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DB article

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
I like the article written by Ricardo Hernandez, but I am wondering about the statement abot the 'growing number of SW Black out fatalities".
Is this a fact? Or is it conjecture? If the numbers are rising, is the percentage indexed to the larger (I assume) number of freedivers, or not?
I am reminded of the industry backlash against Nitrox and mixed gas diving in the 90's, where PADI et al were stating large numbers of deaths and injuries due to tech diving.
Good stuff Ricardo, keep writing :)
Erik Y.

Good points - i'll point Ricardo at this thread to get his thoughts on it.

He is a top Freediving Instructor and is one of the great additions to Staff Writers in the Freediving section.

ask Cliff... rofl

But seriously, I'm in agreement with Erik. I caught that line about the rising numbers and thought to myself, "Why am I not hearing about these incidents?", as I'm pretty tied to the goings-on in the sport. If the author is using the tactic of claiming a growing number over time without taking into account the great influx of participants, then he himself is an example of the very hue-and-cry-doomsayer that suufers the sport in the public eye- the very eye that the sport requires to develop and maintain any validity. Otherwise it's a well thought out article and explores the question of how many/how fast that prompted me to join these forums.

The latest artcle on Freediving physiology is a beaut- very detailed and it reads legitimate. Kudos.


Cheers! As I said i'll get Ricardo to give his thoughts on the matter here.

Glad you enjoyed Erik Seedhouse's article...he helps run the Simon Fraser University study on Freedivers in conjunction with Kirk Krack...so his references seemed quite good ;)
Frediving Article

Hello Erik:
My apologies for not having been able to respond to you sooner, let's say "technical" problems prevented it...
I have been following reports on
Shallow Water Blackouts from several sources, one of them being the Freediver List., as weel as it counterpar, the Spanish speaking version.
I have also contacted the Florida Forensic Deptarment and inquired about the supect "drowings' meaning people who "drowned (excuse the redundancy) while having flippers, mask and snorkel, etc.
To summarize, the source of information comes from most everywhere, nor forgetting that USA is only a part of the freediving community and not it's entirety.
I have also received via private e-mail reports of both fatalitites and "close calls", llike wise I have tapped into que spear fishing community of Florida and lilstened to their tales.
Of course I understand that there is a correlation between the ever increasing number of freediver/spearfishermen, which is precisely one of the points of my humble article...
I am in no way "crying wolf", believe me.
Would love to continue this topics, at your service.
Dive safe,

Rick Hernandez
Greetting to the sultan of smooth:
Please, don't pay attention to my "typo mistakes" from the precedent reply to Erik.
I am not surprised that you are not being hearing about these accidents. I do believe there are several reasons for this.
To start with, this is the Diving Industry's little "dirty secret".
The manufacturers of diving equipment would not want, and this is my humble opinion, like you to realize the increasing danger in which they product can put you.
I have never seen a Mercedes Benz advertising on t.v. showing passengers ripped apart after a high speed crash in any German AutoBahn (super highways in Germany).
You know... it is "bad for business".
On the other hand, these occurences are very localized, often only family and friends know about it and IF we're lucky enough. someone in that reduced circle will post it on the Internet...if they have a computer and know where to post it.
I am planning a much more deep insight into this matter, but as I see I have already attracted your attention, and hopefully, that of many others, I believe the light will shine trhough.
Dive safe.
Rick Hernandez
Muchas gracias amigo, I appreciate the response :)
I had posted a thread earlier this year about those of us on the forum letting our loved ones know how to log on to DBlue and let us know if someone had died while diving.....not a pleasant topic, but good for the rest of us to get closure, and maybe good for stats as well. :(
Erik Y.
Not everyone in the diving community hides their accidents as "dirty little secrets".
The cave diving community has been most forth comming will all of their deaths so that others may learn.
Many tech divers have also done this and the accidents, or even incidents, are discussed at length so that others may learn.
This openess has lead to changes in gear, gas planning, buddy procedures, ect.
I think that freedivers should be as open as their counterparts in the rest of the dive community.
If there have been many incidents and accidents, then we should have a special forum on this site to learn from them.
Accident analyisis can be a very powerful tool. D.A.N. has been publishing their accident analyisis reports for some time now.

