Founded in 1983 as International Diving Assistance (IDA) by dr.
Alessandro Marroni, DAN Europe was the first 24 hour diving emergency
assistance service, set up as a membership organization, with specific
insurance benefits since the very beginning.
During the same period, in the year 1980, on the other side of the
Atlantic Ocean, DAN America — known then as the Diving Accident Network —
formed at Duke University Medical Center, USA, under the guidance of
prof. Peter B. Bennet.
In 1984 the Diver Emergency Service (DES) was started in Australia and
New Zealand by drs. Des Gorman and "Fred" Gilligan. and in 1987 the
Civil Alert Network (CAN) began assisting diving emergencies in Japan,
under the guidance of prof. Yoshihiro Mano of the University of Tokyo
Although independently and not yet cooperating, the four organisations
were supporting diving safety by providing similar 24-hour Diving
Emergency Hotlines and non-emergency Diving Medicine Information
Services. In case of a diving accident, qualified Hyperbaric and Diving
Medicine Specialists would be available to assist the injured diver and
to consult with local emergency medical personnel to coordinate medical
evacuation and treatment and to provide the best care possible.
Other important scopes were also pursued by the four organisations in
similar ways and with surprisingly similar results: the regular
collection of recreational diving accident data, or the elaboration of
periodical statistical reports on recreational diving accidents.
The need for an international organisation that would be available to
all divers, wherever they dived around the world, became increasingly
apparent and, during a historical meeting at DAN Headquarters in Durham,
N.C., USA, in February 1991, the process to form an International DAN
was started. The four existing organisations decided to adopt the common
name of DAN and DAN Europe, DAN Australia and DAN Japan became parts of
the International DAN (IDAN) organisation, together with DAN USA. DAN
Southern Africa joined the IDAN in 1996.