When shopping around for a dive destination there is something else to add to your checklist of considerations: Is the resort, dive store or charter boat part of DANs (Divers Alert Network) Partners in Dive Safety program? The Partners in Dive Safety designation demonstrates to the consumer a commitment to diver safety. This DAN program distinguishes that resort, charter boat or live-aboard as having met or exceeded a minimum set of qualifications and criteria of safety standards and equipment. The dive operation has accepted, and signed, a Dive Safety Participant Agreement and a Statement of Understanding; thus pledging diligence in the pursuit of safety excellence.
This program came about in response to divers' concerns. Anyone who has traveled for diving has seen the lack of standardized regulations for emergency equipment or trained personnel in the worldwide arena. Because everyone desires an enjoyable, worry free dive, DAN, which has an ongoing quest for safety in the dive industry, stepped in and developed a program that defines a certain set of standards so divers could travel and dive with peace of mind. The Partners in Dive Safety program, which began this year, promotes dive safety to the far reaches of the globe. Resorts, charter boats and live-aboards participating in the program will be instantly recognizable because they will have earned the right to display the DAN logo seen in this article.
According to Dan Orr, DAN Director of Operations, This program recognizes those within the diving industry who have made a commitment to promote diving safety by achieving a high degree of emergency preparedness for the direct benefit of traveling sport divers the world over. These resorts, live-aboards and charter services should be applauded for their efforts on behalf of the diving public.
Of course, this program does not obviate joining DAN for personal dive insurance. This remains the responsibility of the individual diver. And, if you aren't currently a member of DAN, you may want to look into its member services, which are invaluable in the event of an emergency, especially if the emergency occurs while traveling in remote corners of the world. A few of the benefits of individual or family DAN membership are: emergency medical support, including hyperbaric chamber treatment, air evacuation, 24 hour emergency hotline, coverage for any diving related injury, coordination of divers' medical information and more.
For a list of participating Partners in Dive Safety, write to Divers' Alert Network, The Peter Bennett Center, 6 West Colony Place, Durham, NC 27705 or call (800) 446-2671.
Partners in Dive Safety Requirements Checklist I.
Staff Preparedness Requirements: All staff must have current certification and documentation of training from accredited organizations, in the following areas of emergency management.
First Aid (appropriate for location)
Oxygen First Aid Training
II. Planning, Equipment & Procedures Requirements: All operations must have a functional emergency plan, with appropriate equipment and emergency procedures. Land-based resorts should develop a working relationship with local emergency medical services for safe and efficient resolution of a diving emergency.
Emergency Assistance Plan
a) Standardized format
b) Components of EMS
c) Action plan
d) Emergency contact numbers (DAN, hyperbaric chamber, medical personnel, etc.)
a) Emergency oxygen unit (capable of delivering high concentrations of inspired oxygen;approaching 100 per- cent;to both breathing and non-breathing injured divers, and multiple injured divers simultaneously until contact is made with local EMS).
b) First aid kit
Pre-dive Orientation and Briefing