Here at the RNLI we're working with DDRC Healthcare to raise awareness of cardiac health and help divers understand just what an impact health and fitness levels can have on their diving. Cardiac health can affect divers of any age, but our research shows that the group most at risk is experienced male divers aged 45 and up.
- Carry out a realistic and honest self-assessment of your health before diving.
- Book an appointment with a medical professional or diving doctor to check your heart is up to it.
- Get specific diving medical advice from a diving doctor or DDRC Healthcare.
- Have a go on one of our WellPoint health kiosks to get an indication of your general health. Find out more below.
- Don’t be afraid to say no to a dive if you have any concerns about your health, even if you’re just about to enter the water.
What’s the problem?
Tragically 50 divers died around the UK coast between 2011 and 2015* and 72% of those divers were aged 45 or over. Evidence suggests that a large number of dive fatalities are likely to have been caused by a medical incident not related to diving, such as a heart attack.**
What’s the RNLI doing about it?
The RNLI is working with DDRC Healthcare to raise awareness of cardiac health and help you understand just what an impact health and fitness levels can have on your diving. Poor cardiac health can affect divers of any age, but our research shows that the group most at risk is experienced male divers aged 45 and up.
The RNLI is encouraging divers to be proactive in getting general medical health checks and, if appropriate, a diving medical with a registered diving doctor.
When diving, you should be aware of any potential danger you may be putting yourself in. You can then make safer choices in your dive planning to reduce the chance of having a medical incident underwater.
Simon Harris, 36-year-old scuba diver
While attending the last dive show I jumped on the WellPoint machine. I was not in the shape I thought! To say I was shocked was an understatement – my heart age was through the roof, my blood pressure was high and I was overweight. The advice I received really hit home and with a few easy lifestyle changes made, I have lost weight. Diving is not just about looking after your buddy you also need to look after number one!
What the WellPoint kiosk does
The health kiosk is a great way for you to get a quick and easy indication of your general health within 10 minutes. The WellPoint kiosk measures:
- weight and BMI
- body fat percentage
- blood pressure
- heart rate
- cardiovascular disease (CVD) Risk***
- heart age
If you are pregnant or fitted with a pacemaker you can still use some aspects of the kiosk but please pay attention to the warnings displayed on-screen. Important: the kiosk is not a substitute for medical advice.
What should I do next?
The kiosk guides you through a short Q&A about lifestyle and then gives you a personalised and confidential health statement.
Your anonymous results will assist DDRC Healthcare to get a better understanding of the general health of the diving community. Neither the kiosk nor the RNLI store any personal data.
You should speak with your GP or other qualified health professional if you have any concerns or questions regarding the measurements and advice provided by the kiosk. Find out more about what the kiosk measures.
During 2016 and 2017 WellPoint health kiosks will be situated in a selected number of dive shops and dive centres around the UK and Ireland as well as at selected dive shows.
Below is a calendar of where the kiosks will be. Check back for dates and locations in 2017. All dates listed are subject the change.
Machine 1 - New Horizons Diving
Dates - 10th April until 24 April 2017
Address: New Horizons Diving, 51-53 Park Lane, Macclesfield, SK11 6TX
Tel number: 01625 611108
Machine 2 - Jackson Sports
Dates - 3rd April until 24 April 2017
Address: Jackson Sports, 70 High Street, Belfast, BT1 2BE
Tel number: 02890 238572
Machine 3 - Ocean View Diving Services
Dates - 5th April until 27th April 2017
Address: Ocean View Diving Services, 160 South Street, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 8AU
Tel number: 01903 767224
Machine 1 - Aquatron Dive Centre
Dates - 24th April until 29th May 2017
Address: Aquatron Dive Centre, 30 Stanley St, Glasgow, G41 1JB
Tel number: 01414 297575
Machine 2 - Scuba Dive West, Ireland
Dates - 24th April until 29th May 2017
Address: Scuba Dive West, Lettergesh National School, Glassillaun, Lettergesh, Renvyle, Co. Galway, Ireland
Tel number: +35 (0) 39543922
Machine 3 - Cornwall ScubaFest
Dates - 28th April until 1st May 2017
Address: Cornwall ScubaFest, Pentewan Sands Holiday Park, Pentewan, St Austell, Cornwall, PL26 6BT
*WAID 2011-15 coastal dataset
**The 2014–15 BSAC Diving Incident Report shows up to 5 of the 9 fatalities recorded were likely from a medical incident not related to diving, such as a heart attack
***Cardiovascular Disease risk assessment and Heart Age are validated indicators of your risk of heart problems within the next 10 years