We utilise our Web Page, On-site visit as well as Personal visits in Hong Kong during the period of 20/4/1996 to 19/6/1996 for our survey information collection. Each individual collected case was clarified by provided identification information with overall 655 cases collected and only 616 cases recruited for analysis.

PADI Project Award 244
Personal and Site Visit 166
Direct Feedback 152
Web Site Response 54

Case Selection Criteria

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Within the 655 cases and forms collected, only 616 were completed without any missing information.

Problem cases which follow-up is unavailable and duplicate cases were excluded.

A total of 39 cases were excluded from our analysis within the survey period for the reason below:

In fact, majority of unexpected foreign responses were received though our website survey which account for 13 cases.

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Surveyed diver characteristics

The purpose of this section is to describe the characteristic of our local divers. According to exiting available information, our local diving population is estimated to be over twenty thousands with over 350 are commercial divers.

Amount our Scuba diving population; there are over 3000 qualified instructors and over 1000 divemasters of different diving associations or clubs.

Age Distribution

According to this limited data and information, almost 70.5 per cent of our local divers are between age 28 and 40 years old. Less than 1.3 per cent of local divers is age less than eighteen years old. Mean age of our local diver is 33 years of age.

Sex difference of local diver

Within the recruited cases, there are 77.2 per cent of the divers are male diver that is 4.4 times of local female divers in number. The sex ratios of our local divers are similar to the distribution of sex in Diving injuries recorded by DAN during 1989 ~ 1994.

Type of Divers

Within the 616 cases, 87.8 (541) per cent of them are scuba divers and 9.4 (58) per cent are commercial scuba divers. The remaining 2.8 (17) per cent are solely commercial divers.

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Incidence of Diving Accidents

Within this limited information, we reviewed that there was 20.1 per cent of diver experienced Ascent and/or Descent difficulty during their diving history. All recruited scuba divers claimed to be no history of any Decompression Sickness (DCS). Ear barotrauma happened in 2.4 per cent of our divers. Three cases of decompression sickness recorded were all happened in commercial divers.

Driver Type Scuba Driver Commercial Scuba Driver Commercial Driver
DCS 0 0 3
Ear Barotrauma 12(2.2) 2(3.4) 1(5.8)
Ascent/Descent Difficulty 112(20.7) 11(18.9) 1(5.8)

(n)= percentage of incident

Membership distribution of our local divers

Due to the fact that over 39.6 per cent of the recruited scuba divers were collected during the function of PADIˇ¦s Project Aware on 9/5/1996, the resulting membership distribution data may have some bias. However, it is more or less reflects the distribution of our local divers.

There were overall 647 certificates of different association or club membership collected within the 616 recruited cases. Twenty-eight per cent of local divers have more than one certificate or qualifications from different associations or clubs. PADIˇ¦s, NAUIˇ¦s and BSACˇ¦s members account for 55%, 17% and 12% respectively of our local divers.

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Health Status and Altitude of Local Divers

Amounts 67.2 per cent of recruited divers have the good habit of regular medical check-up for diving. Up to 88 per cent of the divers prefer or willing to have medical check-up to ensure body fitness for diving provided the examination standard available. However, due to the shortage of knowledge and training amount our medical practitioners that most of the divers are currently check-up by "non-diving physicians" in Hong Kong.

In fact, at the moment there are no formal or standardized check-up standards utilized in Hong Kong for our local divers.

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Summary & Conclusion

This report concerning the local diver characteristics would be valuable to all divers and researchers. Although the exact incidence and data of our local divers are difficult to determine at the moment, this is the primary and the only information available.

Male divers are predominant and PADI accounts for 55 per cent of local divers. The difficulty in ascent and/or descent difficulties account for the most common diving accidents and DCS happened rarely. However there are numbers of information lacking in the survey that will be evaluated in our next survey.

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Acknowledgements

The success of our survey depends on all local recruited divers with their honest and co-operation.

Special thanks to the following organisations, associations and clubs:

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  1. DAN
  2. International (ELITE) Divers Training Centre
  3. Hong Kong Institute of Scuba Training Limited
  4. Keliston Marine (Far East) Limited
  5. Paradive
  6. Pro dive USA
  7. Scuba Centre and Scuba Centre (Pro Shop)
  8. Scuba Collection

Also thank to the following person for their valuable contribution to the survey:

  1. Daniel A. Nord, AEMT-CC
  2. Ivy Tong
  3. Joseph Poon
  4. Li Kin Kwong
  5. Ng L.C.
  6. Rommy W.K. Cheng
  7. Susana M.Y. Ho