Historically, drowning has been incriminated as the cause of death in 74 to 82 per cent of recreational diving deaths, compared with the more high-profile diseases of decompression sickness (<1 per cent) and contaminated air supply (<1 per cent).
Comparisons of divers who drown with those who survive from near drowning reveal the importance of the following:
- Personal factors, including both medical and physical fitness.
- Diving experience.
- Faulty equipment and misuse of equipment.
- Hazardous environments.
- Neutral buoyancy being maintained during the dive and not being dependent upon the buoyancy compensator.
Other factors that increase the likelihood that diving problems will have an unsuccessful outcome include the following:
- An inadequate air supply.
- The failure to employ correct buddy diving practices.
- Inadequate buddy communication.
- Failure to achieve positive buoyancy after a diving incident.
- Inappropriate or delayed rescue and resuscitation.