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Scotland has highest rate of diving emergencies
Author: Mark Meritt,, 14-03-2009
United Kingdom

SCOTLAND had the highest number of emergency diving incidents last year, according to Coastguard statistics released yesterday.

During 2008, the UK Coastguard dealt with 166 diving related incidents including cases of decompression illness, medical emergencies and broken-down vessels.


Eight fatalities were recorded, three of them in Scotland - two in Shetland and another

involving Stornoway Coastguard.



Scotland and Northern Ireland accounted for 66 of the incidents. Shetland - where Scapa Flow, with its many sunken German battleships, is a huge attraction for divers - was the second busiest area in the UK with 23 emergencies, followed by Clyde with 22.


The greatest single type of incident was decompression illness (DCI), which accounted for 65 incidents in the UK. A further 33 incidents were attributed to rapid ascent, which may have developed into DCI.


"Buoyancy remains a problem area, with many incidents reported of divers losing control of their buoyancy, while at depth on ascent and on the surface," says the report.


"Divers would be well advised to make sure they are adequately qualified and experienced for the diving they plan to undertake, with a close eye on weather and sea conditions, with their own personal fitness a top priority to safe diving," it added.


By: Mark Meritt