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Basic Cave 18 mo or loose it?

Discussion in 'NSS-CDS: National Speleological Society - Cave Div' started by Veronica, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. DiveBandit

    DiveBandit Captain

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    DA- I agree with you, Although I think putting exp dates on Basic and intro cards is another attempt at legislating common sense, which never works out nearly as well as we'd like.
     
  2. battles2a5

    battles2a5 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
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    Much better to have our own community do it than the government.
     
  3. packman

    packman Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
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    After getting some dives under your belt and gaining a comfort level within the caves, the desire to push beyond your training becomes almost irresistible.
     
  4. DiveBandit

    DiveBandit Captain

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    What I'm saying is that if a diver is going to exceed his limits as a cave diver, do you really think he's going to pay any attention to an Exp. date on the back of the card he holds. Probably not.

    Making the problem worse is that since 95% of the caves out there do not have anybody checking cards before allowing divers in, you've created a rule that can't be enforced 95% of the time. The only people that an exp date helps is the certifying agencies, it helps them CYA.

    The only way to truely prevent this is to eliminate basic and intro and have people go from cavern to apprentice. Why even temp somebody with basic or intro. If they did that you might still have people diving at the apprentice level after they expire, but you'd have a whole lot less half trained cave divers doing full cave dives. Of course, due to politics and the loss of revenue, I doubt you'll ever see this happen.
     
  5. eandiver

    eandiver Solo Diver

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    I agree.
     
  6. battles2a5

    battles2a5 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
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    You have the same problem with Apprentice. The card expires. A an apprentice cave diver is no better prepared to do a circuit than an intro diver. If the system were perfect, we wouldn't need cards, cops, or anything else, people would just follow the rules. But we live in an imperfect world and the organization is addressing what they have identified as an issue. It puts pressure on people to finish their training which in my opinion in a good thing.

    In general, I think we need to separate certification from entitlement. A basic card does not mean you are fully qualified to dive any system to 1/6s, but that is the upper limit. Just like a full cave card doesn't make you qualified to dive circuits to 1/3s in any system. You have to build skills and progress to that level. Expiring cards forces instructor interaction and allows those instructors (the good ones anyway) to ensure those skills are being refined, limits are respected, and healthy attitudes towards cave diving are developing. Personally, I think a full cave card should be probationary until you get your Abe/Wakulla award.
     
  7. DA Aquamaster

    DA Aquamaster Directional Toast ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: NC
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    Way back in the day that was pretty much how it worked. The cave course required 21 dives fom basically zero to full cave. That required both the students and instructor to be available for 11 days if they limited it to 2 dives per day, or more reasonably two full weeks, or more realistically a few dives here and there over a month or two.

    Now, you essentially have 2 days and 4 dives for Cavern, 2 days and 4 dives for Intro and then 4 days and 8 dives for Full Cave that can be slpit into two parts with the Apprentice level in between. So now you can get from zero to Full Cave in basically 16 dives and you could do it on one 2 week shot, but not many people do it that way nor do many instructors recommend it.

    There is a great deal of benefit I think in taking it in two parts - four days for Cavern and Intro followed by four days for Full Cave a little later when the diver is ready to proceed. That allows the diver some time to absorb what was learned, practice the skills and get experience in caves under controlled circumstances (assuming they stay within the Intro limits). That puts them in a much better position to actually learn something new in the Full Cave course isntead of just being over loaded with new skills and experiences.

    Given the choice of having new cave divers who got to Full Cave in 2 weeks and 16 dives or in two parts of a year with the same 16 training dives and perhaps 20-50 dives in between the two course segments, I'd choose the latter.

    More importantly, any newly minted Cave diver needs to understand that having a Full Cave cert is just a license to continue learning - it does not mean you know it all nor does it mean you have all the skills and experience that may be required in some of the more challenging situations you could put yourself into if you do not dive the cert conservatively. In my opinion, the odds of a diver recognizing that are better after splitting the training into 2 segments with some experience in the middle.

    You could argue that Intro should be time limited and I think that makes sense. For the most part I think that most Intro divers regard it as a temporary condition, but I am not sure that is the case with as many GUE Cave 1 divers and it would make sense to have consistency between agencies.
     

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