The circumstances which lead to divers’ death in Split-Dalmatian County in eleven-year period (1994-2004) were analyzed. The data were extracted from the files of autopsy reports of the Department of Forensic Medicine, Split University Hospital and School of Medicine, and the police reports of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Split-Dalmatian County. A total of 31 cases were found during the study period. The number of diving deaths didn’t vary significantly through the years 1994-1999 but it increased after year 2000, mostly as a result of domestic and foreign tourists who practiced diving during their summer vacation. The average age of victims was 37.65 years. Of the 31 cases, 13 (41.9%) were apnoea (skin) divers and rest of them (18; 58.1%) were scuba divers. The leading activity of the apnoea divers was underwater fishing, while the majority of scuba divers were in recreational diving. The major cause of death was drowning. The circumstances which had led to the death remained unknown in most cases, mainly due to inexistence of proper criminal investigation.
diving, drowning, epidemiology
1Department of Forensic Medicine, Split University Hospital and School of Medicine
2Naval Medical Institute of the Croatian Navy Split and School of Medicine, Croatia