How the Divers Alert Network Works

Marine Life Image Gallery DAN or the Divers Alert Network offers services for sport and recreational divers. See more pictures of marine life.
Pete Atkinson/Photographers Choice/Getty Images

The scuba diver had just finished exploring the shipwreck lying deep in the dark waters and was heading to the surface when the first pains struck. He knew immediately it was decompression illness, a painful condition that could threaten his life and that would require specialized medical care.

He also knew he had prepared for this possibility, and his membership in the Divers Alert Network would now play a critical role in his recovery.

Recreational scuba divers deal with unique challenges every time they go into the water for an adventure. One of the best ways for divers to have fun and stay safe is to network with other divers. The Divers Alert Network, or DAN, is a non-profit association that offers services for sport divers both in the United States and around the world.

Founded in 1980 in association with Duke University Medical Center, DAN originally provided a 24-hour emergency hotline and a magazine, "Alert Diver." Since then, it's grown to more than 200,000 members in the United States and another 60,000 around the world. The association focuses on divers helping divers, as well as providing unique services for the diving field.

There are many Divers Alert Network benefits. Recreational scuba divers who are members can obtain specialized Divers Alert Network insurance. Such insurance covers the specialized care, transport and treatments associated with many dive accidents and injuries.

DAN members receive the latest information about recreational scuba diving with a special focus on safety. Along with insurance and information, other Divers Alert Network programs include medical information and research, training and education, products and services and event notices. It's easy to see how recreational divers benefit from becoming a member of Divers Alert Network.

So what are the membership plans? What are some of the network's programs? And how does the insurance work? Read on to find out.