The Divers Alert Network, more often called by its simple acronym, DAN, is “Your Buddy in Dive Safety.”
No matter where you are in the world – Mozambique, Hawaii, or Mexico – DAN is with you. DAN is a non-profit, member based dive organization that focuses on dive safety and dive medicine.
Since 1980, DAN has been associated with the prestigious Duke University and calls Raleigh, North Carolina its home. From there, it has a global view of the diving world and acts like an insurance company for divers worldwide.
We all understand that diving can be dangerous. Decompression sickness (often called the bends) or ear squeeze are just two of the common diver emergencies. All it takes is one mistake underwater to have a dive accident. As we all know, accidents can be expensive. No one wants to pay for emergency evacuation from a remote beach in Tonga or a visit to a hyperbaric chamber in Bonaire. But to save your life these things may need to happen. This is where DAN comes into play. As soon as you become a scuba diver, you should also join DAN.
DAN membership includes worldwide coverage that includes dive accident insurance, dive equipment insurance, life insurance, trip insurance, optional DAN credit card, and a discount program for things like rental cars and hotels. After an emergency, help is only a phone call away to DAN’s 24-hour TravelAssist hotline.
DAN membership costs are low, and the yearly membership fees go to good use.
If DAN isn’t evacuating someone from a decompression injury on a Galapagos live aboard dive boat, they are researching dive medicine, assisting with education of recompression chambers, compiling dive reports, manning both a 24-hour emergency TravelAssist hotline and a medical information number, managing a frequently updated website, or offering dive medical education and training programs.
You may wonder when DAN can help you. Imagine a beautiful reef dive in Fiji under blue bird Pacific skies. The dive is spectacular – slithering moray eels, slumbering nurse sharks, and relaxing sea turtles. As you watch a black and white queen angelfish stroll around a fan coral you realize you are lower on air than planned. It gets worse your dive buddy is already near the surface. You bolt after him only to stop when the pain begins in your chest. First you call the local EMS and then you call DAN’s 24-hour emergency hotline – 1.919.684.9111.
In 2006, DAN managed over 2,500 emergency dive calls, over 7,500 informational dive medicine calls, and answered over 3,700 emails. DAN is active in the diving world because they have a passion for both diving and medicine. DAN’s motto is “divers helping divers.” That’s what they do. They help us when we have underwater problems and accidents.
DAN is a huge asset to any scuba diver. Just take a look at the DAN website, www.diversalertnetwork.org. You’ll find emergency medical information, diving insurance, training events, and other great information. No matter what dive organization certified you, join DAN today. Be sure to check out DAN’s website for all the latest dive medical information and updates to any of the information above.