Professional divers are among the most satisfied professionals in the country. They generally report high levels of personal satisfaction and fulfillment from their jobs while also earning a pretty decent wage. In California, the average salary for professional divers is $57,020, making it the state with the third-highest wages for divers.
One of the reasons divers can command competitive wages is the inherent risk involved with diving. A diver’s life literally depends on the quality and maintenance of their equipment.
There are many factors outside of their control that increase risks as well, ranging from storms that seemingly flare up out of nowhere to animal activity near their dive site. Other humans could also be a source of danger, especially if recreational boaters come close to where a diver is underwater.
Safety precautions can’t protect you from human error
Most divers have intricate and redundant safety systems in place to reduce their risks during a dive. They typically constantly monitor the function of their equipment and maintain contact with someone on a vessel nearby.
That individual monitors the divers for safety while also keeping an eye on the area around the dive site. They will usually make contact with other vessels that approach so that the occupants know to give a wide berth due to the presence of divers.
Unfortunately, if people on that other vessel are under the influence of alcohol or otherwise not paying attention, they could damage the equipment, get tangled in lines or even strike divers on their way down or back up out of the water.
Injuries that occur out on the open water are covered under different laws
A diving injury caused by a boat could mean thousands of dollars in medical bills and possibly the end of your career. You may need help paying for your care and recovering the wages you can’t earn due to physical injuries or trauma that force you to end your diving career.
If you are a direct employee of a company, severe injuries that occur while on land will lead to a workers’ compensation claim. However, you may have to make a maritime claim against your employer if they contributed to the incident or against the other boaters involved. Navigating a personal injury claim after getting hurt while working is never easy, but when it occurs out on the open ocean, it is far more complex. You will likely need support and guidance to understand your rights and pursue compensation for the injuries you suffered.