power to the LEDs if they go beyond the optimum temperature. Doing so keeps the light shining as efficiently as possible to help maximise the output and battery capacity.

Suitable for Air Travel

The battery size falls under the maximum allowed by airlines. Moreover, it meets the requirement for detaching the light head before traveling by air.

Fuel Gauge

The LED display panel provides instant, real-time information on the actual runtime remaining (in hours and minutes).

Dual Beam Modes

It has two (2) different types of beam (e.g. flood mode, spot mode, or a combination). This means you can choose the best beam for the dive environment.

Note: Another section contains information about underwater dive torches with equipment reviews and tips for beginners.

Scuba Industry Innovation Hunt

Recent estimates suggest there are nine million active divers worldwide. Thus, the opportunity for growth (e.g. through the acquisition of new innovative products) is huge.

As a result, a global hunt for the 'next big thing' is in full force in the scuba diving, snorkeling, and freediving industries.

This step is important:

So, how can you participate in the hunt? It's simple, you need to submit your unique idea to any of the participating companies (e.g. listed on the MarketBlast open innovation platform).

But, to make a submission, you need to be one of the following:

  • Innovator
  • Manufacturer
  • Product engineer
  • Professional developer
  • Supplier
  • Start-up company

Important: After creating an account, new submitters will not be subject to any upfront costs or commissions.

Recreational Divers become Citizen Scientists

There are many ways that citizen scientists can help conduct scientific research. This particular task was one that involved the collection of data about the largest known population of manta rays in the world.

A team of recreational scuba divers helped to populate the database of some 22,000 mantas off the coast of Ecuador in South America.

Marine biologists already know manta rays live in small groups of up to fifty (50) individuals. But, this new discovery was an impressively large collection. In fact, it was the largest ever confirmed and recorded.

In case you were wondering:

The scientific name for the giant oceanic manta ray is Mobula birostris. They are the largest species of ray.

The wingspan of these elasmobranchs can extend over six metres (20 feet). Most of their existence is spent filter feeding on krill and zooplankton (animal component of the planktonic community) as they glide through tropical and subtropical waters.

Scuba Training and Education

12 Year Old becomes World's Youngest Master Scuba Diver

A young girl named Kyna Khare from Bengaluru has made history and become the youngest female master scuba diver in the world at the tender age of twelve.

Her journey in scuba diving began when she was only ten years old. Even though she accomplished this elite scuba rating in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, she had scuba training from instructors in several other countries including The Maldives, Indonesia, and Thailand.

PADI Equivalents

Did you ever ask yourself... Why should I choose PADI for my scuba diving credentials? And, what is the difference between the top five scuba training agencies anyway?

Why should I choose PADI for my scuba diving credentials?Some divers trained by another certifying agency would like to switch their certification and crossover to PADI.

The list of PADI equivalent qualifications explains how to continue your journey and enter the PADI system of diver education.

The comprehensive checklist represents all the popular scuba training agencies around the world (including BSAC, CMAS, SSI, and NAUI) and their corresponding level of certification.

Safety Point Reminders for All PADI Professionals

Despite being an uncommon occurrence, fatal incidents involving PADI professionals do happen. As a result, the most popular of the different diver training organisations issued a statement to serve as a reminder about safety standards and practices.

The majority of diving professionals put safety first. Even so, recent fatal incidents occurred due to standards violations. There is no room in the industry for abandoning sound judgement or ignoring dive-community practices.

5 Safety Measures Pros Need to Obey

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors shared five safety points for all dive professionals to follow.

These key areas should be at the forefront of diver supervision, course training, and every business decision.

