As we approach the end of the year we naturally 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 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. 

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. Since the early 1960s BSAC has reported on diving incidents and 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.

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.

Annual report

During 2019 BSAC decided to change the format of the Annual Diving Incident Report and moved to a calendar reporting period. That meant that the current published report covers the period 1 January – 31 December 2018. The change is already allowing a greater level of analysis of the information held in the database and the Incident Advisors intend to further increase the value of this resource.

As a consequence, the 2019 reporting period has yet to conclude and you still have plenty of time to report any incident you have encountered during the year.

New online report form

Incidents can be reported in many formats and we collect information from media sources, rescue agencies such as the RNLI and MCA and other diving organisations from their reporting systems. The BSAC Incident Report form is structured to help ensure that as much relevant information as possible is collected. For some time the form was in pdf format but this has become less effective as different manufactures used simulators to read pdfs which caused problems. The form has now been replaced by a web-based form that can be completed online using a wide variety of platforms from desktop computers through to mobile devices. The new form can be found at

If you have any out of the ordinary occurrence whilst diving please report it.

Think SAFE – Dive SAFE

Jim Watson
BSAC Safety and Development Manager




BSAC promote and develop the 'best practice' in diving safety for scuba divers in the UK. 

Send your postcode to and we'll help you find the right scuba club for you. Or if you fancy a chat call us 0151 350 6226 (Mon - Fri, 9 - 5:30).

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