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Thoughts after this weeks terrible diving accidents in the red Sea Egypt.


Author Scott Finch GO DIVING CENTER Gran Canaria

Scott Finch go Diving Center instructor
Scott Finch Go Diving Center

The diving community has been rocked by the distressing news coming out of Egypt's Red Sea in recent days. Like many other divers, I have been deeply saddened and upset by the tragic incidents that unfolded there. These events have shed a harsh light on the safety concerns associated with diving in Egypt, and diving anywhere for that mater, leading many to seek alternative destinations that prioritize diver safety while still offering incredible underwater experiences. We here at GO DIVING have already seen an increase in people concerned about Scuba diving safety and the Canary islands, In this article, I will explore a few thoughts around the risks involved in diving that have been highlighted with the recent events, and why Gran Canaria, situated in the Canary Islands, stands out as a great choice for divers seeking a safe and unforgettable diving adventure.

Egypt has unfortunately developed a reputation for safety concerns within the diving community, and this reputation existed long before the recent events. From issues with breathing gas quality, food saftey to personal safety concerns, especially for female lone divers, numerous stories have emerged highlighting the risks associated with diving in Egypt and most have heard them. The recent incidents, such as the diving boat fire and the shark attack, have further emphasised the urgent need for heightened safety measures and stricter regulations in the region, and a greater understand across all the industry.

Amidst the heartbreaking news, I have contemplated how our islands here differ, and I wanted to address what many may be thinking now before booking dive holidays or even try dives, and how our beautiful island in the Canary Islands, offers a stark contrast to the safety concerns that have plagued Egypt's dive industry. Our island, belonging to Europe as the do, diligently follows modern European safety requirements, ensuring that dive centers adhere to strict safety protocols. Divers can embark on their underwater adventures with confidence, knowing that their well-being is a top priority and that safety standards are rigorously followed. I wanted to delve a bit deeper into this topic and shed light on how our island compares to the unsettling stories emerging from Egypt.

A Tiger Shark
Tiger Shark

One of the most alarming stories that have captured everyone's attention is the tragic shark attack in the Red Sea. One obvious advantage that the Canary Islands hold over Egypt in Scuba Diving safety is the absence of man-eating animals, such as sharks, in our waters. While such encounters are exceedingly rare worldwide, the recent incidents in Egypt have heightened concerns. In Gran Canaria, divers can explore the underwater world without worrying about dangerous marine creatures. They can fully immerse themselves in the beauty and tranquility of the marine environment, focusing solely on the breathtaking marine life that surrounds them. That does not mean we dont have exciting marine life or that we are missing sharks even, we certainly do have sharks here, but our species are not recorded as being a risk to people. However, beyond the high-profile incidents, Egypt's deeper issues lie in immediate, all too common safety concerns. The safety culture in that part of the world has long been criticized. The stories about gas quality and crime are well-known, and most divers have know someone that has reported issues with dive companies' standards and the quality of training, especially for new divers who have no frame of reference. Egypt seems to have numerous dive companies looking to capitalize on a large and often ill-informed tourist base, with a smaller group of experienced divers who accept and deal with the risks as they possess the skills to navigate them. In comparison, Gran Canaria adheres to the highest safety standards for diver safety, often surpassing even the similar legal frameworks of other areas in Europe. Here in the Canaries, we even have a dedicated police force responsible for inspecting the diving industry. Yes, you read that right – they can conduct on-the-spot inspections and issue fines, etc. It is precisely this level of health and safety oversight that could have helped prevent the tragic incident involving the dive boat that burst into flames last week in the Red Sea. Gran Canaria offers a level of safety that stems from a commitment to robust safety measures, backed by local law enforcement and a sense of responsibility toward divers' well-being. It's inevitable that this would also be present in the dive centers as well.

The recent tragedies in Egypt's Red Sea have highlighted the importance of considering alternative dive destinations that prioritize safety without compromising on the extraordinary experiences that divers seek, and looking a little further into the safety culture of the areas we dive in. Gran Canaria, and indeed the great Canaries with there commitment to modern European safety standards, absence of dangerous marine life, reliable climate, and ample training opportunities, emerges as a great alternative for divers in search of a secure and unforgettable underwater adventure in light of recent events. Let us embrace the beauty and wonders that the Canary Islands have to offer and support destinations that prioritise the well-being and enjoyment of divers, and wish all involved in all recent stories well and that this is the end of horror stories!

Our thoughts are with you Egypt, a country and people I have always loved!

Scott Finch

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