Union calls for urgent action after 2nd dive death this year

Published: 9 Jul 2009

Two divers have died off the Queensland coast, this year, highlighting the importance of tighter regulation of the industry, said Mick Doleman, MUA.

The call comes as an American tourist perished, near Port Douglas, yesterday morning, off Saxon Reef with Down Under Dive.

A number of safety concerns were raised in the recreational dive industry in recent years, including Down Under Dive, with unions calling for tighter safety, training and accreditation regimes. (see Open Water).

A state government inquiry into the industry last year found a lack of uniform training, evidence of sham training schemes, long hours and fatigue, a culture where workers were discouraged from raising safety and other problems.  The inquiry recommended an overhaul of the training regime and state government support for safety officers based in Cairns. 

“We are calling for a tripartite approach with industry, government and unions getting together to develop professional training and safety standards,” said Mick Doleman.  “It’s urgent this now takes place before any more divers die on the Reef.” 

The Police, coroner and Workplace Health and Safety are investigating the fatality.


CONTACT: MUA Assistant National Secretary Mick Doleman: 0418 391528



Authorised by P Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney