When Things Go Wrong Emergency action plans

31 Jan 2019 | François Burman

When Things Go Wrong

Emergency action plans

History teaches us that accidents are always possible; thus, we should have plans in place to mitigate them. Clients as well as staff, bystanders, dive professionals and the dive business itself are subject to risk.

Emergency action plans (EAPs) are essential tools for dive professionals and dive businesses. These plans typically provide information needed in case a dive accident occurs, although this consideration is usually limited to traditional diving activities or expected problems. Comprehensive EAPs must address a variety of risk areas, and few people understand what goes into identifying, compiling, reviewing and qualifying a truly effective EAP.

This article will cover the essentials of planning an effective and practical emergency procedure to help mitigate dive-industry-related incidents. First we’ll consider where emergencies are likely to occur.

The risks vary by dive center, dive professional and area of operation, so we need a careful analysis to identify the real issues. Here is at least a partial list of possible risks to help identify areas of concern.

  • At the dive center: fires; explosions of high-pressure cylinders, gas tanks or containers of hazardous fluids; contact with chemicals or other hazardous materials; injuries from electrocution; social unrest or other involvement with aggressive people.
  • At the pool and training areas: exposure to hazardous substances (such as chlorine); medical emergencies (including from preexisting health problems); injuries (from slipping, diving, falling or lifting heavy objects); drowning.
  • While diving: traumatic injuries from propellers, ladders, slipping, diving or heavy objects, for example; encounters with hazardous marine life; lost divers; drowning; medical emergencies due to health conditions; entry and exit hazards associated with rocky shores or difficult-to-access caves or pools.
  • During transportation (on land or on the water): fire; inclement weather; capsizing; loss or incapacitation of people; launch accidents; road accidents; hijacking of a vessel or vehicle.

Beyond the most readily identifiable risks are others that, though unlikely, warrant consideration and preparedness. These may be present in any of the areas listed previously or elsewhere:

  • a lost, abducted or wounded guest
  • unacceptable or aggressive behavior by a guest, staff member or visitor
  • sudden ill health or a medical emergency
  • criminal activity or arrest, death or homicide involving a guest or staff member.

An important location-specific aspect of emergency planning that should be addressed for all areas considered in an EAP is the availability and reliability of local emergency medical and law-enforcement services.

By illustrating these hazards and their potential locations, we hope to inspire dive businesses and self-employed dive professionals to think through their EAPs in greater depth.

There will always be risks, but with better knowledge, understanding and preparedness we can reduce uncertainty and better contain the consequences of the hazards we will eventually face.

 


Free transport

Our daily excursions start with the pickup and transport from your hotel or from a pickup point. Our service covers all areas of the Prefecture of Rethymnon.

Photo service

We offer professional photos of our divers, guests and underwater life for more than 10 years. You can take these lasting memories with you on a USB stick. 

Memory certificate

At the end of the day, just before leave and during our final meeting you will receive a memory certificate from your "journey" with Kalypso Dive Center.

Multilingual staff

Carefully selected, multilingual professional staff - we speak more than 10 languages - will make sure you have safe and enjoyable dives.

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How to turn a DSD into a unique dive experience?

How many certified divers took their first scuba diving steps through a PADI Discover Scuba Diver? Anybody wonders why this first experience changed their lives?

Most divers I talked to explained their DSD was a great experience. Thanks to the dive centre and dive instructor, passing their passion for diving, a new diver was born. The correct environment, information sharing, atmosphere and good preparation turned the Discover Scuba Diver in a unique and once-in-a-lifetime experience for most of them.

Both my wife and I started in the same way years ago. Thanks to the great time we became so passionate about diving that we completely changed our lifestyle. From the discovery, we went through recreational diving to become so passionate about diving, to decide to swap our traditional jobs for a life in the diving industry. Even after we took this big step, we still remember our DSD years ago.

How to turn each Discover Scuba Diver (DSD) into an “I-love-scuba-diving” experience:

  • Organise each DSD as if it was a first date: Understand the DSD candidate does not know what to expect!
  • Be prepared: Follow a fixed DSD circuit and routine, but leave room for a personal touch.
  • Adapt to your customer: Accept people are unique, give them room to absorb scuba diving at their own pace.
  • Be passionate: share your passion for scuba diving with your guests before, during and after the dive.
  • Take your time: Remember the experience does not stop getting out of a wetsuit.
  • Help them remember: a picture says more than a thousand words, help them organise some pictures or a video as a permanent souvenir.

I fully agree there are a thousand more points to be added, but these six definitely help making a DSD something unique!

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