Provisional report on diving-related fatalities in Australian waters 2007

Diving Hyperb Med. 2012 Sep;42(3):151-70.


Introduction: An individual case review of diving-related deaths reported as occurring in Australia in 2007 was conducted as part of the on-going Divers Alert Network (DAN) Asia-Pacific dive fatality reporting project.

Method: The case studies were compiled using reports from witnesses, the police and coroners. In each case, the particular circumstances of the accident and details from the post-mortem examination, where available, are provided.

Results: In total, there were 19 reported fatalities, comprising three females and 16 males. Nine of the deaths occurred while snorkelling and/or breath-hold diving, eight while open-circuit scuba diving, one while using a closed-circuit rebreather, and one while using surface-supply breathing apparatus. Cardiac-related issues were thought to have contributed to the deaths of at least three but possibly up to six snorkel divers and possibly two scuba divers. One diver is believed to have died as a result of immersion pulmonary oedema of diving. Six of the compressed-gas divers were very inexperienced, three being certified within 14 days prior and dying while under the guidance of an instructor.

Conclusions: Inexperience, pre-existing medical conditions and buoyancy issues were highlighted in several deaths in this series.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Autopsy
  • Cause of Death*
  • Diving / adverse effects
  • Diving / statistics & numerical data*
  • Drowning / etiology
  • Drowning / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Distribution