To whom it may concern...
Scuba diving killing older divers
by LAMAR BENNINGTON @ CDNN - Cyber Diver News Network
April 18, 2010
UK — An official with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) urged older people participating in dangerous sports such as scuba diving to get the right health check.
More than a third of the 212 UK scuba diving accident victims that required medical treatment last year were over 50, according to MCA.
"People are living longer, are fitter and have more money to spend on leisure activities, so it is no surprise that we are diving longer into retirement age," said Joanne Groenenberg, a spokesman for the MCA.
"But there are risks and divers need to be aware of these. They need to make sure that they get a health check to reduce the hazards and ensure they are generally fit and healthy."
Safer than bowling?
Despite increasing evidence that physiological stress factors unique to the use of underwater life support equipment (SCUBA) significantly increase the inherent risks of scuba diving for people with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart disease and obesity, the scuba diving industry continues to target boomers with deceptive advertising campaigns falsely claiming that scuba diving is safer than bowling.
Dive industry-controlled "diver safety" advocates such as Divers Alert Network (DAN) and BSAC deliberately underreport the number of scuba diving injuries and fatalities to give consumers the false impression that scuba diving is safer than it actually is.
At annual scuba diving trade shows such as the one run by DEMA, a California-based scuba marketing group funded by member contributions from retail dive stores, dive boat operators and resorts that sell scuba diving certification cards, courses and dive equipment, members are urged to downplay the risks of diving and categorically deny that scuba diving accidents are "scuba-related" anytime the victim is older than 50.
After a spate of scuba diving fatalities in the Cayman Islands, local liquor store owner and scuba shill Steve Broadbelt, who also owns the Ocean Frontiers dive company, parroted the party line:
"We should be looking at the overall picture and the causes of these deaths," Broadbelt said. "The majority of the deaths seemed to be due to pre-existing (medical) conditions rather than the activity itself."