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I recently refused to drop in the water when I was buddied up with an individual who was, in my opinion, to cocky for his (or anyone else's) good.
Although I'll admit I had not warmed to him, the final straw for me was when he started bragging about only having 170 bar in his tank (a full tank is 200 bar) as if this was something to be proud of. When I suggested he grabbed a full tank (there were plenty) he refused saying it wasn't necessary as he routinely breathed his air down to 10 bar.
I explained that only an idiot would willingly dive on a depleted tank, told him a couple of home truths and advised the DM that there was no way I was getting in the water with him as he was an accident that simply hadn't happened yet (figured I'd rather have my dive wrecked at the surface rather than at depth).
On the dive he apparently succeeded in executing an inverted buoyant ascent when he ditched his weights on the way down the line, before lying to the DM about his air usage and having to be assisted back to the line, cutting his and his buddies dive short by about 10 mins.
Has anyone else had a situation where they have refused to dive because their elected buddy was a concern... and if so, how did the dive school deal with it when that person reappeared the very next day booked to dive again?
Good choice not to dive with him--remember that part of the reserve air in his tank belongs to you. He was in essence telling you before the dive that he planned to breathe up all the air that you would need in case of an emergency.
My wife doesn't dive, so I rarely have a preplanned buddy when on vacation. Although I have had a number of less than stellar experiences with the many "insta-buddy" episodes of my life, I have never had one that I have ever refused to dive with, and I have never seen it happen to anyone else, either.
I have refused to dive with an insta buddy many years ago when he ran out of air after 25 mins on the first dive. Since then I have been very choosy about who I dive with and frequently dive solo with a pony as back up if conditions allow me to do that.
Learning who NOT to dive with is just as important as learning who to dive with.
You made the best choice, by your judgment and by what actually happened on the dive. I'm impressed that you had the self-control to cancel your dive because of some guy's attitude.
I've had one really dodgy insta-buddy who had a really shady attitude. We had gone through the entire dive plan, all the signals, and all the buddy issues/checks very very thoroughly before we got in, as I wanted to avoid any communication issues. In the water, the guy's buoyancy was horrid. Although we agreed that I'd lead (which I did very slowly), he constantly went the opposite direction for camera shots in mediocre visibility (losing me twice by going the other way). The cherry on top was when he didn't look at his air for a while and got low on air (I had asked him his air a few times already). He didn't bother informing his buddy or asking for my octo but shot straight up (something we discussed NOT to do). Funny part was that his tank was 40 cu ft larger than mine, and I still had 1300psi. Then he blamed me for everything in the end.
There were plenty of other issues with the guy. But I wish I had done what you did and not gone with such a horrid buddy. I just wanted to dive.
Good call. I'll dive with almost anyone ... but will find ways to avoid people who make me nervous about their attitude.
I normally travel with people I know, and so rarely have to deal with the dodgy types. But a few years back I encountered one in Bonaire who asked if we could buddy up ... being the only two on the boat who didn't have dive buddies. He was a German fellow, who seemed rather nice, so I said OK. I told him this was my third dive of the day, so I wanted to keep it relatively shallow ... 20 meters or less. He said "yah" and off we went. He immediately proceeded straight down the reef. At 20 meters, I signaled to level off. He signalled back OK and proceeded deeper. At 25 meters I tapped his arm and signaled to go back up a bit. He returned an OK, turned and continued downslope. At 30 meters I tapped him, pointed to myself, pointed up, waved good-bye, and proceeded back up to a shallower depth. As I watched, he turned and kept going down ... I think he eventually levelled out at about 40 meters. Meanwhile, I swam over to where the DM was showing some other divers a frogfish (at around 15 meters), and signaled that I was joining their group. The DM acknowledged and I proceeded to have a nice dive. About halfway through the dive, my erstwhile buddy joined us.
Back on the boat I told the DM I would not dive with that gentleman again. On a subsequent dive, when he asked me to buddy with him again I said "no" ... with no other explanation offered. None needed, to my concern. I'll happily dive with people who have poor skills and a good attitude ... but a buddy who willfully breaks a dive plan isn't someone I want to be in the the water with ...
It was just below freezing and snow was falling steadily. As we stepped toward that portal separating a cold and dreary world from the tranquility and wonder of another dimension teeming with life and color a passer-by shook his head and muttered "crazy". Poor fool. If he only knew. (Airsix)
Once. In Cayman Brac. While my wife and I were kitting up for a boat dive, another diver was trying to put his BC on the cylinder upside down! I helped him. Also showed him how to check his pressure. During our brief conversation he claimed to be experienced, but just seemed flaky. Later the DM asked us to let him buddy with us, and I refused. Another couple volunteered. After the dive, we heard they chased him to 150 feet and pulled him up. He sat out the rest of the week, claiming ear issues, but I think the DMs refused to let him dive again.
I did one time. On the first dive, my instabuddy ran out of air within 5 minutes of being in the water. I'm not kidding. He had on a 7 mil and couldn't descend. I don't know what he did with his air, but he must have breathing it on the boat. I had had a chance to dive with another group of three divers and had waited for this guy instead. He had to go back to the boat and I was sitting there alone in less than 10 feet of visibility with about 2500 psi. I couldn't see the other group because they were long gone. It was only my 13th dive and so I told the crew that I would be down below the stern practicing skills.
On the next dive, he did better, but he never would dive with me. I was down about 25 feet exploring a small canyon (crack) and he consistently stayed 10 feet above me and behind me. I constantly was looking for him. Again, he ran out of air early, but at least he lasted about 20 minutes this time. Because visibility was better there, I watched him go back to the boat (surface swim) and continued solo.
We had two more dives the next day. The other problem was that he never would gear up, or even suit up, until the DMs would say the pool was open. The rest of us would be standing at the stern ready to jump. The first dive I waited for him, probably 10 minutes, before he got his butt in the water. Again, he wouldn't stay by me and left me early. I was able to hook up with that other group.
On the final dive that day, the other group and I were in the water and looked up on the boat to see him just starting to put his wetsuit on. I said I was tired of "diving" with him and the others said, he's not being a buddy to you, come with us. So, we left him on the boat and I had the best dive of that weekend.
I have refused buddies before. I will pretty much dive with anyone on simple dives. However, on one dive I had someone who tried to change the plan underwater, lead the dive, take fresh out of OW divers down below 60 feet, and then simply forgot about all of us and split from us. This person surfaced with another diver both having 500psi left. They were approx 600 meters from shore. The idiot submerged, and ended up 700 meters away from their buddy who was surface swiming back to the shore. They had less then 200 psi remaining and were now down current from the exit. After the dive I informed them to not waste any precious air asking me to dive with them again as it would never happen.