The guidelines and recommendations herein were developed to aid persons in securing and maintain a chain of custody for man worn diving helmets, full face masks and associated equipment following a diving fatality or serious diving accident/incident so that a proper investigation can be conducted. It is imperative that all equipment be handled and secured properly to avoid loss or distortion of physical or objective evidence which could help identify the cause, factors, and / or influences leading to the accident /incident. Additionally, the guidelines and checklist are intended to aid in documenting the circumstances surrounding the accident to help aid any future detailed forensic examination, equipment testing, and investigation. If any portion of the form cannot be filled in for any reason, it should be noted why it cannot be filled in.
Note: All equipment the diver was wearing should be photographed and documented. All man worn articles including wet or dry suits and buoyancy compensators should be included as equipment to be inspected and possibly tested. It is strongly recommended that the manufacturer of the helmet or full face mask UBA or person designated by the manufacturer such as an authorized dealer / agent or qualified technician be present prior to any forensic equipment testing for proper inspection set-up prior to any performance, stability, or sealing integrity testing. Under no circumstances should the equipment be tested without qualified/trained persons present. Prior to any performance testing the UBA should be fully inspected and all post-dive/pre-dive checks performed by persons trained and qualified on the particular equipment.