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Preventing Decompression Illness Using the Right Table
(Underwater Magazine)

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Blaauw v. Superior Offshore International

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A General Overview Of How The Courts Apply The Law And The Facts In Reaching A Verdict And Awarding Damages.

This is a case tried by Joe Walker, with local counsel Tom Edwards of Domengeaux, Wright, Roy, and Edwards, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana in Lafayette, where a judgment was awarded for a South African Saturation diver. The judgment by Federal Magistrate Judge Michael Hill is an excellent road map as to how liability and damages are assessed by the courts applying both the law and the facts of a diving injury.

All cases are unique, and dependent on many variables. The foregoing case is for purposes of example only as to how a judge’s opinion is typically reached.


Japanese Cutting Accident Survey - Translation and summary by Francis Herman

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Diving fatalities continue to occur as a result of improper venting during burning operations. The combination of hydrogen, Oxygen, and even methane or other ignition sources can be lethal if those gases are not properly vented before striking an arc.

I have attached an accident investigation (translated by Francis Hermans, an excellent source for information on burning safety) of a diver who was killed in 2012 while cutting a bent pile that had been damaged by the 2011 tsunami. Of interest is the conclusion by the investigative team that methane from decomposed organic material was the primary source of the explosion. Also of interest is the low level of hydrogen gas. It is a thorough investigation and I recommend that it be read by all divers who visit this website.


I have also attached a link to a video dealing with underwater burning, maintained by John Carl Roat, who is one of the leading diving experts in Underwater Burning. I highly recommend that all novice and experienced divers read his safety notices that are presented as videos on YouTube. His YouTube channel is outstanding.

Also of interest to commercial divers is the Facebook group, Stop Commercial Diver Deaths!, which contains a lot of good commentary and information regarding diving safety.

Mark Longstreath maintains an excellent forum with many articles regarding diving safety and other useful information of interest to divers.

Delta P in Diving: Risks and Prevention

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These deaths and injuries continue, but they are totally preventable. While it’s easy to blame the diver, they are a result of poor management and supervision, and the failure to implement proper safe action plans. The responsibility for these fatalities and injuries starts at the top!

This is an excellent article on Delta P Safety by Frances Hermans, which should be thoroughly read by all divers visiting this site.