Diving without Certification (A RANT)

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by JTH2711, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. JTH2711

    JTH2711 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: North Carolina
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    Alright, I have to get this off my chest!! I have a friend who decided to go diving without any certification. The guy that took him was a Tech Diver with over 250 dives. I told my friend that diving without a cert is a pretty big risk. He may try it and love but by never taking the class he doesn't know what he doesn't know. I'm pretty upset at the Tech diver, because a guy with his experience and training should have put the brakes on this.

    Am I making a big deal for no reason or do ave a point. No one here seems to think it is a big deal.
     
  2. JahJahwarrior

    JahJahwarrior Administrator Staff Member

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: West Palm Beach, Fl
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    You should provide more details. In the past there were no cards and people just figured it out. Diving without a certification doesn't have to mean diving without training. But, training makes diving much safer and I highly advocate training before diving.
     
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  3. chrpai

    chrpai Great White

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    Strictly speaking, sure, it's wrong. If I was you, would I give a rats? Hmmm, I don't know, I suppose it would depend a lot on what I know of both people.

    It's entirely possible that this tech diver is squared away and will spend some time in a safe confined water setting to teach the needed skills for an open water tour dive. I will say that there are a lot of people out there who were diving long before they ever got certified. However, those days are mostly long gone and I personally wouldn't take the liability like that.

    I don't know if you want to steer clear of this or not but you could go along to watch and politely ask questions from a newbie point of view if you feel something important wasn't discussed during the briefing. This way the tech diver doesn't feel challenged and he'll probably happily answer your questions. Even though you already know the answer it'll get it said out loud for the benefit of the trainee.
     
  4. NWGratefulDiver

    NWGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

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    First time I was ever on scuba gear was 11 years before I got certified. Back then I was into racing sailboats, and we had a guy on our crew who was into scuba diving. He had a bunch of extra gear and told me he could teach me everything I needed to know ... which consisted mostly of how to put the equipment together. We went to a lake in New Hampshire and went scuba diving in a cove. It was great fun, but we didn't go very deep ... he forgot to tell me how to equalize, so pain in my ears was a limiting factor.

    Once I decided to take a class I realized how much else he forgot to tell me ... like that little bit about not holding your breath ... :shocked2:

    Experience at doing something does not equate to ability to teach someone else how to do it ...

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
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  5. adurso

    adurso Blue Whale

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    My instruction was: never hold your breath, go down, pinch your nose and gently blow, swim around, when it gets hard to breathe pull the lever and come up. Never come up faster than your slowest bubble.

    We read books and listened to experienced divers.

    I bought a card in 78 because shops and boats were asking for them.

    Although there is a plethora of schools, agencies, and training available, it is not necessary.

    Does not a "discover scuba" experience not consist of the same instruction I worked from? Sans "pull the lever"...
     
  6. Rich Keller

    Rich Keller Great White

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    That is how I started. Bought a tank, reg and a book on how to use them in 1970. Got certified in 74 because shops started asking for cards. Being an experienced diver does not mean you are a good teacher though.
     
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  7. Jim Baldwin

    Jim Baldwin Scuba Instructor

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    Location: North Louisiana
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    I had a guy take the OW class a couple of years ago. He had been diving for over 20 years. He never did any dive travel just spearfished on a couple of lakes in Arkansas. Several of his buddies were certified and they would always run the tanks in to be filled. His buddies kept telling him he needed to get certified. Yeah I will one day.

    One weekend he was on the lake and needed air. The local dive shop at the lake refused since they didn't know him and of course no card. Really put a damper on the weekend. So he and his daughter who wanted to get certifed took a weekend class.

    After the class was over he came up to me and told me he actually learned some stuff he didn't know. Surprise. They went on their OW certifications and had no problems at all.

    Although I never ordered anything I remember seeing the old Dacor catalog at my hardware store. This was back in the day when things were in bins, hung on the wall, and you could walk in and buy rods, reels, shotguns and fishing baits, along with stove pipe and scrub boards.
     
  8. JTH2711

    JTH2711 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: North Carolina
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    Okay, Hold on just sec. This isnt 1970 (no disrespect). Both guys are under 30 of age. The friend is my brother-in-law. The tech diver is friend of his from work. My point is if he wanted to learn to dive he should have found an instructor. I have friends who are instructors who let me strap on a tank in their pool. This was not one of those instances.
     
  9. awap

    awap Giant Squid

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    All scuba divers go diving before they are certified.
     
  10. HowardE

    HowardE Tech Instructor

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    What kind of dive was it?

    Keep in mind, that PADI and other agencies offer a "DSD" - discover scuba diving "class" - which is a brief lecture, then they take people on a guided dive. So before you condemn everyone involved. What exactly did they do?

    I don't think anyone here is advocating unsupervised, uncertified diving, but many people get a taste of scuba without certification, which is not required by any law.
     
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  11. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many.

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    There really is not very much required to do a Discover Scuba, even in open water. You have to teach someone to clear their mask, do a reg recovery, and inflate their BCD -- and of course, talk about equalizing ears and not holding your breath. And, at the risk of sounding jaded and cynical, I suspect there are a lot of technical divers out there with better abilities to monitor AND control students than some certified instructors.

