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Title: Estimating the risk of a scuba diving fatality in Australia.
Austin Authors: Lippmann, John;Stevenson, Christopher;Taylor, David McD ;Williams, Jo
Affiliation: Department of Emergency Medicine, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Divers Alert Network (DAN) Asia-Pacific, Ashburton, Victoria, Australia
School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Victoria, Australia
Issue Date: Dec-2016
Publication information: Diving and hyperbaric medicine 2016; 46(4): 241-246
Abstract: There are few data available on which to estimate the risk of death for Australian divers. This report estimates the risk of a scuba diving fatality for Australian residents, international tourists diving in Queensland, and clients of a large Victorian dive operator. Numerators for the estimates were obtained from the Divers Alert Network Asia-Pacific dive fatality database. Denominators were derived from three sources: Participation in Exercise, Recreation and Sport Surveys, 2001-2010 (Australian resident diving activity data); Tourism Research Australia surveys of international visitors to Queensland 2006-2014 and a dive operator in Victoria 2007-2014. Annual fatality rates (AFR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated using an exact binomial test. Estimated AFRs were: 0.48 (0.37-0.59) deaths per 100,000 dives, or 8.73 (6.85-10.96) deaths per 100,000 divers for Australian residents; 0.12 (0.05-0.25) deaths per 100,000 dives, or 0.46 (0.20-0.91) deaths per 100,000 divers for international visitors to Queensland; and 1.64 (0.20-5.93) deaths per 100,000 dives for the dive operator in Victoria. On a per diver basis, Australian residents are estimated to be almost twenty times more likely to die whilst scuba diving than are international visitors to Queensland, or to lower than fourfold on a per dive basis. On a per dive basis, divers in Victoria are fourteen times more likely to die than are Queensland international tourists. Although some of the estimates are based on potentially unreliable denominator data extrapolated from surveys, the diving fatality rates in Australia appear to vary by State, being considerably lower in Queensland than in Victoria. These estimates are similar to or lower than comparable overseas estimates, although reliability of all such measurements varies with study size and accuracy of the data available.
ORCID: 0000-0002-8986-9997
PubMed URL: 27966203
ISSN: 1833-3516
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Deaths
Diving incidents
Recreational diving
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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