Diver or Not…
Most divers have at least heard of DAN. Thoughts of Dive Accident Insurance pop up whenever I talk with people about what I do for a living, but there is so much more involved.
First, DAN stands for Divers Alert Network and is a North Carolina based Non-Profit that got started by offering a service to divers. DAN would answer medical questions and offer advice to divers about their concerns. To this day, the phone lines are still hot and operate 365 days a year for medical emergencies (1-919-684-9111). For medical inquiries or general information, you can simply dial 1-919-684-2948 during normal office hours Monday through Friday or simply fill out the online form at https://www.diversalertnetwork.org/?a=medicemail. These services are funded by DAN’s membership program and by donations.
Second, the old adage that “membership has its benefits” holds true with DAN. Membership is relatively inexpensive and comes with access to DAN’s Insurance plans. One important thing to be aware of is that membership is not insurance (and that you cannot get the Dive Accident Insurance without being a member.) However, just for joining, if you travel more than 50 miles from home – diving or not -, you get $100,000 in emergency evacuation coverage as long as you contact the DAN Emergency Hotline (1-919-684-9111) for evacuation assistance. You also get Alert Diver, DAN’s quarterly magazine, access to WorldCue Travel Planner and several other bonuses.
DAN also offers a Referral Network, with worldwide coverage of Doctors and Hyperbaric Treatment Facilities ready to assist divers in times of emergencies, however, they encourage anyone involved in a medical emergency to call 911, or local emergency services provider first.
Third, DAN conducts research on many of the hot topics in diving safety such as Flying after Diving, PFO Closures and Extreme Diving. They then publish resources based on the findings available for free on the DAN website and offer online seminars for divers and dive operators.
Finally, DAN offers the most comprehensive training program for emergency management for lay responders on the market today. These programs are developed by staff at DAN and taught by thousands of instructors across the globe. They teach interested people to respond to injuries ranging from common (cuts, abrasions, punctures, sprains and breaks) to the more obscure (decompression sickness, stroke and blue ringed octopus’ bites).
Many of the products and services offered by DAN benefit everyone, and the support given by DAN Members goes a long way toward ensuring that those services are in place for divers in the years to come. Although DAN’s specific vision is to make every dive accident and injury free, they really strive to be a safety resource for everyone, diving, boating, travelling and everything in between.