This is a very good reminder from New Zealand Police considering how active our diving community is along the South Coast.
The Police National Dive Squad is reminding everyone to take care of yourself and those you’re with as the holiday period gets underway.
There have been 73 preventable drowning deaths this year in New Zealand waters.
Senior Sergeant Bruce Adams says it’s about taking responsibility for your own safety and those you have a duty to care for:
“Whether it’s young children, your dive buddy, or just a friend you’ve gone into the waves with, they should always be within reach and in view at all times.
“We have already seen too many tragedies this year involving water activities.
“This time last year, the preventable toll was 78.
We don’t see 73 this year as a success – we can do better.”
On average, 83% of these preventable drowning deaths in this country are males.
Mr Adams is concerned about inexperienced divers heading out to hunt for Christmas dinner over the next couple of days.
“The Dive Squad have had six diving fatalities to investigate this year and the same issues are often factors that have led to deaths,” he says.
“If you haven’t been diving since last Christmas, now is not the time to go straight in for a deep dive.”
Police remind anyone diving to follow these steps when considering any dive:
Always dive with a buddy and stay together at all times.
Abandon your dive when issues arise don’t wait for them to develop into a very difficult situation to get out of.
Abandon weights in an emergency.
Get equipment serviced before heading out this summer.
Get yourself a check-up with your GP discussing your sport, any medical issues and medications, and assume they are a contradiction to diving until proved otherwise.
If you have been out for the water for some time, build up to the deeper dives and get refresher training.
Do not push conditions – if it is not calm and enjoyable, save it for another day.
The Police National Dive Squad remind everyone to use a recognised dive training provider.
“Don’t cut corners by getting ‘trained’ by friends or family.
The well-established and recognised schools have the latest information and teach all components required,” says Mr Adams.
“This might take more time but they provide you with skills for life to ensure you get home at the end of the day.“
Further advice on water safety this summer may be found at: http://www.watersafety.org.nz/
Police Media Centre
*Preventable fatalities include recreational and non-recreational drowning deaths.
They do not include those fatalities classified as ‘other’ (arising as a result of road or air vehicle accidents, homicide, suicide or of unknown origin) as these are not considered applicable to the prevention and rescue efforts of the water safety sector
You can also view this release, including any additional images, online at: http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/police-national-dive-squad-issue-christmas-reminder-divers