Fish swimming in ocean
This Popular Watersport Is Also Considered One Of The Most Dangerous
Scuba diving is an experience that beckons many people but is also an inherently risky sport. Staying underwater for an extended period poses several risks.
189 deaths in 2018 were attributed to scuba diving, but its popularity continues to rise, with the U.S. experiencing an overall increase of 7.3% in participation in 2022.
The rise in participation is due to an increase in "casual divers" who do less than nine dives a year. Casual divers can easily underestimate the skills necessary to dive safely.
A Divers Alert Network report states that 15% of diving fatalities are due to cardiovascular disease. Many people are not prepared for the physical exertion required for
the sport.
About half of the deaths occurred with divers who had performed fewer than 20 dives in the last year, indicating that they may not know how to handle an emergency underwater.
Divers who are accredited with an Open Water Diver certification have spent an average of 25 to 30 hours training, while a resort scuba course may only last one or two hours.
Resorts are supposed to host safe, supervised diving experiences, but it's hard to predict what can happen in the open ocean. It's best to get proper training and certification.