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Divers Afloat on Surface After Dive

Jul 19

A recent incident involved two divers remaining on the surface of the water, undetected by topside support and left afloat for 55 minutes, which was 1 hour and 35 minutes after the divers had deployed.

A second dive team had been deployed before this first team of divers was back on deck.

Several primary deficiencies were identified:

  • Divers did not carry whistles
  • Safety Divers did not patrol back deck of vessel
  • Safety Divers did not alert captain and crew when divers were overdue
  • Divers’ plan was not communicated clearly to safety divers/ topside support

Secondary deficiencies identified:

  • Divers did not use navigational aids to ensure a safe return to the mooring
  • Divers chose to take extra gear (cameras) despite conditions
  • Dives conducted in marginal conditions (strong current)
  • Complete pre-dive conditions and briefing were not conducted

The divers were safely sighted within one minute of alarm being raised and were safely back aboard within 20 minutes of alarm.

Lessons learned

  • Remain diligent in conducting thorough pre-dive briefings and gear checks.
  • Conduct safety assessment of site prior to each dive.
  • Ensure all divers have safety gear appropriate for conditions and mission (including whistles, safety sausages, etc.) and that divers are not carrying extra gear in potentially challenging conditions.
  • Ensure all personnel involved clearly understand expectations, roles and communication chain.





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Reviewed: May 28, 2019. Contact us with page issues.

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