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Boat diving.Do we have it all wrong?!

Discussion in 'Technical Diving Specialties' started by jale, Jul 3, 2020.

  1. JonG1

    JonG1 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Glossop UK
    Even with a liberal schedule a PFO could shunt under load, or a lung shunt can open. I managed to diagnose my PFO after years of diving by climbing the dock ladder in doubles at low tide when we arrived back in harbour. Within 30 minutes I was en route to the chamber on a Wessex, barely able to see.
  2. JimBlay

    JimBlay Divin' Papaw ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Boca Raton FL & Bonita Springs FL
    Dumping gear IN AN EMERGENCY is a valid point. Assuming the diver is able to climb the ladder without gear and assuming they have the mental fortitude to dump their gear ... cool. But what if that’s not the case? Is everyone who is now at risk to save this diver who cannot get back in the boat in full agreement with that risk???
  3. Wookie

    Wookie Secret Field Agent ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    How could I possibly have known what boat or what diver.
    macado, ChuckP and chillyinCanada like this.
  4. wstorms

    wstorms ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Netherlands
    The problem with blanket statements like that is that you can always find an example that disproves the statement. In the end, it's all a matter of balance between personal responsibility, professional responsibility (and liability), business model and reason.
    From a personal responsibility point of view it is all about what you find acceptable risk, and what you are willing to do to ensure sufficient risk mitigation. This can be achieved by improving education, equipment and experience when necessary, but also by arranging sufficient support around you (think about getting support divers to shuttle stages for example).
    As a dive professional, you inherit some of the clients personal responsibility. It is your job to do your absolute best to ensure the client's safety. This also means you can draw a line in the sand if needed. Unfortunately, there is a conflict of interest between telling clients "no you cannot do that" and the business reality of the dive operator. After all, you don't get too many new or returning clients if all you do is tell them "no" all the time.
    The thing connecting all these factors is usually money. Clients want to hold on to it as much as possible, dive operators want to get as much as possible (and often that includes doing as little as possible to get it). Somewhere in the middle is reason. If you can find a reasonable price for everybody, and everybody is able to deliver either payment or service while smiling, you can find the required balance.

    I used to work with a woman who booked trydive after trydive. She had several health issues, both physically and mentally. This is a woman that struggled with pretty much every aspect of daily live, but still had diving as a hobby. She was so happy and grateful to do the same little trydive of the beach over and over again. When she did it for the 100th time (that is one hundred pretty much identical try dives!) we had a cake and some drinks afterwards.
    She always paid the extra charge for the one on one supervision she required, so the business side was covered (I am sure we have given her some discount here and there, but it wasn't charity either).
    However, despite the gratefulness, diving with her was a challenge for me (and many others of the team) as an instructor. Her personality and behavior could change suddenly, she might display panic / sheer joy / random tears / huge smiles within 5 minutes. She would require hand holding from time to time, but when you would hold her hand she had episodes were her hand would really cramp up making it pretty much impossible for her to let go. A lot of the skills were pretty much impossible for her to do. She had really good days and really bad days. Needless to say she wasn't everybody's favorite client (although everybody loved her on land). Over time, her, another instructor and me worked out that a lot of her issues were triggered instead of random. Triggers were often based in a lack of self confidence. For example, her buoyancy was normally pretty good, but it would happen she was distracted by something and hit a sloping bottom.If you left her to it, she would ultimately correct it on her own, but if you would ask her to stabilize, she would doubt her own abilities and that would trigger some sort of response.
    She was very aware of her limitations, and was really flabbergasted when we suggested to actually give her some more formal training. We started working with her, specifically targeted to increase her self confidence. In about 2-3 weeks, she was certified as a Scuba Diver (entry level PADI diver where you are not allowed to dive without a professional) by the other instructor. He worked really hard with her to get her there, and she did great. She completely utterly loved it and couldn't believe she actually did it. Now don't get me wrong, Scuba Diver was the limit at that point. OWD was simply not possible, because she couldn't meet certain performance requirements. She was unable to get out of the water on her own, and if the sea was anything but flat, she couldn't dive from the boat at all.
    We managed to help a severely limited woman to dive on her own, without holding hands, from the boat if conditions allowed, and really really enjoy it. We did it in a way that worked for everybody; her personal limits were respected, as were the limits of the staff, and the financial side was covered as well. Even though I am not the one who eventually certified her (I would have), I helped in her training and it is still one of the most rewarding teaching experiences I've had.
    eleniel, Kmart921, lv2dive and 26 others like this.
  5. Scraps

