Scuba divers, particularly the more experienced, are being encouraged by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to make heart health a top priority.
The RNLI’s initiative of setting up Diver Health Kiosks around the British Isles has just received a cash injection in the form of a £10,000 donation from long-term supporter Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.
The charity’s mobile kiosks will be appearing in dive-shops and dive-centres all around the UK and Ireland as well as at dive shows, says the lifeboat charity. Divers are guided through a quick questionnaire about their lifestyle before being provided with a free, confidential health statement.
The donation was handed over at Tower Lifeboat Station on London’s River Thames this week.
“A medical emergency when you’re mid-dive could prove fatal,” commented RNLI Community Safety Manager Nick Fecher. “Cardiac health can affect divers of any age but our research shows that those most at risk are experienced male divers over the age of 45.
“The kiosks are a useful starting point, but we also recommend that divers visit a healthcare professional if they have any reason to doubt their health to be able to dive safely.’
Fred. Olsen MD Mike Rodwell said that the kiosks would “provide divers with a valuable and potentially life-saving resource in terms of being able to assess their health status and suitability before undertaking strenuous diving activity”.
Over the past 50 years the cruise line and its guests have funded five inshore lifeboats, three mobile training units, three seminar rooms and three lifeboat-launching trolleys.