November 18, 2011
In news from the Divers Alert Network (DAN) that would be of interest to FS members on the Diver's Corner section, DAN has mounted efforts to prevent divers from being left behind by expanding fundraising efforts for the Diver IDentification System, or DIDS boards. The organization has set a goal of being able to place DIDS boards on every charter boat that wants one.
The DIDS board program, almost ten years old now, is a simple but effective tracking system to ensure all divers return to the boat following a dive. Each system consists of a board and 12 numbered tags; for bigger boats, two boards are issued to allow for the tracking of 24 divers. Before entering the water, the dive leader assigns each diver a number from the DIDS board, and the diver affixes the corresponding tag to his BCD. After the dive, the tag is returned to the board. Its simplicity is what makes it work: Until all tags are returned to the board, the boat doesn't leave.
“When a DIDS board is combined with other roll-call procedures, the chances of leaving a diver behind are greatly reduced,” said Nick Bird, DAN CEO and chief medical officer. “We've distributed more than 1,500 boards since the program launched, but we're not stopping there. These boards are a fantastic tool for improving dive safety, and we'd like to see one on every dive boat.”
If you work on a dive boat, every checklist system to maintain safety helps out you and your clients. There are other good ideas on safety practices at the Diver's Alert Network, and on the FS Diver's Corner. FS member scubaholic posted a thread asking opinions about best practices when diving wrecks that anglers might be fishing. Here's the thread.