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Bali: Beware

Discussion in 'Accidents and Incidents' started by naga, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. naga

    naga Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Brasil
    As in any tourist/dive meccca, there are good and bad operators; please read below and judge for yourself.

    Diving company in the spotlight over Czech woman's disappearance [FONT=Arial, Helvetica]
    Prodita Sabarini,

    The Jakarta Post, Denpasar

    Rescuers questioned Monday the decision of a diving company to allow an inexperienced 41-year-old Czech woman to dive in challenging waters off Bali.

    The search for Milea Bauerova, who has been missing since heading off on a diving trip from Nusa Penida on Friday, reached the end of its fourth day Monday. Continuous efforts by the Denpasar Search and Rescue team have yielded no results.

    Famous for its diving sites, Nusa Penida is the largest of a group of three islands located some 20 kilometers off Bali's southeast coast.

    Putu Suardana from the Denpasar Search and Rescue team said Monday that the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency had already warned of rough seas throughout July and August in Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan.

    "I don't know why the diving company ignored the warning and (I don't know) on what assumptions they saw it was safe to take divers to that site," he said.

    Denpasar Search and Rescue team head I Ketut Parwa said rough conditions had hindered the search for the woman.
    "The situation is difficult because there is a strong current, with high waves and strong winds," he said.

    The team plans to continue searching for one week. "We will then evaluate whether we should continue the search or not," Ketut said.

    The woman was diving Friday with MM Divers, a diving company run by a Czech couple, Milan and Monica Jeglikova. Bauerova dived at the Blue Corner dive site, located off the point of Nusa Lembongan, a long and thin island to the north-west of Nusa Penida.

    Rival diving company Bali International Diving Professionals have classified Blue Corner an advanced dive site.

    World Diving Club manager Sue Beebe, who helped initiate search efforts for the woman, stressed that the site was for experienced divers who had gone on at least 100 dives.

    She questioned the judgment of instructors from MM Divers in allowing an inexperienced diver to go alone at the site, which is known for its strong currents.
    Bauerova reportedly had gone on 40 dives and was "buddying" with a junior diver who was no older than 15 years of age. "Apparently the instructor had thought that the woman who had gone missing had surfaced with others in the group," Beebe said in an email sent to The Jakarta Post.

    Beebe said MM Divers had not suspended business during the search and had taken guests out on Sunday and Monday "and were once again taking divers to the very same site at Blue Corner".

    Beebe said MM Divers had contacted her in November last year to help with the search for two divers who were later found dead in a similar incident off Bali.
    The owners of MM Divers had not replied to enquiries from the Post as of deadline last night.

    Bali Police spokesman Sr. Comr. A.S. Reniban said police were questioning witnesses in the woman's disappearance but had not named suspects. "We're still investigating whether there have been violations of the Criminal Code," he said.
    Putu Suardana said that this was the fifth diving disappearance since 2006, the majority of which occurred off Nusa Penida.

    Beebe said diving is a safe sport if proper precautions are taken and divers' skill levels are catered for.
  2. Aelvin

    Aelvin Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Hope they can find the missing woman.

    MM divers shouldnt be in this business if they only care about making money.. reading this kind of news makes my blood boils.
  3. Saturation

    Saturation Medical Moderator

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Philadelphia, PA
    In the end, it is neither the dive shop, dive charter, nor the dive professionals who are in charge, it is the diver. Divers are not pushed into the water, they choose to dive in.

    Some liability occurs if the diver pays for a guide, but the guide is not there to rescue a diver from their customer's lack of skill.
  4. emcbride81

    emcbride81 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Winchester, Virginia, United States
    I agree with you on this, however, we all know that inexperienced divers tend to follow the advice/recommendations of the dive op. I know that my first few dives I only paid attention to my air levels... not time, depth etc. I think that, even though it is a mistake, new divers put all faith in the crew to make sure that they are safe. If MM said it was ok to dive that day, that diver took them on full faith.

    Like I said, I agree it is ultimatley the diver's reponsibility, but the dive op is not without some blame.
  5. Jeff Toorish

    Jeff Toorish Instructor, Scuba

    On one level, this is, of course, true. And I'm sure we all agree once a diver is certified he or she assumes the responsibility for their own diving.

    However, and it's a significant however, many people on this board, myself included, believe that basic open water certification is often lacking. Simply put, an open water diver with relatively little experience may not have enough information to make a truly informed decision.

    Without doubt, many of us have been in situations where someone was completely willing to dive far beyond their experience level, basing that willingness on ignorance.

    There is a reason experienced divers confer with locals before making the decision to dive at a specific location --something that is highly recommended. Most likely no one pushed this woman out of the boat, but by the same token, no one was holding a gun to the heads these operators forcing them to take the woman to the dive location.

    While I do believe divers are responsible for their own diving, I also believe dive professionals have a responsibility to ensure that ignorant divers don't err.

  6. JMD123

    JMD123 Nassau Grouper

    Just knowing that this operator continued diving days after one of their diver was missing says it all. That boat should have been searching for the missing diver.
  7. Steven Kingston

    Steven Kingston Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Kingston, Canada
    How many "divers" can fly half-way around the word, take an boat ride to an brand new spot;take 5 minutes to look at the sky and water and know what the depth, temp, vis, bottom type and currents are? And then determine it is too dangerous?

    Anyone calling themselves "dive charters" and "dive professionals'" should be able to provide good info for a site and an evaluation of the site. They should be able to provide recommendations for novice divers. Has anyone every paid for a charter where they did not get a dive briefing and a site summary? If dive professionals give bad information and a diver goes in, is that the diver's fault? In reality when diving on a trip, divers are really judging the character of the "dive charter" and "dive professional" not the conditions.

    What kind of person take a beginner to an advanced site and lets them dive?

  8. JMD123

    JMD123 Nassau Grouper


    Very well said. Its not reasonable to expect a begining or novice diver to be able to evaluate conditions soley on his/her observations. Local knoledge and its acuracy are key.
  9. pakman

    pakman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Hong Kong via Seattle
    Jeeze, 3 divers dead/ missing within 1 yr? Umm... think I'll pass on MM Divers... :eek:
  10. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas High Plains
    We do not know how the Dive Op described the site, nor what the divers were asking for when they booked with this Op. Hypothetically, the divers could be asking for the challenging sites, not willing to settle for safer sites.

    While it is the Op's responsibility to give local information, it is indeed the diver's responsibility to make prudent decisions on whether to book the adventure trip or not.

    A very safe Op might say: "Have you ever dived to 100 ft before? No, then you never should."

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