Do you have an accident management plan?

An accident management plan is a vital tool for any home, business or adventure. We all know accidents happen. But do you know where everything is? The nearest medical facility? The first aid kit? But, don’t we just call 911 and let them do everything? Well, I guess we could, but how long will EMS take? So, let’s look at how an accident management plan might look like.

And since we are divers, we will assume we will be dealing with a diving accident. The first two things we want to know is where is the nearest medical facility and is a chamber nearby. A few other items to know and have listed on our little slate is where is the emergency oxygen and first aid kit. Is there other life saving equipment at the dive site, such as a back board? After that I want to make sure I have the emergency number for DAN handy. DAN is the second call after EMS.

If you have taken our Rescue class, then you have a diving accident management slate. The number for DAN and the Coast Guard VHF channel is on this slate. This slate is invaluable in help us manage a dive accident. It also breaks things down into “mild” and “serious” symptoms. Obviously if the symptoms are mild then we would take the diver to the medical facility ourselves instead of calling EMS.

accident management

But if the signs are serious, I would in all likely hood be calling EMS and providing emergency care as needed. Administer emergency oxygen and if necessary, CPR.

A few other things that you should have on your accident management plan would be gathering and recording as much data that you know to be factual. Things like the depth and time of the diver’s last few dives. What signs and symptoms is the diver experiencing and approx. what time they started?

And the last thing you want to make sure you do in case of a diving accident is gather the divers gear. You can rinse it if you have time, but do not disassemble it. Send it along with EMS or take it to the medical facility with the victim.  DAN will want to get the info off the diver’s computer and possibly examine the gear for a potential failure to help determine the cause of the accident.

Hope we never need to put our accident management plan into action, but at least we are prepared.

Pitfalls of Valet Scuba Diving

nitrox tanksWhat comes to mind when you think of valet scuba diving? If you stop right now and close your eyes what do you see when you picture valet scuba diving? Not carrying your gear, having it all set up for you or maybe it is rinsed well and hanging dry, even a nice dry warm wetsuit for the morning dives?  It all sounds so nice and so easy, so what is there not to love about valet scuba diving?

In valet scuba diving the dive master or boat crew sets up your gear, but did they set it up the way you like it?  Is the inflator properly attached? Is the tank band adjusted tight enough so the tank doesn’t slip out on your dive? Do you check it after it is set up and before you leave the dock? While it is great that the crew is taking care of you and doing the best they can to give you the best experience possible, it is still your responsibility as a diver to make sure you and your buddy are ready and good to go.  Remember to always do your buddy check.

After your diving day is done, in valet scuba diving, the dive crew washes and hangs your gear.  But how well do they wash your gear? Most of the time it is in a crate or bag and the crew just dunks the whole bag or crate in the rinse tank.  This doesn’t do much in the way of really washing or rinsing your gear and it leaves quite a bit of salt residue on your gear which builds up over the week.  To properly rinse your gear it should all be taken out and rinse piece by piece and not just passed through the rinse tank, but really soaked a little and even use the hose or move the gear through the rinse tank to flow some water over your gear. This will give you a little better rinse and get more of the damaging salt off your gear.  Even if you do this, when you get your gear home, you still want to soak it for at least 24 to 48 hours with salt away to ensure your gear is clean and well taken care of.

Valet scuba diving is easy and that is what we all love and enjoy about it.  Not having to carry the gear and having it all taken care of for you so you can enjoy your vacation. But remember even with valet scuba diving, we as divers are responsible for our gear and our self.

Compass ptHappy diving and as always feel free to leave your comments