The recent devastating events in the Indian Ocean and beyond have captivated and dominated world headlines. The degree of devastation and human loss is tragic, and many DAN Members are among those sadly caught up in this disaster.
The role of DAN in dive medicine, health and safety has evolved during its 25 years of operation. For this catastrophic event, that mission of service prepared DAN to respond effectively in time of need.
Here is a summary of what DAN has done and will be doing to serve its Members and their needs from this event.
Joel Dovenbarger, Vice President of DAN Medical Services, has noted the following regarding the organization's efforts in the wake of the tsunami's destruction:
No DAN Members have been reported missing as of Jan. 4, but there are thousands of tourists still not accounted for in the region.
DAN has repatriated two DAN Members to their home countries. They had little more but the swimsuits they were wearing.
DAN is currently providing medical monitoring for hospitalized DAN Members who require advanced medical care furthermore, medical evacuation / repatriation has been arranged for three of these cases.
Dovenbarger added that many divers have called to volunteer to go to Thailand to assist with recovery efforts. However, host countries have said they do not need direct assistance and are not allowing anyone in the ocean. Thus, officials are asking that no divers respond in person to the tsunami relief effort in the affected areas at this time.
Insurance and Assistance
DAN TravelAssist continues to work nonstop to ensure that urgent care and needed services are quickly and effectively delivered to DAN Members. Beginning soon after the massive waves struck the shorelines, DAN TravelAssist began its standard process of urgently evacuating DAN Members to advanced regional medical facilities, providing cash payments for clothing and other basic needs, arranging Embassy and Consulate services to re-establish identities and make contact with families, and delivering replacement airline tickets for travel home.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you have been affected by these events and require urgent DAN or DAN TravelAssist support, please call 1-800-684-9111 (toll free in the U.S. or through an international AT&T operator) or +1-919-684-9111, fax +1-919-493-3040 or email to email@example.com.
You may also contact DAN directly at http://www.DiversAlertNetwork.org
For less urgent member and insurance benefits, such as trip interruption and lost diving equipment, you may request a claim form by email at Veronica.firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 1-800-292-8381 or +1-803-434-2967 or fax +1-803-434-4354.
DAN Insurance has reported receiving a handful of equipment insurance calls in the first week. DAN Members affected by the tsunami who are covered by the DAN Equipment Insurance Program should visit http://www.DiversAlertNetwork.org/
Please check back on the DAN website frequently for the latest updates about what DAN is doing and what DAN Members can do to assist in this disaster. As with millions of others around the world, our thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by this terrible event.