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Date of Graduation


Degree Type

Capstone Project (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Hector Camacho, PA-C

Second Advisor

Jonathon W. Gietzen MS PA-C


Each year the Professional Association of Diving Instructors certifies thousands of individuals to dive in open water. With over 100,000 PADI instructors in more than 180 countries, scuba diving has become a recreational sport for all types of people.

There are currently almost 9 million certified scuba divers in the United States. Many of these divers go on to gain further certifications, and dive on a regular basis. Others dive sporadically, infrequently, or not at all. Once a person is certified, there are no regulatory bodies monitoring how often a person scuba dives. The dive card obtained through certification is essentially 'good for life '. Divers are on the honor system to determine their skill levels within the bounds of their certifications, and should dive accordingly.

The purpose of this paper is to investigate if any relationship exists between diver's preparedness for scuba diving accidents and any prior life experiences or training. It is thought that an experienced diver makes a safe diver. The following pages contain information regarding statistical data on scuba diving injuries and fatalities from 2003 and 2004. The information will be compared to data obtained from a scuba diving survey that was disbursed to scuba divers in the United States, with an emphasis on the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.


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