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 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.
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.**
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 - Splash Sports Services, Dundee
Dates - 26th May until 26th June 2017
Address: Splash Sports Services, 8 Market Mews, Market St, Dundee, DD1 3LA
Tel number: 01382 452828
Machine 2 - Scuba Dive West, Ireland
Dates - 24th April until 12th June 2017
Address: Scuba Dive West, Lettergesh National School, Glassillaun, Lettergesh, Renvyle, Co. Galway.
Tel number: +35 395 43922
Machine 3 – Underwater Explorers, Portland
Dates - 1st May until 12th June 2017
Address: Underwater Explorers, Unit 1 Maritime Business Centre, Mereside, Portland, DT5 1FD
Tel number: 01305 824555
Machine 1 - Deep Blue Dive
Dates - 26th until 24th July 2017
Address: Deep Blue Dive, 55 Marden Road, Whitley Bay, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE26 2JW
Tel number: 01912 536220
Machine 2 – Vobster Diving Ltd
Dates - 12th June until 24th July 2017
Address: Vobster Diving Ltd, Upper Vobster, Radstock, Somerset, BA3 5SD
Tel number: 01373 814666
Machine 3 - Stoney Cove
Dates - 12th June until 19th October 2017
Address: Stoney Cove, Sapcote Road, Stoney Stanton, Leicester, LE9 4DW
Tel number: 01455 273089
*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