Monday, March 13, 2006

Letter from Dan Leigh, Divers Alert Network, re SSS


We deeply regret that many DAN members and others in the diving community
were the focus of a broadcast email campaign by the SSS Network. The latest
statement from SSS is designed to intimidate and frighten DAN members, and
much of the information is untrue, misleading and contradicts previous
statements from chambers within the SSS Network. DAN and SSS are in dispute
over the excessive treatment charges, which DAN believes are not reasonable
and customary in comparison to other hyperbaric chambers and will damage the
diving industry long term if not addressed now. By refusing to accept DAN
insurance, SSS is attempting to place the burden of payment on the diver in
order to gain leverage to force DAN¹s insurer to accept higher treatment

We find it hard to believe that SSS facilities would be closing due to
insurance issues involving DAN¹s insurer. SSS has claimed that insurance
purchased through DAN represents only a small percentage of their business.
They have now stated that some of this is being driven by a slowdown in
diving travel, especially to dive locations that experienced hurricane and
tsunami damage. DAN has always supported remote facilities through our
Recompression Assistance Program (RCAP). This program is part of the
not-for-profit mission of DAN, and provides equipment to help chambers
remain fully operational so they can remain open and viable and assist
divers in need without having to resort to overcharging injured divers.

The recent SSS press release implies that there is something suspicious
about Accident & General Insurance, Ltd. (AGI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of
DAN that underwrites a portion of the diver accident insurance purchased
through DAN. On the contrary, DAN has referenced AGI in all of its
publications and presentations about DAN. Revenue generated by AGI supports
DAN¹s mission activities including medical services and research. No DAN
employees receive compensation from AGI.

DAN has worked hard to bring this dispute to an equitable resolution. A
court date is set for early May 2006. A mediation session is scheduled for
late March. The tactics employed by SSS are unfortunate choices in a
dispute that we choose to handle in a more professional manner. While SSS
keeps changing its position (see DAN website for a chronological records of
their statements), DAN has always maintained a consistent message and
approach to the issue:

A. DAN Members will be treated at all SSS recompression chambers
B. DAN Members with Dive Accident Insurance purchased through DAN are fully covered
C. In the event of a dive injury, call the DAN Emergency Hotline immediately
D. DAN will handle all the necessary matters and no DAN member will be out of pocket

DAN has been here to protect divers for over 25 years and during that time
we have been true to our mission to keep divers and our sport as safe as
possible. We will continue to do so. DAN is and will remain 'Your Dive
Safety Association'.