Photo credit: Geoff Oldfield (image depicts safety training situation)

As we begin a new year of exciting diving opportunities it is natural to reflect on the past year before turning our minds to the future and starting on our plans for the coming year.

Hopefully we all had an enjoyable and productive year of diving in 2023, on which to base our plans. Some of that reflection may take account of things we learnt during the course of the year as we learn a great deal from our experience. Some of the most valuable are the lessons we learned from the unplanned variances from our dive plans. 

Time to report

Learning from our misfortunes is so valuable that it makes more than a little sense to share those experiences, in a controlled manner, to help others benefit from the lessons learned. BSAC publishes an Annual Incident Report to help share that information amongst all divers so that we can all learn and improve diving safety, and the more information available the more valuable a resource it becomes.

If you experienced any abnormal occurrence during 2023, we would encourage you to report it using the online form. We are just starting the process of collating the 2023 incident data so there is still time to contribute to the published report to help others learn and avoid similar circumstances.

A very important consideration with incident reporting is that information provided is dealt with confidentially. Any published report does not contain any personal or location information and submitted reports are not shared with any third party.

Lessons learned

The sport of scuba diving has evolved considerably since its inception in the early years and much of the developments in training, equipment and safety advice has been as a result of taking account of lessons learned from incident reporting. This process of evolution continues and can be illustrated by recent information and growing evidence to highlight the impact of IPO as a diving risk, which continues to be highlighted in the 2022 Incident report.

The 2022 Incident report also provided further evidence of the efficacy of rescue techniques in successfully resolving incidents and prevent the situation worsening.

Using the Annual report

Each year the published report contains a summary of the overall statistics for the year and includes a summary of the lessons learned. However, the main benefit of the report lies in the written synopsis of each report. These are factual reports, in as much detail as possible, but do not include personal details or conjecture over the cause of the incident. Scenarios drawn from these summaries are used in diver training (especially Dive Leader and PRM) as a useful learning tool to consider how such incidents might be avoided and/or resolved. By reading the synopses in a similar analytical way you can be a useful and effective preparation for you own continued safe diving. 

Stay safe – dive safe

Jim Watson
Safety and Development Manager

Respect the water



Online report form

If you have any out of the ordinary occurrence whilst diving, please report it to help further improve diving safety and help others learn.

The form can be found at

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