DAN Launches Fundraising Effort to Prevent Diver Strandings

Diver ID System Available at No Charge to Industry Partners; Get Yours at DEMA!

Divers Alert Network® (DAN®) is continuing its efforts to prevent divers from being left behind by expanding fundraising efforts for the Diver IDentification System, or DIDS boards. The organization has set a goal of being able to place DIDS boards on every charter boat that wants one.

Launched in 2002, the DIDS board program is a simple but effective tracking system to ensure all divers return to the boat following a dive. Each system consists of a board and 12 numbered tags; for bigger boats, two boards are issued to allow for the tracking of 24 divers. Before entering the water, the dive leader assigns each diver a number from the DIDS board, and the diver affixes the corresponding tag to his BCD. After the dive, the tag is returned to the board. Its simplicity is what makes it work: Until all tags are returned to the board, the boat doesn't leave.

"When a DIDS board is combined with other roll call procedures, the chances of leaving a diver behind are greatly reduced," said Nick Bird, DAN CEO and chief medical officer. "We've distributed more than 1,500 boards since the program launched, but we're not stopping there. These boards are a fantastic tool for improving dive safety, and we'd like to see one on every dive boat."

The DIDS program is funded by donations and sponsors. Generously sponsored in part by The Living Seas at Walt Disney World, the program now also allows for individual sponsorships at a cost of $50 per board. When two boards are sponsored, the donor automatically becomes a Bronze Friend of DAN .

DIDS boards are available to DAN Industry Partners, however, at no charge. DAN expects to have a limited number of boards available at DEMA, but any DAN Industry Partner interested in obtaining one can also fill out the application at the DAN booth (#2123).

For those not attending DEMA but wishing to request a DIDS board, the application can be downloaded and returned to DAN. Donations to the program can be made online, by calling (919) 684-2948 x.611 or by mailing donations to Divers Alert Network (memo: DIDS), ATTN: Development Office, 6 West Colony Place, Durham, N.C. 27705.


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