An accident is an unexpected event that culminates in loss of or serious damage to equipment or injury to personnel. An incident is an unexpected event that degrades safety and increases the probability of an accident.
The number of diving accidents/incidents involving U.S. Navy divers is small when compared to the total number of dives conducted each year. The mishaps that do occur, however, must receive a thorough review to identify the cause and determine corrective measures to prevent further diving mishaps.
This section expands on the OPNAVINST 5100.19 (series) that require expeditious reporting and investigation of diving related mishaps. The accident/incident equipment status reporting procedures in this chapter apply, in general, to all diving mishaps when malfunction or inadequate equipment performance, or unsound equipment operating and maintenance procedures are a factor.
In many instances a Diving Life Support Equipment Failure Analysis Report (FAR) may also be required. The primary purpose of this requirement is to identify any material deficiency that may have contributed to the mishap. Any suspected malfunction or deficiency of life support equipment will be thoroughly investigated by controlled testing at the Navy Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU). NEDU has the capability to perform engineering investigations and full unmanned testing of all Navy diving equipment under all types of pressure and environmental conditions. Depth, water turbidity, and temperature can be duplicated for all conceivable U.S. Navy dive scenarios.
Contact NAVSEA/00C3 to assist diving units with investigations and data collection following a diving mishap. 00C3 will assign a representative to inspect the initial condition of equipment and to pick up or ship all pertinent records and equipment to NEDU for full unmanned testing. Upon receiving the defective equipment, NEDU will conduct unmanned tests as rapidly as possible and will then return the equipment to the appropriate activity.
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