  1. All scuba professionals must follow the relevant and appropriate course safety standards and community safe-diving practices. The scuba training agency highlights the fact that any minor deviation is likely to increase the potential for a serious incident.
  2. Dive-safety procedures should overlap and repeat to create 'layers' and 'close the gap'. Thus, no single procedure accounts for all variables (e.g. human error).
  3. The accepted and recognised safety standards and practices work best when adapted to local conditions and the ability of each individual. Nonetheless, it's important to rely on conservative good judgement and reasoned application. Always choose the most conservative option if you have any doubt, such as for depths, ratios, and equipment.
  4. Some of the variables we can't control include human reactions, the weather, and the diving conditions. Thus, safety procedures are dynamic and updated at regular intervals. PADI says... "in general, there is no reason or excuse for violating established dive training standards and procedures."
  5. The actions you make as a diving professional must be "visible and unmistakable". They should reflect what is taught and follow the best practices - without any reasonable exception. So for example, data clearly shows that overlooking pre-dive safety checks is commonplace in many scuba and snorkeling accidents and incidents

Note: PADI® offers a free downloadable Pre-dive Safety Check poster. We are building a database that tracks the number of scuba diving deaths per year based on the findings of the DAN Annual Diving Report.

Court Overturns Diver's Conviction of Involuntary Manslaughter

This latest court decision is one that affects all divers who use the 'scuba diving buddy system'. For example, do you know what responsibilities you have for your buddy while you're diving together... and what are the legal implications if something goes wrong?

This is what happened:

This week, a court in Malta cleared a diver on appeal for having caused the death of his female dive buddy in Gozo, November 2020.

She was a soldier in the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM). But, she died following a scuba incident. The court originally convicted her diving partner with involuntary manslaughter. At the time, the decision caused outrage among the diving community.

Back in 2020, the court's interpretation of the 'buddy system' had been a vital factor in the original conviction of involuntary manslaughter. In fact, one expert said:

“The whole scope of the diving buddy system is for the two divers to be close to each other to assist each other in any untoward event during the dive.”

Cleared of All Criminal Liability

The revised clarification interprets the scuba buddy system as being "two individuals who are there for each other, to assist each other".

Thus, it does not mean that the two diving buddies were responsible for each other while they were diving together.

This case is not typical of some scuba diving accidents whereby a negligent instructor is involved. In fact, these two divers were long-term friends who had dived together on several occasions.

The courts in Malta quashed the original charges of criminal liability, stating: "he was not negligent and could not have prevented the incident from happening".

Can You Scuba Dive If You Wear Glasses?

There are certain medical conditions that you cannot dive with, such as severe uncontrolled asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

But, the good news is that needing contact lenses or spectacles to help you see better does not stop you from diving.

So, even though the answer is a yes, and people with bad eyesight can scuba dive, it's important to understand that you can't actually wear glasses under a scuba mask.

Can You Scuba Dive If You Wear Glasses?Some simple fixes for people with impaired vision include:

Tip for Beginners: A process called refraction magnifies your vision underwater. In short, objects will appear bigger and closer. So, some people who want to go scuba diving with glasses may not need to buy a special mask with prescription lenses.

Is Your Emergency Action Plan Good Enough?

Divers should never underestimate the importance of having a structured plan to follow if there is an emergency.

In general, there are three key steps to include in any effective response. So, how powerful is your PADI Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and is there anything you can add to make it better?

Is Your Emergency Action Plan Good Enough?The bottom line is this:

Despite being an uncommon event, scuba diving accidents and horror stories happen.

As a result, now could be a good time to review your EAP and consider the logistics of emergency management.

Important: Three parts of an effective response are being able to commit it to memory, manage the scene, and handle the logistics with clear, concise, communication.

Snorkeling and Freediving Newsletters

Constant Weight (CWT) Apnea: New World Record

Alexey Molchanov (INT) achieved a new world record for Constant Weight (CWT) freediving on the 21st of August 2023.

Using a monofin, he dove to an absolute world record depth of one hundred and thirty six metres (446 feet) in the Caribbean Sea at Roatan, Honduras.

Pro Tip: Another section contains more information about freediving disciplines in open water and in a pool.

Article First Published 2023

Another Snorkeling Death in Hawaii

A honeymoon is usually a time for celebration. But, the event turned into an absolute tragedy for a couple from California.

The groom drowned while snorkeling, according to reports on the GoFundMe fundraising platform. It got worse. Thieves also stole their rental car and personal belongings.

Witnesses said they saw a man being pulled in from the surf after what looked like a bad snorkeling accident. He was lying lifeless on the sand at Electric Beach, a stunning location on the Westside of Oahu.

The victim received cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before medical services transported him to a local hospital - where he later died.

Important: The recent Snorkel Safety Study contains a final report with conclusions about Rapid Onset Pulmonary Edema in snorkeling (ROPE) and there's a free PDF download option.

Article First Published 2023

Snorkeler in the 'Wrong Place at the Wrong Time'

So, this guy was enjoying a snorkeling session with his wife and friends at the Sir Charles Hardy Islands, off north-eastern Australia. Then, out of the blue came a saltwater crocodile that wrapped its jaws around the guy's head.

Not only did he survive this terrifying ordeal, he responded to reporters by saying "I was simply in the wrong place, at the wrong time."

He thought it was a big shark. But, he soon realised that the aggressor was in fact a crocodile. He levered open its jaws far enough to get his head out. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he received treatment for his injuries.

Note: Check out our snorkeling and swimming bloggers section for equipment reviews, newsworthy articles, and tips on where to find great shallow water destinations.

Article First Published 2023

Full Face Snorkel Mask Deaths Linked to IPO

Assistant coroner 'Caroline Topping' from Surrey in the United Kingdom issued a public warning for snorkelers who use full-face masks.

Full Face Snorkel Mask Deaths Linked to Immersion Pulmonary Edema.The alert follows the verdict at an inquest held back in December 2022 into the sad death of a 63-year-old experienced snorkeller who died in Hurghada, Egypt (Angela Kearn).

Rescuers brought her back to the beach after noticing she was having some difficulty in the water.

But, she died later in hospital where the authorities stated the cause of death as being IPO (immersion pulmonary oedema).

The official records also showed she had been snorkeling with a Decathlon Easybreath mask (pictured).

So, What are the Common Causes of Lung Oedemas?

In simple terms, an increase in pulmonary capillary pressure can build up fluid in the lungs. In most cases, the increased water pressure causes the IPO after submerging the chest below the surface.

In this particular tragedy, hypertension, and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) seemed to have exacerbated the condition.

Plus, the full-face snorkel mask contributed to the death due to the negative pressure in the lungs (e.g. increased effort of breathing through a snorkel tube and mask).

The medical investigation aimed to determine whether breathing through different types of snorkel masks may lead to the inhalation of excessive CO2.

In conclusion, experts 'strongly recommend' not using the Easybreath if you have underlying cardio-respiratory conditions. A 'prevention of future deaths' report has since been submitted to all of the following:

  • General Medical Council
  • National Trading Standards
  • Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)
  • Decathlon UK

As a result, anyone who uses a full-face snorkel mask should be aware that snorkeling with ongoing cardiovascular and respiratory issues may create additional dangers.

Important: Acute lung edema can occur in surface swimming if pulmonary capillary permeability increases due to damage of the alveolar-capillary interface (known as 'non-cardiogenic pulmonary oedema'). Another section explains more about immersion pulmonary edema including the common symptoms (e.g. coughing, sometimes with bloody sputum) and how to provide emergency medical treatment to IPO victims.

Man Dies after Snorkeling at Alligator Reef in Florida

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office announced the death of a 61-year-old male after he had been snorkeling with Sundance Watersports at the Florida Keys.

Local reports say he had been in the water at Alligator Reef off Islamorada and he called for help around two o'clock in the afternoon.

Rescuers brought him back to the boat and got him out of the water. The crew started performing CPR as the boat made its way back to the shore.

Sadly, he was pronounced dead by the Mariners Hospital in Tavernier. At this time, it's unclear why the deceased signaled for help and the authorities are waiting for the autopsy results to establish a cause of death.

Our snorkeler's blog reviews the new artificial snorkeling reef set for installation at Casino Beach, Pensacola, Florida.

Note: Another section has more information about diving accidents and incidents and how we can learn from the misfortunes of others.

Article First Published 2023

Tourist Drowns while Snorkeling at Krabi Province

Local news reports stated that a 36 year old Taiwanese tourist had drowned near Hong Island, one of the popular dive sites in Krabi, Thailand.

It appears the victim was looking at the colourful coral reefs while breathing through a snorkel tube at the surface.

When the lifeguards realised that he was lying face down in the water for too long, they brought the unconscious victim to the shore.

They performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and some reports say he regained a level of consciousness. But, tragically he died later at Krabi hospital.

