Dive safety in Southeast Asia

In Asia you often dive in far away places, where an accident might mean a journey of several hours if not days before you reach help. Make sure, that dive operators have oxygen on board at all times and check on their emergency procedures (do they have an emergency plan, phone numbers, ways to evacuate you, can they tell how long it takes to the next hyperbaric chamber?).

I am not a doctor, but as a diver I know, the best way to avoid decompression sickness is still:

1. Don't dive too deep
2. Don't ascend too fast
3. Check with your computer for multiple dives
4. Always make a safety stop for at least 3 minutes and do all necessary decompression stops
5. Drink a lot of water (to avoid dehydration - 3 liters of water per day minimum, some say up to 10 liters in the tropics!).

Decompression Sickness (DCI)

The Signs:

  1. Blotchy skin rash
  2. Weakness
  3. Paralysis or weakness anywhere in the body
  4. Coughing spasms
  5. Staggering or instability
  6. Shortness of breath
  7. Altered mental status
  8. Unconsciousness

The Symptoms:

  1. Pain, arms, legs or trunk
  2. Extreme fatigue
  3. Headache, nausea
  4. Itching, skin rash
  5. Restlessness
  6. Numbness, tingling or paralysis
  7. Personality changes
  8. Reflex changes
  9. Bladder problems
  10. Chest compression or shortness of breath, dizziness

Anything unusual after the dive

Emergency First Aid :

  1. Check airway, breathing, and circulation (ABCs)
  2. Administer 100% oxygen
  3. Place diver in recovery position
  4. Treat for shock
  5. Transport to the nearest hyperbaric facility
  6. Be sure to get an infusion for dehydration

Hyperbaric chambers in Asia

Disclaimer: In a emergency please ask the local dive center for confirmation of the information I provide here! I am not responsible for possible wrong telephone numbers, addresses or other information on this website. Your are using this information at your own risk.

On this webpage you find a list of all hyperbaric chambers (or recompression chambers) known to me in Southeast Asia. If you know more places, please write to me and I will add them to the list. I need addresses, phone numbers and if possible the names of doctors that are responsible. If phone numbers have changed, please tell me about it. I will try to keep this updated regularly. Thanks! Teresa Zubi ( )

I have added the corresponding list of hyperbaric to the fact sheets for dive trips (Indonesia, Malaysia, Borneo, Philippines, Thailand and Burma).

In English: For more information about dive safety look at the excellent site of Diving Medicine Online / F.A.Q. of panic underwater / Decompression Sickness (DCI)

Deutsche Seiten: Tauchmedizin-Net / Gesellschaft für Tauchmedizin / Tauchersprechstunde / Dehydratation / Link-liste / Taucher-Net / Fit for travel (allgemeine Informationen zu Reisekrankheiten, Malaria etc.)

The important phone for more information on what to do in a dive emergency is in Australia:

Phone DAN (Divers Alert Network) outside Australia +61-8-8212 9242

Probably the best medical help in Southeast Asia can be found in Singapore. So if you can be moved, I recommend you fly there.

Borneo (Sabah, Sarawak, Kalimantan) and Brunei

Dive safety: contact DAN (Divers Alert Network) in Malaysia phone 05-930 4114

Hyperbaric chambers (or recompression chamber) in Borneo / Kalimantan

Labuan: Recompression Chamber Labuan Pejabat Selam, Markas Wilayah Laut Dua, 87007, Labuan, Labuan Phone: 087 412 122

Brunei: The Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) also has a recompression chamber, but I couldn't find out a phone number or address. It might be a transportable chamber on a ship...


Hyperbaric chambers (or recompression chamber) in Indonesia

There are 5 recompression chambers in Indonesia to treat decompression sickness

Bali: Sanglah General Hospital (in Indonesian language) USUP Sanglah Denpasar JI. Diponegoro, Denpasar 80114 Bali, Indonesia: Phone 62-361-227911 through -15 ext. 232 (hyperbaric medical department) Fax 62-361-22426 Run by Dr. Antonius Natasamudra and Dr. Etty Herawati

Manado (Sulawesi): At the Malalayang Hospital (chamber for 3 to 4 persons) Phone: 0812-4302970 / Dr Glen Hawkins HP +61 407700701 / Dr Sosiawati HP 0812 467 2923 / Dr Hanry Takasenseran HP 0813 4000 0840

Makassar (Sulawesi): Rumah Sakit Umum Wahidin Sudirohusodo. Contact person: Pak Daniel Address: Jl. Perintis Kemerdekaan Km. 11, Tamalanrea Kampus UNHAS Indonesia TEL:++ 62 - 0411 (584677) , 584675. Said to be for 3 to 4 persons.

Jakarta (Java): Rumah Sakit Angkatan Laut (Navy Hospital) in Jl. Bendungan Hilir No.17, Central Jakarta (see text in italian with some addresses - list of help)

Kalimantan: Rumah Sakit Pertamina Balikpapan, Jl Jendral Sudirman Nr 1, email: aspb@rspb.co.id, Tel:+62542 734020, 734020, 734024. Contact person: Dr Lukman Hatta, Sp.PD, Sp.KL (Internist).
The Borneo Divers have the only professional recompression chamber located on Sipadan island (Borneo - Malaysia)

Surabaya (Java): Rumah Sakit Angkatan Laut (RSAL) (Military Marine hospital) Jl. Gadung no. 1, Surabaya: Phone 031-45750 and 41731 (another number given was 031-838153 and fax 031- 837511) Run by Dr Suharsono

Malaysia main land

Dive safety: contact DAN (Divers Alert Network) in Malaysia phone 05-930 4114

Hyperbaric chambers (or recompression chamber) in mainland Malaysia:

