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Alert Diver is the dive industry’s leading publication. Featuring DAN’s core content of dive safety, research, education and medical information, each issue is a must-read reference, archived and shared by passionate scuba enthusiasts. In addition, Alert Diver showcases fascinating dive destinations and marine environmental topics through images from the world’s greatest underwater photographers and stories from the most experienced and eloquent dive journalists in the business.


DIVE SLATE DAN PSA, EDUCATION AND TRAVEL PUBLIC SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT LIONFISH AWARENESS Lionfish, also known as zebrafish or turkeyfish, are venomous reef fish of the genus Pterois. Native to the Indo- Pacific region, lionfish are now found in oceans across the globe. Lionfish pose little threat to divers, but invasive populations have wreaked havoc on juvenile reef-fish populations in the western Atlantic. To combat the spread of these greedy predators, recreational divers in the Americas have started aggressive campaigns to hunt them. In the process, divers are occasionally stung by a lionfish’s sharp spines, which can cause very painful and sometimes complicated wounds. As a diver, here is what you should know about lionfish. Lionfish Are Often Underestimated. Lionfish have no natural predators and are therefore generally docile. Their docility allows divers to approach closely and makes them easy targets for spearfishing, but it also means that divers may underestimate these fish. While rarely fatal, lionfish envenomation can cause extreme pain. Lionfish Are Hazardous. Most incidents occur as a result of careless handling, usually during spearfishing or while preparing the fish for consumption. Lionfish have needlelike spines along the dorsal, pelvic and anal fins, and punctures can lead to rapid development of localized edema (swelling) and subcutaneous bleeding. Pain can last for several hours, swelling typically subsides in two to three days, and tissue discoloration can last for four or five days. Punctures on fingers can restrict blood supply to the tissues and lead to necrosis. Most Stings Are Preventable. Lionfish are by no means aggressive, so to prevent injuries you can simply maintain a prudent distance. If you want to engage in spearfishing activities, do so only after you learn from more experienced divers how to capture and handle these animals. Be aware that lionfish spines may puncture leather gloves. Managing a Lionfish Sting While Diving • Remain calm. • Allow small punctures to bleed. — This may decrease venom load. • Notify the dive leader and/or your buddy. • Safely end your dive. — Perform a normal ascent rate, safety stop and any deco obligation. • Provide first aid. Surface First Aid Guidelines • Rinse wound with clean water. • Remove any obvious foreign material. • Control bleeding if needed. • Soak wound in non-scalding hot water for 30 minutes. — First test the hottest water you can tolerate on yourself in the same area. • Monitor vital signs while en route to professional medical evaluation. — Life-threatening complications are rare but may occur. Rapid Response Can Make a Difference. In case of lionfish envenomation, adhere to the following protocol: • Rinse the wound with clean freshwater. • Remove any obvious foreign material. • Control bleeding if necessary. • Soak the wound in hot water for 30 to 90 minutes. Repeat if necessary. If you are assisting a sting victim, try the water on yourself first to assess tolerable heat levels. Test the water on the same area of your body as where the diver is injured. • Monitor vital signs while en route to professional medical care. For more information, visit EDUCATION SPOTLIGHT DIVING EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PROVIDER TRAINING DAN’s Diving Emergency Management Provider (DEMP) course consolidates DAN’s four basic first-aid courses: Basic Life Support: CPR and First Aid, Neurological Assessment, Emergency Oxygen for Scuba Diving Injuries, and First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries. In DEMP, these four courses have been streamlined to focus on dive-related content, and information that is common across the courses is delivered only once. DEMP provides divers and people who support divers with targeted expertise in first aid for diving incidents. It provides the breadth of skills necessary for responding to an emergency once a diver is out of the water. This consolidated course is the most cost-effective and time-efficient way to obtain comprehensive training in diving first aid. Course participants complete their DEMP training by drafting an emergency assistance plan so they will know how to access resources in the areas where they dive. “It is part of being a prepared diver,” said Patty Seery, DAN director of training. “Not all diving is done under the supervision of dive professionals. When we dive independently with our dive buddies, we need to be prepared to handle whatever comes along and be self-reliant for first aid. DEMP equips divers with all the skills necessary to respond to diving emergencies.” DAN’s new online eLearning platform features a section dedicated to DEMP training, making it easier than ever to acquire the vital skills you need to keep your community of divers safe. DEMP certification along with rescue diver training qualifies the provider to apply for the DAN Diving Emergency Specialist recognition. For more information, visit 28 | SUMMER 2016

TRAVEL SMARTER MOSQUITO SAFETY Scuba divers go to exciting destinations all around the world. When seeking adventures below the surface, remember to consider the topside hazards associated with travel. Tropical environments in particular carry risks for mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, chikungunya, dengue fever, Zika virus and others. Prevention is the best way to stay safe from the effects of a mosquito-borne disease. Follow these tips to reduce your risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito. DOUG4537/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM silver Protect Your Body. Prevent mosquito bites by applying insect repellant, wearing clothing that minimizes exposed skin and treating your clothing and gear with permethrin, a widely used insecticide and insect repellant. Use insect repellents that are registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for safety and efficacy and that have one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol. If you are traveling to an area known to have a large mosquito population or where mosquito-borne diseases are endemic, it is especially important for adults to wear repellant that is at least 30 percent DEET; children should not exceed 30 percent DEET. Secure Your Environment. While clothing and repellant may prevent mosquitoes from biting you, these precautions aren’t 100 percent effective. You should therefore limit your exposure to mosquitoes by securing your sleeping quarters and other areas you frequent. Remove standing water, employ bed nets and mosquito screens, and, if possible, try to sleep in air-conditioned rooms with tightly sealed windows and doors. Stay Aware. Mosquito behavior is relatively predictable; doing some research and taking a few precautions can go a long way toward protecting you from the diseases these insects can carry. Different species of mosquitoes have varying behaviors, so make sure you research mosquito activity in the specific region you intend to visit. Precautions may include avoiding some environments or limiting outdoor activities during certain times of the day. Take Medication. Some mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria can be prevented with prophylactic medications. Before traveling to a destination where you might contract one of these diseases, consult your doctor or visit a travel clinic to find out whether such a medication might be appropriate. It’s important to take the medication exactly as prescribed and to finish the entire course. Note that the most effective medication will vary by location. Before you go, familiarize yourself with common symptoms of mosquito-borne diseases at your destination. Seek medical care immediately if you experience any symptoms; if symptoms appear after your return home, let your doctor know you traveled recently. For more information, visit the websites for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (, the World Health Organization ( en) or, if you’re a DAN member, Worldcue Planner ( AD cinema of dreams New housings out now! SEACAM silver NIKON D810 SEACAM silver CANON EOS5DS SEACAM prelude CANON EOS7DMKII SEACAM prelude NIKON D750 SEACAM compact SONY A7II 800-451-3737 SEA_016_01 IN USA 2.125x9.125+NewHousings.indd 11.01.16 3 09:23 ALERTDIVER.COM | 29

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