A diving accident victim could be any person who has been breathing air underwater regardless of depth. It is essential that emergency procedures are pre-planned and that medical treatment is initiated as soon as possible. It is the responsibility of each AAUS organizational member to develop procedures for diving emergencies including evacuation and medical treatment for each dive location.


Depending on the nature of the diving accident, stabilize the patient, administer as high a concentration of oxygen as possible, contact local Emergency Medical System (EMS) for transport to medical facility, contact diving accident coordinator, as appropriate. Explain the circumstances of the dive incident to the evacuation teams, medics and physicians. Do not assume that they understand why oxygen may be required for the diving accident victim or that recompression treatment may be necessary.

· Make appropriate contact with victim, or rescue as required.
· Establish , (C)irculation, (A)irway, (B)reathing as required.
· Administer oxygen at as high a concentration as possible.
· Call local Emergency Medical System (EMS) for transport to nearest medical treatment facility.
. Call DAN (919) 684 9111

· Notify Diving Safety Officer or his/her designee.
· Complete and submit Diving Injury/Incident Report to the DCB


Planning for emergencies:

  • Know the nearest phone location at each shore site (a cell phone is recommended if a public phone is not near the dive site). Make sure public phones work and that cell phones have charge and reception.
  • Have a VHF radio on board for boat diving, and make sure it works before leaving.
  • Have an oxygen system and first aid kit on site, and personnel trained to use them. Check kits prior to diving. At Hopkins, a kit should always be on the table inside the dive lockers. The Hopkins AED is located in the main office at the front of the Boatworks. Visiting divers are responsible for bringing their own emergency equipment.
  • Have a beach master or boat tender present whenever possible.

EMS activation:

  • In case of a diving emergency: call 911. From HMS office phones, dial 9-911.
  • On the wall of the Boatworks by the divelocker steps is a red phone box. The phone inside dials 911 automatically when the handset is lifted.
  • If on the water with a marine VHF radio, call the Coast Guard on Channel 16.
  • If at all possible, send someone to the Hopkins main gate to meet EMS and direct them to the appropriate location.

Local emergency protocol requires the diver to be evaluated at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP, 23625 Holman Highway) before referral to a recompression chamber. The nearest chamber is located at 600 Pine Ave. in Pacific Grove, but DO NOT transport divers there directly.
***Note: as of summer 2012 the PG chamber is not operational. In case of a diving emergency, activate EMS and call the DAN emergency hotline 919 684 9111.

If feasible note the condition of the diver and details of the events leading up to the accident, including dive profiles. Report any diving-related accident/injury to the DSO as soon as possible.


Follow local procedures as detailed in the diving accident management plan for evacuation and medical treatment established as part of the Scientific Diving Plan.