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Thread: How serious a screw-up was this?

 


  1. #131
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    Rhone Man's Avatar
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    This thread reminds me of a very sobering story reported (amongst other places) in Deep Descent by Kevin McMurray.

    Whilst I forget the diver's name, he was one of the hard core wreck divers from the Northeast, and his big thing was that he was the diver who always wanted to splash first. As with many searious divers in that community, he dived laden with gear, including doubles and various tools to remove any artifacts that he might find attached to a wreck.

    On the fateful day, he geared up, staggered to the back of the boat, waved cheerily to the slowpokes and splashed in. The end of the dive comes and he has not resurfaced. A frantic search of the wreck later ensues. The diver cannot be found. Eventually, after widening the search circle, they find his body directly under the boat. Drowned. His gas was turned off. He sank like a stone under the weight of all his gear, and was unable to deploy his bouyancy or breathe.

    I like to tell that story on dive boats during surface intervals. People religiously check their gas before the second dive after hearing it.
    Rhone Man
    British Virgin Islands

    Sterling Divers - saluting the pioneers of modern technical diving.

    British Virgin Islands diving guide on WikiTravel - written mostly by me.

    [Life] ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” — Sylvester Stallone - Rocky Balboa (2006)

  2. #132
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    flots am's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomfcrist View Post
    But your inability to admit that you are mistaken about the level of liability that the DM has in a case like this is freaking hilarious.
    Liability is only relevant for the diver's heirs and their attorney.

    Other than that, "dead is dead"

    flots.

  3. #133
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    flots am's Avatar
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    1. Are there ANY RESPONSIBILITIES that newly certified divers can truly rely upon DMs for, outside of abiding by applicable criminal and Coast Guard statutes?

    No. Also, I rarely encounter a DM (in the trational sense of "setup your gear" and "guide" the dive) in the US. Outside the US, the US Coast Guard doesn't have jurisdiction and criminal law varies, so there is really nothing anybody can "count on".

    2. If DMs and operators are always given a "pass" by so many of their colleagues and their training agency, how do you square that with the many reports of irresponsible instructors who award certifications to incompetent students?

    They don't need to be reconciled with each other, they need to be fixed. From my perspective, "DM" shouldn't exist. Anybody who needs someone to lead the dive, needs to be back in class. Instructors certifying students that aren't qualified to dive with just a buddy need to be dropped.

    3. Is there ANY failing a DM could make with an already certified diver that you believe creates a liability? Examples?

    Aside from an active attack, there really isn't anything. A diver who professes to be qualified for a dive has made their own bed.

    4. Does a document exist that details a DM's minimum obligations for already certified divers? (Obligations that their agency and underwriter agree to accept liability for.)

    Outside of training, there isn't anything I'm aware of.

    5. Should new divers be trained to a level such that DMs are irrelevant?

    Absolutely. We're "supposed" to have that right now, in "Open Water Diver"

    flots

  4. #134
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    jupitermermaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shake-and-bake View Post
    I completely understand that it's the diver's responsibility to make sure everything's right before s/he hits the water, and I made damn sure I was good to go. I went in first, so I don't know what he did. But I gotta say, this boat crew seemed to take on the responsibility. It was like: "we're at the site, here's your rig, buckle up and go.". I went through my drill, but I felt under some pressure to hurry up and go. Is this common?
    I dont know what your experience was, but where I am, we give a 10 minute heads up for people to make sure all their gear is set, they are rigged and ready to jump in the water. The crew is in no way responsible if things happen within those 10 minutes that the customers do not address or ask assistance. Where does self reliance lay, or the responsibility of the individual diver to ask for help or assistance during the time alloted to gear up for the dive? cua drift dive, it's imperitive that divers are ready to drop into the water at a certain time due to the current. We allow people extra time if they need it, but they need to let us know they are not ready. You should feel no pressure if you are communicating with the DM and let him/her know you need more time to get ready.
    I have given up the struggle of trying to make a living in pursuit to that of building a life I enjoy.
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  5. #135
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    jupitermermaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flots am View Post
    1. Are there ANY RESPONSIBILITIES that newly certified divers can truly rely upon DMs for, outside of abiding by applicable criminal and Coast Guard statutes?
    Yes, DM's can point out creatures and points of interest that the otherwise divers might not be aware of.
    No. Also, I rarely encounter a DM (in the trational sense of "setup your gear" and "guide" the dive) in the US. Outside the US, the US Coast Guard doesn't have jurisdiction and criminal law varies, so there is really nothing anybody can "count on".

