(Received 17 September 1996; accepted 13 January 1997)
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Although no formal accident data reference system exists, the cave diving deaths in Florida from 1962–1991 and 1995–July 1996 (data for 1992–1994 were unavailable) is reviewed. These cases reveal that the number of diver fatalities is cyclical in nature with a periodicity of eight years. Because we are currently only a year past the cycle low, this analysis allows predictions to be made that indicate a rise in fatalities over the next five to seven year period. This study reveals that a lack of experience and failure to follow proper safety precautions are the leading causes of fatalities in cave diving accidents. A one page accident information reporting form is proposed to aid in the initial and accurate reporting of a fatality and to standardize data collection for future research.
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Chief medical examiner, District 8. Gainesville, FL
Stock #: JFS14212J