Please take note that all of informations displayed here are indicatives and are mostly there to make you aware that you are responsible about your own preparedness for emergency measures as a diver. Because the informations depend of many third parties, they are subject to change without being advised. In order to prepare your dive, please inquiry to local authorities where your planning your dive. And why don’t you consider following a rescue course?

Diving in Canada

It advised to locate the rescue unit of the Canadian Coast Guard of the area the diving is going to be done from the list of units of the Rescue Coordination Center of the nearest unit.

The Directory of Canadian Search and Rescue Organizations is also good start in order to obtain a list of coordinates of differents services.

Diving in United-States

It advised to locate the rescue unit of the U.S. Coast Gard of the area the diving is going to be done on map of the units location. Once done, it will be easier to find the phone number of the Rescue Coordination Center of the nearest unit. It is advised to follow the instructions on how to report Search and Rescue Emergency call.

Diving elsewhere in the World or at sea

If you dive on sea or in large water body area and you are lost or your boat is out of order, it is advised to take note of the phone number of the rescue unit the nearest where the dive will occur with the help of global maritimes search and rescue areas map (locate the country responsable of an area you are going to dive in). Please take note that the map is not updated. It is only indicative. It comes from International Maritime Organization (UN) which authorized the reproduction for safety reasons. You have the responsability to get the most updated informations (follow the links up to for more informations).

It advised to locate the rescue unit of the rescue coordination center of the area where the diving is going to be done on list of Coordination Center by country. Once done, follow the link and take note of the number. The list is incomplete (please advise of any new link or broken link...thanks!).

In case of scuba diving accident

Most of the time, you may use a VHF radio, an ordinary phone, a cell phone or a satellite phone and dial 911 or 0 (Canada, U.S.), elsewhere from Noon site for sailers select the country and then the emergency number (if available).

To follow a rescue course, look in the phone directory under Canadian Red Cross, Canadian Ski Patrol or the St-John Ambulance.

In order to be able to get help in any far away regions, you should consider following a VHF radio course like the one given by Institut maritime du Québec.

To obtain the location of an hyperbaric chamber list, you may consult UHMS (search Hyperbaric Chamber). In case of decompression accident and emergency situation, vous may also contact Diver’s Alert Network (consult the web site in order to have the phone number according to your dive destination).

Please your collaboration is required in order to signal any error or missing.

In case of emergency always indicate that it’s about a scuba diving accident

If other persons are with you:

• ask someone to post himself near the road in order to watch and direct the rescuers toward the site (minutes can be saved) ;

• ask someone to check the vital signs of the accidente.

Please remember that each second counts! Don’t loose time about irrelevant details. Your phone operator does not know who you are, where you are and what happened. Be precise, speak calmy in order to be well understood. Give the coordinates and any reference marks about the location where the accident occured. Precious minutes may be lost with an erroneous detail about the location.

Don’t try any manoeuvers for which you don’t have qualifications or pratical knowledge. Be sure that the respiratory track is clear. Be sure that the body temperature of the diver remains as stable as possible. Be sure also that the diver has plenty of water. Don’t take it for granted! Even by an hot summer day a diver may be in hypothermia depending of the diving conditions...and might be dehydrated. In any doute, don’t try anything. If you read these lines, try to consider following a rescue course.

At the phone try to remember the following guidelines. At the very minimum, dial "0" and say:

In FrenchIn English
Il s’agit d’un accident de plongée sous-marine.It is about a scuba diving accident.
Identifiez-vous en donnant votre nom au complet donner toute information pouvant vous identifier (si nécessaire no de tél., no. de fréquence radio sur VHF par exemple, no de plaque d’immatriculation de véhicule, etc).Identify yourself by giving your complete name, give any other information that might identify yourself (if necessary your phone number, your VHF radio frequency, your vehicule plate number, etc).
Mon nom est ...My name is...
Donner les coordonnées exactes, la route, le milage, des points de repère, tous détails pouvant conduire les secours le plus rapidement sur les lieux.Give the exact coordinates, the road, the mileage to do, any reference marks, any details that may help rescuers to get there more fastly on the premise.
SVP envoyer une ambulance, la police...aux coordonnées suivantes...Please send an ambulance, the the following location...
Il est inutile de spécifier le nom des personnes (sauf si demandé). Donner simplement les indications sur le ou les accidentés, exemple:It is useless to tell the names of the persons on the site (except if asked). Simply give any indication about the persons who need rescue, for example:
Il s’agit de nombre d’adultes et de nombre enfants (si applicable).It's about number of adults and number of children (if applicable).
Indiquer leur état. Aller au plus important. Ne perdez pas de temps.Indicate their physical conditions. Go to the most important.
...inconscient (ne réagit pas à la voie ou des stimuli tactiles)...unconscious (does not react to voice or tactile stimuli)
...n’a pas de pouls...has no pulse
...peut respirer...can breath peut respirer...cannot breath
...n’est pas remontée à la surface (indiquer le temps)...did not surface (indicate the time)
...est blessé wounded
Assurez-vous de bien raccrocher le téléphone ou de libérer la fréquence radio. Dans tous les cas veuillez ne pas éteindre votre appareil à moins d’en avoir convenu avec votre interlocuteur.Be sure that your phone is free, that the VHF radio frequency is free. In any cases, don't turn them off unless you agreed with the phone operator to do so.
Si vous avez de la difficulté avec la langue anglaise (ou une autre langue si vous êtes dans un autre région ) ne vous en faites pas faites de votre mieux ou donner ce rôle à quelqu’un qui maîtrise mieux cette langue que vous.If you have difficulties with the French (or any other language depending of the region where you dive) do you best or give that task to someone else who has less difficulty with that langage.
N’oubliez pas que quoi que vous fassiez vous aurez fait quelque chose et ce sera beaucoup! Rappelez-vous que chaque seconde compte! Don't forget that what ever you do, you will have done something and it will be a lot! Remember that each second counts!
Si vous êtes en région urbaine vous pouvez composer 911 mais le service 911 n’est pas toujours disponible partout et le zéro (0) est encore plus rapide.If you are in an urban area, you may dial 911 but 911 service is not always available. Dialing 0 is much faster!
Il faut noter que le téléphone cellulaire digital ne couvre pas tout le territoire. En région éloignée, l’usage d’un poste VHF peut être d’une aide précieuse. Dans une région très éloignée, l’usage d’un téléphone satellitaire peut être la seule chose vous reliant au reste du monde.Please take note that cell phone does not always fully cover the area where you dive in. In far region, a VHF radio might be a precious help. In very far region a satellite cell phone, might be a the only thing to link you to the rest of the world.
Informez-vous avant de partir!Get informed before leaving!
Rappelez-vous que l’utilisation injustifiée des services d’urgence est passible de poursuite. Sans oublier qu’une action de la sorte peut retarder les opérations de sauvetage d’une autre personne qui a besoin de secours et provoquer indirectement la mort de celle-ci.Remember: an unjustified use of the emergency services may be fined. Also such action may delay the rescue operations of other persons who need help and might cause the death of one of them.

© Copyright 1999-2016, Michel Robitaille. All rights reserved.