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Thread: DM ? what's the role of a Dive master


  1. #1

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    DM ? what's the role of a Dive master

    there was just a discussion about the roll of a dive master (An uncomfortable situation, Your opinions please) and it made me wonder what do we as divers see as the roll of a dive master. there are the padi,or naui or other suggested roles. but when out diving in a new place what do we expect from a dive master?

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    The DM's primary role is to anticipate the needs of the instructor. They are used to help with classes and checkout dives.

    Now if you are talking about on a boat then I want them to give me a good briefing of the site, maybe tie in to wreck or buoy, keep their hands off of my gear and especially my air supply, and assist divers getting back on the boat. I prefer them to not be in the water expecting me to follow them unless I specifically hire one for that purpose. They are not there to keep anyone safe or plan dives. Each diver is responsible for that on their own.

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    Well, it depends on where I am diving.

    Around here, DMs don't dive. They're on the boats and help people gear up, and help you out of the water, and they bake breadsticks

    In places where DMs get in the water, I expect them to know where the most interesting things are found, and to help spot critters. I do expect the captain and DM to recognize diving hazards in the various sites, and to apprise me of them.

    I do not expect a DM to monitor my gas, help me with my buoyancy, or serve as my buddy. I do not expect him or her to help me solve any problems I encounter while I am diving -- that is my buddy's role. I WILL let a DM tow a float, because that's a nuisance I'd rather not deal with
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    Quote Originally Posted by eternaljonah View Post
    there was just a discussion about the roll of a dive master (An uncomfortable situation, Your opinions please) and it made me wonder what do we as divers see as the roll of a dive master. there are the padi,or naui or other suggested roles. but when out diving in a new place what do we expect from a dive master?
    The papers your instructor signed when you received your C-Card, said that you were qualified to dive without anything more than a similarly qualified buddy.

    While people's expectations of DMs vary wildly, if the diver needs a DM for more than pointing out where the cool stuff is hiding, the diver doesn't belong on the dive. This isn't an insult, it's reality. If you can't take care of yourself on a dive, you're just rolling the dice.

    The DM's role causes a lot of confusion and disagreement because it's rarely defined well, and even when it is, there's no guarantee that he's willing or able to provide the defined or implied services at the level the diver expects or needs.

    Last edited by flots am; April 11th, 2012 at 12:49 PM.

  6. #6

    5 knot spearo

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    DM is a guide and a helping hand to familiarize you of the dive sites your about to dive. Also can be wealth of info on local history. Other than that you can request what more you want, for instance help with gear or gear issues, boat exit and entry, to what ever you request in aide of your diving.

    They are not instructing you as a paid class, instructors that are DM's have no responsibility of you. If you are paying an Inst/DM for a class then they have responsibility of you for that particular dive.

    For instance if you do a refresher course and do first dive, after debriefing of that dive, and you do a second dive he is not responsible for you, as he is guiding you on the second dive.

    Now I believe a DM can perform a refresher course, so it is the same, as with any thing else a DM can now teach.

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    I think it's a very regional thing.

    When I was doing divemaster DM's were primarily used by instructors to keep track of students, set float tubes, carry stuff, assist students in set up, go along and make sure everyone's air was on, help people in and out of the surf, etc. Basically free slave labor for the instructors.
    Most of us just got into DM for the comeraderie and to stay in "the loop". I don't know of one person that I was associated with that actually went to work as an actual DM for pay (as low as it might be). It seems the internships in my neck of the woods can drag out for years, and a lot of people get fed up and just quit figuring 'what's the point'.

    It might be different in tropical destinations where they need people to lead tourist dives etc. but around here the only place remotely resembling a DM position might be the dive boats in Monterey, or a dive shop DM that might lead a personal tour of a Monterey/ Carmel shore dive. I'm three hours north from Monterey Penninsula and there ain't squat up here, you're on your own.
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    Whatever the role of a DM may be regionally, it should be clearly discussed whenever the DM is entering the water with a group of divers who are paying that DM, so that everyone is one the same page. This might help avoid unpleasant surprises.
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  9. #9

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    think "guide" rather than "guard"....

  10. #10
    dfx is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by flots am View Post
    The papers your instructor signed when you received your C-Card, said that you were qualified to dive without anything more than a similarly qualified buddy.
    That's exactly my thinking. In the first OWD course I did, there wasn't even a mention of a DM or what their role would be. (Or maybe there was and they had a different name for it, not sure - the course was in German.) So the whole DM talk in the second course I did came as a bit of a surprise. What is that strange being called a DM? And what do they do? It became clear at the checkout dives: they give a briefing, keep a general eye on the group, make sure everybody gets back out ok, but don't necessarily get in the water.
    xdjio likes this.

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