East coast Malaysia: Kuantan Naval Base. Kuantan Mawilla Sail Diving Team, Tg. Gelang, 25990, Kuantan, Pahang Phone: 09 433 330 or 09-5833600 (I took this information from a webpage written in the Indonesian language)

West coast Malaysia:
Lumut (near Pangkor island): Department of Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine of the Armed Forces Hospital Lumut Naval Base
Phone: 05 - 683 7090 ext 4071 Fax : 05 - 683 7169
Ipoh (Perak, West Malaysia) Phone: 605 – 2426237. Ask for doctor Lee Chin Thang

Singapore is very close to places like Tioman: The Singapore Naval Medicine & Hyperbaric Center
Phone +65-750 5546


DAN (Divers Alert Network) in the Philippines phone 02-815 9911

Hyperbaric chambers (or recompression chamber) in the Philippines:

There are 5 recompression chambers in the Philippines to treat decompression sickness

Manila (Quezon City): AFP Medical Center (V. Luna hospital), V. Luna Road, Quezon City. Contact: Dr. Jojo R. Bernardo
Phone: 920 7183 and 921 1801 (local 8991)

Batangas City: St Patricks Hospital, Batangas City St. Patricks Hospital Wound Care & Diving Medicine Centre
Phone: (6343) 723-8388 / Fax. (6343) 723-8388 Beeper: 150-611-169

Cebu City: Recompression Chamber Camp Lapu-Lapu Lahug / Doctor Memerto Ortega
Phone: (032) 310-709 or (032) 312-325 / (032) 746-652 loc. 2625

Coron (Busuanga, Palawan): Deco chamber at Seadive resort
Phone: 0920 9458714 or 0918 40000448

Subic Bay: Recompression Chamber Subic Bay Freeport Zone Zambales / Doctor Lito Roque
Phone: +(63-47) 252 2743 / 252 7052; 252 7566; 252 2751

Armed Forces of the Philippines Air and Seaborne Search and Rescue Facilities and Equipment
Phone: +(63-2) 833 7546 / 911 79 96 / 911 63 85


Hyperbaric chambers (or recompression chamber) in Singapore

The Singapore Naval Underwater Medicine Centre.
Phone: +65-6758 1733 (24-hours Emergency Hotline) / +65-6796 4197 (appointments)

Hyperbaric Medical Services, 1 Orchard Boulevard #08-05, Camden Medical Centre, Singapore 248649
Phone: +65-6732 8552

Hyperbaric Medicine Centre, 11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Basement 1, Singapore 308433
Phone: +65-6355 9021/2

www.hyperbaric.com.sg / Medical Director: Dr Michael Ong Chin Cheong

Thailand (and Burma)

Hyperbaric chambers (or recompression chamber) in Thailand:

There are several recompression chambers in Thailand to treat decompression sickness

Hyperbaric Services Thailand: SSS (Sub-aquatic Safety Services) Chamber Network www.sssnetwork.com

Bangkok: Department of Underwater and Aviation Medicine Somdel Pra Pinklao Naval Hospital Taksin Road Thonburi Bangkok 10600
Phone: (02) 475264144
Bangkok Badalveda Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine Center Bangkok General Hospital 2 Soi Soonvijai 7 New Pethchburi Rd Bangkok Phone: 02310 3000

Pattaya: (becomes operational in Jan 2004) Badalveda Diving Medicine Center Bangkok, Pattaya Hospital Sukhumvit Rd Pattaya City Phone: 03842 7777

Phuket: SSS Recompression Network (Hyperbaric Services Thailand Ltd, Head office)
44/1 Moo 5, Chalermprakiat Ror 9 Road,
Vichit, Muang, Phuket 83000
OFFICE PHONE (66) 76 209 347
OFFICE FAX (66) 76 612 660
24hr Diving Emergencies (66) 810819000
E-MAIL phuket@sssnetwork.com

Koh Samui (Gulf of Thailand):
34/8 Moo 4, Bophut
Koh Samui, Suratthani, Thailand 84320
OFFICE PHONE (66) 77 427 427
OFFICE FAX (66) 77 427 377
24 hr Diving Emergencies (66) 810819555
E-MAIL samui@sssnetwork.com

Koh Tao:
Evacuation Center
24 hr Diving Emergencies (66) 810 819777
E-MAIL kohtao@sssnetwork.com

Evacuation Center
376/3 Moo 2,
Aonang ,Krabi, 81000
OFFICE PHONE (66) 75 638376
24 hr Diving Emergencies (66) 810819222
E-MAIL krabi@sssnetwork.com

Khao Lak:
Evacuation Center
24 hr Diving Emergencies (66) 810819444
E-MAIL khaolak@sssnetwork.com

I travel mostly in Asia. Please click on the orange areas on the map below to reach the travelogs and descriptions of dive sites.

Map of southesast Asia and dive areas

I have visited many dive sites around Manado, Lembeh strait and Palu. This year (2002), on my fifth trip to Sulawesi I did a 2-week live-aboard trip to the Tukangbesi islands and Selayar and in summer a 1-week live-aboard trip to the Siau and Sangihe islands. Check out divesites in Bali and in Nusa Tenggara (Lombok, Komodo, Flores, Alor).

Disclaimer: In a emergency please ask the local dive center for confirmation of the information I provide here! I am not responsible for possible wrong telephone numbers, addresses or other information on this website. Your are using this information at your own risk.

. Copyright Teresa Zubi (write to me)
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for the contents of any sites linked to this website or any other off-site pages. Your linking is at your own risk.
Aus rechtlichen Gründen muss ich darauf hinweisen, dass ich keinen Einfluss auf den Inhalt und die Gestaltung aller auf dieser Website angebrachten Links haben und für deren Inhalt keine Verantwortung übernehmen.