    I do think that taking a certification class is a good idea if one is going to continue to dive, but I don't have a distressed reaction to the idea of a good tech diver taking a friend for a quick swim somewhere on scuba. As a bit of an aside, the fellow whose name is on my OW card dove for three years before getting certified, and survived it ;)
     
  12. NE_SSI_Diver

    NE_SSI_Diver Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: New York
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    Yes, but they have taken the class and have learned the dangers of diving and how to avoid them. Without taking the class a diver might disregard the 30ft per minute accent rule and contract the bends.
     
  13. HowardE

    HowardE Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Boca Raton, Florida
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    But the OP stated the tech diver was supervising the dive, so I doubt (an assumption) the supervisor would let the diver just bolt for the surface, and probably mentioned that bolting to the surface is bad.
     
  14. awap

    awap Giant Squid

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    Location: Central TX
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    Have you ever wondered why children can be home schooled but scuba diver can't:confused:
     
  15. Peter Guy

    Peter Guy Moderator Staff Member

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    This IS a joke, right?

    To the OP -- Another one on the side of, "What's the big deal?" Especially if it was done under pretty controlled conditions.
     
  16. ianr33

    ianr33 Orca

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Wah Wah Land
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    Not sure where to start with that.
    The 30 ft per minute "rule" used to be 60 feet. Before that was probably no faster than your smallest bubbles rule. (before my time!) Doing a 30 foot dive I suspect it's essentially impossible to get bent no matter how fast you ascend (provided you don't hold your breath)
    A diver that has done the course might well disregard the 30 ft/minute rule. I'm sure that happens every day!

    I took a non certified friend diving maybe 15 years ago. She read all the books first. It went fine but I wouldn't do it again simply due to liability considerations.

    Some Instructors are great. Some suck.
     
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  17. Tfast78

    Tfast78 Divemaster Candidate

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    Depending on the person acting as the dive guide, what was covered in the pre-dive, and the location. There are some guys at work that are avid spear fishing divers (open water certs only) and they are taking someone new every weekend to "teach" them how to dive. What I don't like about they way they are doing it is that they take them spear fishing in 140 feet of water. They don't take them down to 140 feet, they stay above 80 feet as if that's a lot better. From what the new guys tell me they get a 5 minute talk and demo on the gear and 20 minutes on spear fishing prior to getting in the water. The "guides" don't stay close because they are spear fishing while on these dives. One guy even told me he was stalking a fish and ended up at 125 feet without knowing. Then when he was back to the boat he told the guys that his regulator was getting hard to breath out of, he had less than 100 psi in his tank. I don't like the way they compose these intros to diving at all. If they would bring them somewhere that the max depth is 60 feet and didn't let them spear fish I don't think it would be the end of the world (unless it is the end of someone's world). I dove a few time in "controlled environment" before I went for my certification. Like I said, it all depends on the people involved. I think if you are going to dive you should be certified by an agency. I've told them stuff a few times but apparently their dad has been doing it this way all their lives and they will too. Neither of them are rescue or CPR certified. SPOOKY!
     
  18. supergaijin

    supergaijin Scuba Instructor

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    Location: Indonesia
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    It really really really depends on the diver(s) in question.

    IMO a 'tech diver' with over 250 dives! isn't much to be teaching beginners, but it sounds like I'm in the minority here. A freshly minted instructor with PADI OTOH has a minimum of 100 dives...... and specific training in how to handle beginners. Which is better? Safer? Again, it really depends on the diver(s).

    BTW, my first dozen dives were all with my uncle when I was 15 or so. I grew up near the beach, had been in water surfing, snorkeling and fishing often. He'd been diving for donkey's (so I thought then). That is still often the case in NZ where people dive for crayfish and scallops often without 'professional 'training. Most survive, some don't.
     
  19. JTH2711

    JTH2711 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: North Carolina
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    It was on the coast. Apparently a shore dive of some sort. Again it just seems like a heck of a risk. It leaves me scratching my head. Yeah nothing happened, but it could have. I thought that, as divers, we needed to mitigate risk and call things out that don't seem quite right. Which is what I'm doing here. If I'm wrong, so be it and I'll shut-up. However, I feel I have a point.
     
  20. HowardE

    HowardE Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Boca Raton, Florida
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    You shouldn't shut up... By all means, share your opinion, and your experience.

    As divers we do have a responsibility to mitigate risk, and call things out. However... This probably isn't one of them.

    There isn't anything patently unsafe about taking an uncertified person on a shallow shore dive: given that the guide explains the basics of scuba diving, much like the DSD class as others (including myself) have stated. There ARE clear risks to letting someone without certification dive alone, with no instruction whatsoever, or the like.

    As you can see from this thread... the vast majority of experienced divers here agree that it wasn't necessarily unsafe. There are mitigating factors, which are still not totally clear.

    As a certified diver, perhaps you should have observed what was being explained to the people who were being guided to ensure the dives were being guided in a safe manner. This would be a better way to mitigate the risk, instead of just calling foul, when no foul may have occurred.
     
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