Last year alone, 314 diving incidents were reported to the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC). The RNLI, in partnership with the British Diving Safety Group (BDSG), is asking divers and dive instructors in the UK to take ten minutes to complete an online survey, which looks at their reasons for participating in diving, how often they take to the water, preferred methods and locations, experience and training, awareness of possible hazards and use of safety measures.
The findings will be used to help the RNLI and BDSG develop tailored and relevant safety messages for the diving community, to help make the sport even safer.
An online survey is launching today (Tuesday 27 August) and will run for nine weeks, during which time anyone who dives in the UK – no matter how often or what level of experience – is invited to visit www.rnlidiving.substance.coop and complete the short survey. The research is being undertaken by Substance, on behalf of the RNLI.
To supplement the online survey, face-to-face surveys will be conducted at dive sites, charter boat launch and departure points, and at the NEC Dive Show (Dive 2013) in October. In-depth interviews and focus groups will also be conducted. Divers wishing to take part in these are encouraged to contact Substance via the survey website.
Nick Fecher, RNLI Coastal Safety Manager, who is running the project, explains the reasoning behind the research:
‘Diving is a hugely popular sport but accidents do happen. A total of 314 diving incidents were reported to BSAC last year and the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews have rescued 96 divers and saved 13 divers’ lives in the past five years. By carrying out this research, we hope to understand more about how and why people dive, what they know about the risks and what safety measures they take. We’re hoping to hear from divers of all levels of experience, so we can then develop really targeted and relevant safety advice to help them enjoy their sport as safely as possible.
‘Coastal safety is a key part of the RNLI’s remit of saving lives at sea – by offering important safety advice to people taking part in coastal activities like diving, we hope to prevent incidents from happening in the first place and, ultimately, save lives.’
All who participate in the survey are offered the option of free entry into a prize draw. The first prize is a DX dive computer, kindly donated by Suunto Diving UK and the second prize is an Abyss 22 regulator, kindly donated by Mares. Winners will be chosen by Substance, using a random number generator, by 15 November.
Notes to editors
A photo is attached showing a diver being rescued by Torbay RNLI lifeboat. Credit RNLI/Nigel Millard.
RNLI spokespeople are available for interview. Please contact RNLI Public Relations on the numbers below.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Laura Fennimore, RNLI Public Relations Officer, on 01202 663181 / Laura_Fennimore@rnli.org.uk.
Substance is a social research cooperative working in the youth, sport and social development sectors. It has undertaken landmark research projects such as the Social and Community Benefits of Angling research for the Big Lottery and Social Value of Football research and has developed the Views (www.views.coop) software to allow organisations to evaluate and demonstrate their impact. To find out more: www.substance.coop.
About the BDSG
The British Diving Safety Group (BDSG) was formed in 2002 to promote safe diving practices amongst the British sport diving community. Currently chaired by the RNLI, the group has a broad representation, with all of the UK diver training agencies, the HSE and the MCA involved. These organisations regularly meet in order to work towards a common goal; to make diving safer. By sharing and analysing incident data, devising safety initiatives and then promoting them to divers, the group has a broad influence on the recreational diving community.