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Diver Duties

Diving Emergency Management Plan

The Diving Emergency Management Plan is used on each dive day. The plan is used in the event of a diving emergency and to plan all diving operations safely according to the NOAA Diving Regulations.

A. Dive Emergency Plan: Conscious, Alert, Diving Accident Victim

    1. Evaluate victim’s Airway, Breathing and Circulation.
    2. Call 911 to inform the local emergency dispatcher about the diving accident. The dispatcher will notify land transportation, [NAME OF LOCAL HOSPITAL], U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the [NAME OF RECOMPRESSION CHAMBER], and the [NAME OF LOCAL OCEAN RESCUE TEAM].
    3. Put the victim on 100% oxygen using a demand valve or non-rebreather mask.
    4. Evaluate the victim for the type of diving injury.
      • Perform a rapid field neurological examination to assess problem areas.
      • Gather as much information about dive as possible.
      • Keep the dive computer with the victim.
      • Secure victim’s other dive gear for examination, do not disassemble gear.
      • Interview the victim’s buddy for information about the dive.
    5. If decompression illness is suspected, or any other type of compressed gas injury (arterial gas embolism, pneumothorax, etc.) keep the victim flat on his / her back – do not raise the victim’ feet . Place the victim on his / her side if nauseated or vomiting – keep the airway clear.
    6. The victim should be transported to [NAME OF LOCAL HOSPITAL] for evaluation first. [NAME OF LOCAL HOSPITAL] is affiliated with the [NAME OF RECOMPRESSION CHAMBER].
      • If not nauseated and not experiencing altered level of consciousness, give the victim hypertonic fluids during transportation to [NAME OF LOCAL HOSPITAL].
      • Continue oxygen administration.
      • Send the victim’s dive computer with him / her to the hospital with any other records, such as results of the rapid field neurological examination.
      • Keep victim out of sun and watch for shock.
    7. Based on the evaluation by the doctor at [NAME OF LOCAL HOSPITAL], the victim may be transported to the [NAME OF RECOMPRESSION CHAMBER] for treatment.

B. Dive Emergency Plan: Unconscious, Non-Responsive, Diving Accident Victim

    1. Evaluate victim’s A irway, B reathing and C irculation.
    2. Call 911 and call the U.S. Coast Guard, Group [LOCATION] (USCG) at [USCG TELEPHONE NUMBER], or hail them on Channel 16 to report a diving accident.
    3. Put the victim on 100% oxygen at 15 liters per minute (15 lm) using a demand valve or non-rebreather mask. When administering 100% oxygen 15 lm, use a bag valve mask (BVM) if it is available and the rescuer is trained in proper administration of oxygen with the BVM.
    4. Perform cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, or rescue breathing if necessary.
    5. Evaluate the victim for the type of diving injury.
      • Gather as much information about dive as possible.
      • Keep dive computer with the victim.
      • Secure victim’s other dive gear for examination, do not disassemble gear.
      • Interview the victim’s buddy for information about the dive.
    6. Transport the victim to the nearest harbor closest to the dive site [NAME OF NEAREST HARBOR OR EVACUATION SITE] for evacuation to [NAME OF LOCAL HOSPITAL] by a local ambulance. The local ambulance will await the diver at the dock.
    7. Send the victim’s dive computer with him / her to the hospital with any other records.
    8. If there are vessel problems, call the USCG [USCG TELEPHONE NUMBER] to arrange air evacuation of the victim. The USCG air evacuation team will coordinate with [NAME OF LOCAL HOSPITAL]. Only call for air evacuation if the vessel is too far from shore, or it is unsafe to transport by vessel. Air evacuation can degrade a victim’s condition

C. Recompression Chamber Information

    1. Primary recompression chamber:
      • [LOCATION]
      • [STREET ADDRESS]
      • [TELEPHONE NUMBER DURING NORMAL HOURS]
      • [TELEPHONE NUMBER AFTER HOURS]
    2. Before diving operations begin, the NOAA Divemaster will call one of the telephone numbers to determine if the recompression chamber is operational. If the primary recompression chamber is not operational, alternate telephone numbers will be called.
    3. Alternate telephone numbers for recompression chambers or diving emergencies are:
      • [FIRST ALTERNATE RECOMPRESSION CHAMBER & TELEPHONE NUMBER].
      • [SECOND ALTERNATE RECOMPRESSION CHAMBER & TELEPHONE NUMBER].
      • Divers Alert Network 24-hour emergency number: (919) 684-8111.

 

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