Jang, S.-H. and Kim, S.-G., 2021. Examining rescue attempts after scuba diving accidents in South Korea: Causes and strategies. In: Lee, J.L.; Suh, K.-S.; Lee, B.; Shin, S., and Lee, J. (eds.), Crisis and Integrated Management for Coastal and Marine Safety. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 114, pp. 609–613. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.

The purpose of this study was to examine rescue attempts after scuba diving accidents in South Korea to understand the causes and contexts of the accidents and to propose alternative strategies. To this end, we collected and reviewed local and international literature alongside accident statistics data from the Korea Coast Guard and conducted interviews with eight people, including scuba diving instructors, coast guard rescue personnel, and leisure scuba divers. According to the results of the analysis, the accidents could be divided into injuries and deaths. Injuries included “rapid ascent,” “diving in unsafe conditions,” and “drifting,” and the causes or contexts included “insufficient education,” “Korean diving culture,” and “unplanned diving.” Deaths included “collecting accidents,” “entanglement in ghost nets,” and “disappearance,” and the causes or contexts included “poor underwater environment” and “solo diving.” Based on this analysis of accident rescue, we propose “planned diving,” the “use of local guides,” and “buddy diving” as the core strategies to reduce accidents. Thus, our study provides basic data to help understand the rescue of scuba diving accident victims in South Korea and to help avoid accidents.

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