    2. If DMs and operators are always given a "pass" by so many of their colleagues and their training agency, how do you square that with the many reports of irresponsible instructors who award certifications to incompetent students?
    Unfortunatly, as long as students can perform the skills required by the certifying agency during the check-out dive, they are deemed "certifiable" and get the "C" card, whether they are safe divers or not.

    They don't need to be reconciled with each other, they need to be fixed. From my perspective, "DM" shouldn't exist. Anybody who needs someone to lead the dive, needs to be back in class. Instructors certifying students that aren't qualified to dive with just a buddy need to be dropped.
    DM's are valuable to point out areas of interest and know where creatures hang out to point out to divers who are not aware of the area. Photographers especially enjoy having a DM to point out the little (and big) stuff they would otherwise miss.

    3. Is there ANY failing a DM could make with an already certified diver that you believe creates a liability? Examples? No.

    Aside from an active attack, there really isn't anything. A diver who professes to be qualified for a dive has made their own bed.

    4. Does a document exist that details a DM's minimum obligations for already certified divers? (Obligations that their agency and underwriter agree to accept liability for.)

    Outside of training, there isn't anything I'm aware of.

    5. Should new divers be trained to a level such that DMs are irrelevant?

    Absolutely. We're "supposed" to have that right now, in "Open Water Diver
    flots
    That I agree with. All new divers should be trained to be able to handle any event they should happen upon. Unfortunatley, there are so many skills that need to be addressed that an OW student just cannot comprehend. Expereience and more education leads one to more understanding of the fact we need to know more about diving. The more we know, the more we know we don't know.
    I have given up the struggle of trying to make a living in pursuit to that of building a life I enjoy.
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  6. #136
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    Belce's Avatar
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    Speaking as a DM, you are wrong Flots

    Your post does not relate to the job and or the benfits that DM provides on any dive from beginning instruction to guiding experienced divers to whatever.
    We have such sights to show you.
    Diving Vancouver Island, one of the best places to dive in the world

  7. #137
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    JonKranhouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belce View Post
    Speaking as a DM, you are wrong Flots....
    Belce,

    Flots made a number of statements - could you please be more specific with your objections?

    Also, your feedback on the questions from my prior post would be most helpful to this important discussion (note I've made an edit below):

    Quote Originally Posted by JonKranhouse View Post
    Are DMs ALWAYS above liability RE already-certified divers?

    I have a few questions - but first to recap some facts and opinions:
    Dive pros know that "certifications" and "community standards of care" are used as a teflon liability shield; dive industry defense attorneys and agency execs teach dive pros how to use the "shield" during risk management seminars. These RM seminars emphasize to dive pros the importance of learning and obeying the standards of care of your respective agency and RTSC during training (if your agency is a RTSC member). I'm not aware of any published standards of care for DMs regarding already certified divers.

    This and other threads debate the responsibilities of DMs in many different circumstances. The consensus of many dive pros across all these threads implies that there's virtually no limit to how incompetent or egregious a DM's failings can be against an already certified OW diver, short of assault or battery (i.e. something covered by local criminal statutes), because ALL fault/blame ultimately rests with the already-certified diver (who should take responsibility for him or her self). Even abandonments at sea have been debated as being the fault of already certified divers.

    Questions (for dive pros who think plaintiff lawyers are always thieves, no matter the facts of the case):
    1. Are there ANY RESPONSIBILITIES that newly certified divers can truly rely upon DMs for, outside of abiding by applicable criminal and Coast Guard statutes?

    2. If DMs and operators are always given a "pass" by so many of their colleagues and their training agency, how do you square that with the many reports of irresponsible instructors who award certifications to incompetent students?

    3. Is there ANY failing a DM could make with an already certified diver that you believe creates a liability? Examples?
    (Questions for everybody):
    4. Does a document exist that details a DM's minimum obligations for already certified divers? (Obligations that their agency and underwriter agree to accept liability for.)

    5. Should new divers be trained to a level such that DMs are irrelevant (besides the role that DMs play during training, to assist instructors)?
    Best regards + Safe & FUN diving,
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