13 September 2017 – Durham, North Carolina – In 1980, DAN was formed with the single goal of establishing a 24-hour emergency hotline manned by knowledgeable dive physicians to help divers in need. Since then, this 24-hour hotline has grown into an international organization dedicated to dive safety and injury prevention. Recognizing DAN’s research, medical services and safety outreach contributions to diving for more than 35 years, the International Academy of Underwater Sciences and Techniques recently awarded the organization with its highest honor – the 2017 Academy Award. Leaders from DAN offices worldwide gathered together on the beautiful island of Ustica, Italy on Saturday, September 2, 2017, to receive this prestigious recognition on behalf of International DAN.
Considered the Nobel Prize of underwater activities, the Academy has recognized and awarded excellence in diving activities since 1960 in the areas of dive science, technology and hyperbaric research, outreach and art, and underwater exploration. "The International Academy of Underwater Sciences and Techniques that I have the honor to lead was happy to recognize and award DAN,” says Professor Sebastiano Tusa, President of the Academy. “I can say that it was almost a duty to award DAN because the organization is known all over the world for the great contributions it provides for the safety of scuba divers – both directly by saving many human lives in danger and indirectly by improving diver safety through research based upon real knowledge of human behavior in underwater environments."
International DAN is a federation of the five principal DAN offices located in North America, Europe, Japan, Australia and Southern Africa, along with satellite offices in Central America and South America. Together, these offices support divers around the globe with vital emergency, medical and safety programs, products and services. The Academy’s recognition spans all offices recognizing the fact that, together, they are a diver’s first hope during a dive incident and best resource for dive incident prevention.
“We are very grateful for the Academy’s recognition of DAN’s contributions,” says DAN President and CEO William Ziefle. “This recognition places DAN in the distinguished company of past award recipients including the National Geographic Society, the World Wildlife Fund, and UNESCO. From all staff across all DAN offices, we thank the Academy for bestowing this honor upon us.”
Since DAN’s inception, the organization has grown from a single idea to a worldwide network supporting the global dive community. DAN’s commitment to divers has never changed – DAN exists to support divers and the dive industry. What has changed over the past 37 years is DAN’s level of support. The organization is not only committed to being a resource during a dive incident – DAN is also deepening its commitment to being a resource in preventing dive incidents. To that end, DAN is preparing to publish the 30th edition of its Annual Diving Report with plans to share the findings in new ways to help educate divers – and the dive industry – on how to avoid catalysts that cause the majority of dive accidents. Dive professionals are also encouraged to become part of the growing number of DAN Professionals who champion dive safety and diver protection. Be a dive safety champion and join the DAN Professional ranks today.