South African underwater diving accidents, 1969-1976

S Afr Med J. 1976 Dec 25;50(55):2155-9.


Since 1969 a survey of diving accidents involving South African amateur divers was undertaken. The South African Underwater Union diving accident report form was used, and various State agents (SA Police and inquest courts) and individual divers and club instructors were questioned. This survey covers the period up to the end of June 1976. Data acquired during the 8-year period 1969 - 1976 are compared. A conservative estimate from the number of certificates issued to club divers indicates a 25% increase in diver population, while the number of fatilities has decreased from 0,1% in 1971 to 0,016% in 1976, indicating the importance of accident reporting in determining safety trends. In general, a change in pattern is observed during the last 4 years, showing more SCUBA than breath-hold fatalities. The formation of the Decompression Sickness and Diving Accidents Investigation Panel as a further measure to decrease fatal diving accidents is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Diving*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mortality
  • Personality
  • South Africa
  • Sports Medicine*