THE number of diving-related incidents has fallen to its lowest level in 21 years, according to latest coastguard figures.

There were 136 incidents in 2013, which included ten fatalities. By comparison, 2012 saw 77 incidents and 16 fatalities while 2011 had 196 incidents with 14 fatalities.

The most common incident was decompression illness where bubbles form in a diver’s blood after surfacing too quickly (44 cases last year).

Ken Bazeley, the coastguard’s national diving liaison officer, said: “The number of diving incidents has fallen to its lowest since 1992 but still last year we saw ten fatalities.

“We will continue to strive for a reduction in fatalities and serious injury. The key message for divers is to make a slow ascent, perform a safety stop and have sufficient air or gas for the dive, with enough in reserve.”