Note: Check out our section that contains advice about snorkeling for non swimmers - and how to use the correct techniques and equipment to stay afloat.

Article First Published 2023

Couple Celebrate Valentine's Day with Record-Breaking Underwater Kiss

A loving couple found a unique way to mark Valentine's Day this year. They broke the world record for the longest underwater kiss.

Guinness World Records confirmed the achievement after the loved-up couple smooched for four (4) minutes and six (6) seconds below the surface in an infinity pool in the Maldives.

The previous record for continuous kissing underwater was three (3) minutes and twenty four (24) seconds (set 13 years ago).

Note: Check out our freediving for beginners section with information about certification courses, equipment, and competitive disciplines.

Article First Published 2023

Snorkeling Boat Capsizes in Watamu

Preliminary reports about the incident suggest that strong storms hit the boat as it traveled along the Indian Ocean on Saturday the 21st of January.

News reports say three (3) people are known to have drowned and many more are missing. One of the local eyewitnesses told the press there were fifteen (15) Italians and at least ten (10) Kenyan nationals on board when it capsized.

To enhance safety, the government banned swimming and other activities (e.g. snorkeling tours) at the beach after 5:30 pm back in December 2022.

Important: Besides cracking down on unseaworthy boats, stricter regulations to make everyone on board wear floating vests would help to reduce deaths such as these.

Article First Published 2023

Travel and Vacation Items

New Shipwreck Site for Scuba Diving in Karnataka

The Kadali Beach Tourism Development has started preparing a shipwreck site close to Panambur Beach, near Karnataka on the southwest coast of India.

After conducting a safety survey of the wreckage, it seems the picturesque setting could become a major attraction for local scuba divers.

The site is around 130 kilometres south of one of India's most popular destinations for divers and snorkelers - a heart-shaped coral island called Netrani.

Pro Tip: Check out another section that lists the best scuba diving in India, including the sites at Netrani Island.

Article First Published 2023

Warning: Do Not Touch Marine Life in Thailand

Thai authorities have warned scuba divers about making contact with marine life. In fact, "touching or possessing ornamental fish without permission" is a criminal offence in Thailand.

The stern reminder follows the deportation of a Hungarian scuba diver in 2020 for the inappropriate interaction with marine life in Ko Pha Ngan.

Alleged footage posted on YouTube shows a diver making contact with a pipefish (Trachyrhamphus bicoarctatus). It is now part of an ongoing process, with further charges pending.

Note: We cover the topic of passive interaction with aquatic life in more detail in another section and why divers should only take photographs and memories.

Similan Island Closed for Monsoon Season

Located in the Phang Nga Province of Thailand, Similan is best known for the stunning coral reefs, colourful fishes, and pristine sandy beaches.

During the worst of the monsoon season, the Similans shut down from the 16th of May to the 15th of October (2023). A seasonal closure helps to facilitate the restoration of the natural environment around the islands.

Note: Another section contains information about the best Similan dive sites and why the location draws scuba diving and snorkeling enthusiasts to the area every year.

British Woman Dies while Scuba Diving in Tenerife

Spanish police confirmed the nationality of a scuba diver who died off a beach in Fasnia municipality as a 63 year old British lady.

As the investigation gets underway, there are no confirmed reports of any suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

Note: Our scuba database of scuba diving accidents stories and DAN incident reports contains more information about diving fatalities.

Article First Published 2023

1980s Bomb Removed from Popular Dive Site

An unexploded bomb lay dormant at one of the popular Australian dive sites for over forty years. A recreational diver discovered it before Royal Australian Navy clearance divers removed the 227kg Mk82 general-purpose bomb.

It lay near a rock formation known to local divers as the 'Drum and Drumsticks' around 30 metres from a thriving seal community. The site is close to the entrance to Jervis Bay on the south coast of New South Wales.

Article First Published 2023

Baby Turtles Released in Pattaya

The Sea Turtle Conservation Center at Sattahip, south of Pattaya released 982 turtles into the water in the Gulf of Thailand.

Marking the celebration of HM the Queen's 81st birthday, these conservation programs are trying to slow the decline in the numbers of green and hawksbill turtles in the oceans.

Article First Published 2013

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