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At 08:56 AM 9/24/99 -0400, Karen Nakamura wrote:
 
>> In terms of fatalities, however, figures - I believe they were compiled
with
>> the help of James Cook University - released a couple of years ago by Dive
>> Queensland,  the State's peak recreational diving body would certainly
>> suggest otherwise:
>>  Area                                                          Fatality
Rate
>>  Queensland                                             1 in 430,000
>>  Australia (total)                                        1 in 120,000
>>  America                                                   1 in 100,000
>>  Japan                                                        1 in 15,400
>
>
>great stats! i must say that my own anecdotal experience is that Japan (my
>home country) is not a very safe place for divers.
 
Putting that question aside, I always scrutinize the accuracy/credibility
of any "statistics" reported by anyone.
 
Here are just a few questions I know about "America" that renders any
statistics like "1 in 100,000" meaningless.  Why?
 
(1)         1 in 100,000 divers (active divers)?
(2)         1 in 100,000 dives?
 
What is the UNIT of the statistics about the rate?   Without a
measurable "denominator", any such rate is just some WAG someone
dreamed up.
 
(1)  Nobody knows how many divers are certified (Believe It, or Not!)
     Divers Alert Network (DAN) tried to get some handle on this question
     a few years back, and learned that they couldn't even get the
     answer about PADI divers IN THE USA!   Let alone divers from other
     certifying agencies, other countries, and divers uncertified but
     dives.
 
     Even if that number is KNOWN, it is not a very good number to use
     for RATE, because a meaningful rate has to use a DIVE as a unit.
     A diver who dives once a year in a swimming pool is certainly
     not exposed to the danger of fatality as another diver who makes
     1,000 dives a year all over the world.
 
(2)  Now THIS is meant to be the (meaningful) rate, then I am willing
     to BET <BG> that the figure about Queensland is not data-based,
     or more precisely, based on accurate data.
 
As a matter of fact, I suspect the Queensland figure is a PR figure
because ... it was
 
>by Dive Queensland, the State's peak recreational diving body
 
The 430,000 number is fishy (ob scuba <g>) at best.  For all I know, that
could have been the population of Queensland 429,900 of whom are non-divers
who favorite sport is wambat-watching!  :-)   That would leave the
fatality incident rate per diver at 1/100.   You get the drift?
 
I would look at those "statistics" through large grains of salt!   :-)
 
-- Bob.