Relative risk in diving

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ginti

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Although recreational diving can be very safe, DAN wouldn't have to compile accident statistics if diving were as safe as a walk in the woods.

"Fatality rates of 16.4 deaths per 100,000 persons per year among DAN America members and 14.4 deaths per 100,000 persons per year the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) members were similar and did not change during 2000–2006. This is comparable with jogging (13 deaths per 100,000 persons per year) and motor vehicle accidents (16 deaths per 100,000 persons per year), and within the range where reduction is desirable by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) criteria."

Source: Scuba diving fatalities - Wikipedia

I guess walking in the woods is more dangerous than scuba diving, depending on what you call woods; but this is just a guess...
 

johndiver999

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Those statistics might pertain to how likely someone is to die from the activity, but without adjusting for time duration of the activity, the risk is far different. For example, most people probably spend 100 times longer driving in their car compared to actually scuba diving. So the real risk might be that scuba diving for a minute is 100 times more dangerous than driving. The shark bite stats always crack me up too, how many people get attacked in Iowa.
 

The Chairman

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A walk in the woods where I live can be more dangerous than the diving I do. My wife calls me Dances With Cobra's. Where I live vipers, cobras, pythons, killer hornets, bears, wild boar, monkeys and other nasty critters live. I live in their domain. Recently a few of our cats died after being bitten by snakes. The only thing missing up my way are mountain lions as we don't have them in Taiwan.

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We have gators, crocs, panthers, bobcats, coyotes, bears, diamondback rattlesnakes, pygmy rattlesnames, copperheads, moccasins, coral snakes, rabid raccoons and Karens!!!
But it is not true of the Cousteau system, as he used it and as it is described in the Cousteau & Gagnan patent:
For some reason, and you can correct me if I'm wrong: they didn't catch on. They were too expensive when I was a kid, and it's not like we can trot on down to our LDS and load one up. They are not currently a viable solution. BUT, fools are incredibly ingenious which means you really can't make anything foolproof. I'm sure our illustrious hero had his fair share of "Oh Shite!" moments. More often than not, it's the diver that errs and not the gear that fails.
Way
More
Often
 

ginti

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Those statistics might pertain to how likely someone is to die from the activity, but without adjusting for time duration of the activity, the risk is far different. For example, most people probably spend 100 times longer driving in their car compared to actually scuba diving. So the real risk might be that scuba diving for a minute is 100 times more dangerous than driving. The shark bite stats always crack me up too, how many people get attacked in Iowa.

Sure, I agree. My point was not a comparison with the car, but with walking in the woods or jogging or similar activities (probably people spend 4/5 more time jogging than in the water, but the order of magnitude is still similar). I just wanted to say that yes, there is a margin for improvement, but the situation is not that bad...

EDIT: also, differences should be made between rec diving, overhead diving, mixed gas diving, etc. But this is another topic :)
 

Subcooled

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There seems to be a commun wisdom in the diving community that we should avoid risk because it will kill you.
We die anyways, and when we are dead, we do not know what we lost. Quality of life does matter.
However, we should think of our loved ones, too. And that gives us motivation to keep safe.
Singles without parents and friends are free to do whatever they like.
But then again, the society spent money on you (school),
and now you're dead and you let the society down.
Hence, it's not all that easy.
Just live, OK?
Diving should be fun and safe.
Yes, mostly.
However, the perfection of risk is a very personal thing.
Perception. True.
Some dive solo even at 50 years old plus (what about the risk of heart attack)
I am 51 and I dive solo sometimes. Does anyone really think that a dive buddy would save one, if one would suffer a major heart attack submerged and 300 feet from the shore? Forget it. A minor health condition would be survivable though. It would be advisable to do sports though, so that S.C.U.B.A. diving would be a lighter form of excercise for one and the risk would be less.
- show me a case where a diver has suffered a life threatening medical condition underwater, and the buddy was able to do rescue.
Some rec divers have the same routine diving 39 meters or 12 meters while for others below 15 meters is too dangerous.
That's why freediving is recommended. At least 25m is achievable with dive kit. Having breathed oxygen (be it 21% or more) at elevated pressures only makes free ascent easier: there is more oxygen in the blood and the removal of CO2 is facilitated by the expanding gas in ones lungs.
It is not only a matter of experience and training. It is a matter of perception rooted in ourselves from our life experience, personal fears, comfort under water, personality, scientific knowledge…
Correct.
I can tell you that this "our life experience, personal fears" part got me into a really really really bad place some 10 years ago, and the memory of that still haunts me.
For example some consider that diving on air is dangerous below 30 meters given the gas density and the CO2 retention.
It really depends on the environment. In Y-40 it's not all that bad.

Air below 30mts (I mean at 40...50m) in an underwater maze can be deadly, as one can get confused and lost. Add some current, and it's even worse.

In an easier environment though, even 50mts can be doable... but not much more.
I have been to ~50m on air and I do know the hardship that ensues.
Mistaking absolute and undeniable risk if that exists
it does: boring life
with perception of what absolute truth is…
which definition of truth?
This does not mean that we should disregard the risks. It’s just a bit more complicated than that.
Isn't a risk something unpleasant that COULD happen, but is not given?
Hence, death is not a risk, it is a destiny. A boring life, or shame, or regret, are risks.
 

John C. Ratliff

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We have gators, crocs, panthers, bobcats, coyotes, bears, diamondback rattlesnakes, pygmy rattlesnames, copperheads, moccasins, coral snakes, rabid raccoons and Karens!!!

For some reason, and you can correct me if I'm wrong: they didn't catch on. They were too expensive when I was a kid, and it's not like we can trot on down to our LDS and load one up. They are not currently a viable solution. BUT, fools are incredibly ingenious which means you really can't make anything foolproof. I'm sure our illustrious hero had his fair share of "Oh Shite!" moments. More often than not, it's the diver that errs and not the gear that fails.
Way
More
Often
The reason, you mentioned, is price and the need to have at least two cylinders to use the Cousteau system. I think La Spiro had a single tank system involving a valve than ran completely through the tank too, but that was unworkable in the USA where we had cylinders with only one opening. So the USA solution was either the J-valve or the R-valve (which also never gained favor). But both systems have an advantage over the gauge in that they work when visibility is zero (stirred up mud, rivers with no visibility, a certain bay in Key West where there is no visibility and the U.S. Naval Underwater Swimmers Schoool instructors had us dive to put together a sack of parts by feel). :wink:

As I said, there is a way to make the J-valve more or less immune to accidental knockdown too, by either reversing it on the single tank or by reversing the tanks on twins. I still at times dive with a vintage unit with only a J-valve on the tank and the regulator. It’s much more streamlined than some current configurations.

SeaRat
 

The Chairman

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Currently, those methods still don't seem to be optimal. It's my guess, and a wild SWAG at that: the SPG, in either digital or analog form, will be here to stay for a long, long time. I'm really going out on a limb here, I know, but I'm going with my gut on this.
 

Bob DBF

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Currently, those methods still don't seem to be optimal. It's my guess, and a wild SWAG at that: the SPG, in either digital or analog form, will be here to stay for a long, long time. I'm really going out on a limb here, I know, but I'm going with my gut on this.

The SPG will be here for a very long time because the vast majority of divers will not go into or be in a zero viz environment on purpose.
 

The Chairman

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The SPG will be here for a very long time because the vast majority of divers will not go into or be in a zero viz environment on purpose.
The legal term is "derepmet visibility"... Where you can only read tempered backwards in your mask. :D :D :D
 

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