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.
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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.
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:
This new section highlights recent scuba diving accidents and incidents with critical insights for improving safety and regulation in the industry.
Apart from reducing workplace harm for commercial divers, another role of WorkSafe Victoria in Australia is improving the outcomes for injured workers.
That 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.
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."
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 occured. 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.
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:
The silicone of the new Icona frameless, single-lens, two-tone, dive mask bonds directly onto the tempered glass.
Note: Another section contains reviews about the best scuba mask with comments and reviews from experienced divers to help you choose.
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.
Note: Another section explains how the Buoyancy Control Device (BCD Setup) functions with some safety tips for beginners.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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).
Note: The scuba equipment section contains further information about underwater flashlights and some safety tips for beginners.
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).
Note: The equipment section contains information about scuba log books and underwater slates, with some extra safety tips for beginners.
"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.
"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.
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.
PADI seminars create opportunities for staff to share their knowledge and expertise in several key areas, including:
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Article First Published 2012
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.
Article First Published 2012
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 a 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Note: The results and full details will be presented at Rebreather Forum 4 in April at Valletta, in Malta.
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:
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.
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.
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.
The battery size falls under the maximum allowed by airlines. Moreover, it meets the requirement for detaching the light head before traveling by air.
The LED display panel provides instant, real-time information on the actual runtime remaining (in hours and minutes).
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.
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.
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:
Important: After creating an account, new submitters will not be subject to any upfront costs or commissions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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".
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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 West side of O'ahu.
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
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
Assistant coroner 'Caroline Topping' from Surrey in the United Kingdom issued a public warning for snorkelers who use full-face masks.
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).
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:
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.
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
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
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
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
The Kadali Beach Tourism Development have 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
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.
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.
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
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
The Sea Turtle Conservation Center at Sattahip, south of Pattaya released 982 turtles into the water in the Gulf of Thailand.
Article First Published 2013
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