DAN Medical Frequently Asked Questions

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Background

For as long as people have been venturing to the bottom of the sea, a boat has been part of how they traveled from shore to their destination in the sea or in a lake. While dives from shore are very popular, most dives actually occur from boats. Today the dive boat has become a common means of transportation for divers.

Whether one is diving from a private boat or a commercial boat, the overall safety procedures have often been vague and inconsistent. Over time the procedures have matured, but there continues to be little uniformity today. Unlike the commercial airline experience, procedures on dive boats are not standardized. To that end each time a diver steps onto a new dive vessel there is something new or different to encounter. Maybe it is where or how gear is stowed or who is in charge of the boat. Is it the charter master, the divemaster, or the captain who is in charge?

Granted that over time as a diver frequents more dive boats they learn the "ropes" as to how to act while on a dive boat, but even the most seasoned divers with decades of boat-diving experience still have questions about certain aspects of diving from boats. It is possible that you have heard about "boat diver" certifications from your certification-training agency or dive shop. As important as these courses can be for enhancing your safety, they make up an extremely small portion of recreational dive training and are rarely available. The DAN On-Board program is yours to continue to use and revisit as often as you like.

As a diver you may be wondering what the U.S. Coast Guard has to do with you. Boating regulations and safety recommendations are in place for the well-being of passengers, crew, cargo, the vessel, and surrounding waters. Although the Coast Guard has specific rules as to how passenger vessel operators are to handle safety procedures on any boat, it does not have regulations as to how vessels are to conduct dive trips. When a dive accident occurs, the U.S. Coast Guard conducts the investigation as to the operations of the vessel and if there were contributing factors to the incident. U.S. Coast Guard research and information regarding diving accidents and fatalities has led DAN to create this DAN On-Board training program. Creating a joint responsibility between divers and operators is the fundamental goal of the DAN On-Board program.


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