Just my $0.02

Jon has hit the right nail smack on the head here:

Perhaps there aren't more accidents statistically, but in the "connected" age, we simply might be hearing about them more. IMO, anecdotally collected information (pro and con) is simply useless. So the point here is why AREN'T we collecting and reporting incident and accident data in a unified manner?

It's only a "Dirty Little Secret" (which sounds more sinister that it probably really is) because the community hasn't made a commitment to reporting the information. If members of the equipment and training community lobby AGAINST adoption of a voluntary reporting policies then perhaps the sport really does have bigger problems.

Reporting and sharing accident data should be voluntarily supported by the various training agencies (and their members) in this sport. D.A.N. probably is the proper reporting agency to use. Wouldn't this be a beginning to a solution? :head

I strongly disagree that this information is truly "Bad for Business" as the data and knowledge gathered simply reinforces the inherent risks and value of proper training and equipment.

The long-term result (also shown by the cave diving community) is greater risk awareness by the general community, better research data to support better training, better equipment and finally potentially LOWER liability costs to the industry.

Thoughts? What are the various Agency philosophies/policies on this?

- K
Originally posted by fishferbrains
D.A.N. probably is the proper reporting agency to use. Wouldn't this be a beginning to a solution? :head
I happened to meet with on of the VP's from DAN when they were over in London last month (business and all that). Something that I discussed was the possibility of studies or reports by DAN into Freediving incidents. It's something they are interested in but said they may find it difficult to actually track due to no centralised bodies for Freedivers (the agencies don't truly "track" members, or even have true individual members in some case).

Something we should look to see how we can collate info to help.
It's something they are interested in but said they may find it difficult to actually track due to no centralised bodies for Freedivers (the agencies don't truly "track" members, or even have true individual members in some case)

That's a great point and I'll humbly duck any tracking/certification debate here.

DAN and the scuba community jointly embarked on an education program that promoted the complete value of DAN. It's become so successful, DAN has become part of the culture landscape. DAN's value certainly goes far beyond simple accident insurance and seems like an untapped resource for the freediving community so far.

To what extent have any Agencies, Publishers, etc had with DAN so far? Are there any joint educational plans in the works?

- Keith
Incidence and reports on SWB & the like

Hello everyone!
I am very pleased to note the high degree of concern on this subject as well as the variety of remarks. They are all positive by the simple fact that we ARE talking about it, trying to find suitable solutions (not an easy task...)
I agree with the mayority of opinions, nevertheless I shall clarify a misunderstanding due perhaps of linguiistic differences, or just because I'm such a lousy writer!
I never meant the 'little dirty secret" thing concerning the "diving community"as it taken in one of the replies. I was only refering to the manufacturer's approach-response or lack of both, rather, to the problem.
Being a free diver/spearfisherperson for quite long time I do know that we do share our close calls, near misses and we do discuss and check what happened IF we get the "BIG ONE"!
The D.A.N. posssiblity mentioned by Stephan would be the most appropiate one, no one is more up to date and acquainted with all sorts of diving accidents than them!
But, as another Forum friend mentioned, the lack a unified association, club, federation or whatever we would love to name it makes it real difficult.
Much like the fish we seek, we aften stick with our "school" and for whichever reason, I also believe that, slowly we will HAVE do find a solution, regardless of how partial it maight be. We can always work out the glitches later, in the meantime, these exhanges might result in the saving lives...
Keep getting back to surface, safely!


Sorry guys!
I rechecked my precedent mail and I forgot to address the other wrongly interpreted remark, the one of "bad for business", again I was refering to the Manufacture Industry. Not at all implying it was bad business for us, divers, amateurs, aficionados, instructors or simply weekend-frogmen...
I have to work in my semantic before i venture to the scrutiny of these multi-gifted Forum members....

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