Recurring Incidents in Beaufort Inlet Present a High Risk of Diving Accidents for North Carolina Divers

Our Charlotte personal injury lawyers know that diving can be a dangerous sport, so tourists and experienced enthusiasts are reminded to use a little extra caution before you take your next plunge.

There have been several reported scuba diving accidents in North Carolina, the last few months but CBS News reports about the most recent fatal accident that occurred off of the Carolina coast, approximately 29 miles southeast of Beaufort Inlet.
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A crew member on board the dive ship Olympus reported that a 60-year-old diver went down for a 120-foot dive. Shortly after, the diver came up and was found unresponsive and not breathing so CPR was administered by Olympus crew members. The U.S. Coast Guard sent a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat out to rescue.

An EMT from Coast Guard was transferred onto Olympus and both boats returned to Fort Macon where emergency medical service personnel were awaiting. The 60-year-old diver was taken to Carteret General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“This is the fourth diving accident in eastern North Carolina in the last two months,” said Lt. Kevin Sullivan, of Sector North Carolina. “Cases like this are a reminder that diving is an inherently dangerous sport. Those participating are encouraged to exercise all due caution.”

We posted previously on our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog that a 56-year-old man was rescued by Coast Guard in a similar location off of Beaufort Inlet. The diver had complained about shortness of breath and other symptoms after resurfacing from a 110-foot plunge into the water.

The Scuba site reports a number of causes for scuba diving accidents. The three leading causes of death according to a Diving Fatality Report, using statistics gathered from 1992-2003, are drowning (33 percent), arterial gas embolism (29 percent) and cardiac incidents (26 percent) like heart attack or stroke. Arterial gas embolism is most likely caused by divers holding their breath or by the expansion of respiratory gases when coming up from a dive.

Scuba Diving Safety Tips:

  • Diving takes an extreme amount of health and fitness so make sure you are in the best cardiac shape and mental health as possible.
  • Use a dive guide when exploring new areas.
  • Make sure equipment is safe and reliable and you are fully equipped from head to toe before each dive.
  • Obey local dive laws and follow the instructions of a dive guide.
  • When breathing compressed air, never skip-breath or breath-hold.
  • SAFED or Slowly Ascend From Every Dive.
  • Take a training course before your first dive and know your limits. When you are ready to expand your diving experiences take an advanced or specialty dive course.
  • Always dive with a buddy or in a group.

Scuba diving can be a breath-taking experience for most divers who want to explore the natural beauty of underwater life or the historic shipwrecks of the Graveyard in the Atlantic. Reduce the risk of a diving accident by getting trained and being a responsible diver.

If you have been injured on a dive boat excursion in North Carolina, contact an experienced injury lawyer at Lee Law Offices to discuss negligent behavior on behalf of the dive operator. We help victims and their families get the compensation you deserve so call 1-800-887-1965 to set up a free no-obligation appointment to discuss your rights today.

More Blog Entries:

North Carolina Boating Accidents a High Risk for Injury During Summer Watercraft Season, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, May 9, 2011

Additional Resources:
Dive Accident off NC Coast Claims Life of 60-year-old, by WNCT Staff

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