    Scraps ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida
    I've never had tech divers on the dive charters I've worked, but I often encourage recreational divers to accept help if their girth or apparent fitness level suggest that it would be better for them not to exert themselves, especially at the end of their second dive if they struggled up the ladder after the first dive.

    For me, it's a matter of customer service and preventive assistance. I'll never know if I prevented a medical emergency, but people do tend to appreciate it. Also, stout men whom I persuade that there's no shame in doffing their gear in the water and letting me haul it up do tend to tip well.
    eleniel, lv2dive, ChuckP and 3 others like this.
  6. loosenit2

    loosenit2 si respiratio sub aqua amet ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Texas
    I don't think we can forget that the configuration of the boat matters too. If you are on a boat with a ladder in which the first step is shallow (6" to 1ft) below the surface it is much harder to get up then it is with a large ladder that goes a few feet below the water line. I'm sure we have all been on big boats with double wide ladders that felt more like escalators than ladders.

    There are ways to minimize injuries on folks pulling up stage bottles/gear too, it does not have to be done by hand with the individual lifting something that starts below his feet (risk of injury high); simply slinging a rope around the valve allows someone to pull up a stage bottle using their legs and arms, therefore reducing the risk of injury.

    I've read most of the thread that led to this spin-off and I suspect there is much much more to that particular story.
    markmud likes this.
  7. JimBlay

    JimBlay Divin' Papaw ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Boca Raton FL & Bonita Springs FL
    But there needs to be a starting point doesn't there? A base standard? That was the intent of my ‘blanket statement’.

    Otherwise you’re just making it up as you go along for every single person in every situation.

    Keep in mind that I’m just a diver. I’m not a charter boat captain, I’m not a dive instructor, I’m not a crew member on a charter boat. I’m expressing my opinion as an experienced diver. Take it for what it’s worth which is nothing. Just my opinion.
    markmud and Boston Breakwater like this.
  8. PfcAJ

    PfcAJ Orca

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: St Petersburg, Fl
    I think you should be able to get back on the boat with your main tanks/ rebreather. If it’s rough out give me a hand though. Normal human stuff.

    It isn’t realistic to clamber up with deco, stages, scooter, camera, etc.
  9. wstorms

    wstorms ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Netherlands
    Agreed, and arguably that starting point is in the industry standards, either diving or boating.
    You never dived before? The expectation is you do a try dive or an entry level course. It is unreasonable to expect somebody who never dived before to dive to 200 meter on a rebreather on the first go. You are an experienced diver? The expectation is that you are totally self reliant. The industry standards work in 99.999% of the cases, but not always.
    The problem is that black / white lines get drawn, were in reality it's more of a grey scale. If you are doing serious dives, it is reasonable you have serious fitness (health / safety / simply a result of experience). And if you have that level of fitness anyway, is is not simply reasonable to climb back on board without bothering the crew (limiting costs for everybody / sparing crew)?
    All these concerns are valid on their own, but impossible to weigh against each other as an outsider. There is no cookiecut answer, and what is acceptable to all, will be different from day to day depending on a lot of circumstances.
    The base standard you refer to, is an example of bouncing between a grey area and a black / white line. There is no performance requirement I know of that requires you to climb a ladder while carrying all kit. There is however a performance requirement to enter deep water in a safe manner. There are common ways to achieve that requirement, like taking a giant stride. The black / white line is getting into the water safely. The grey area is how you do that; if you can't do a giant stride (because you have an unusual number of legs?), you might be able to roll. In a more absurd scenario; if you are sitting on a inflatable banana that is craned of the boat you can still meet the requirement.
    There are many ways of doing stuff, that still can produce the desired result: a safe and pleasant dive for everybody.
  10. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    Getting on a boat with full gear has nothing to do with anything you are doing in the water during a dive. It is not a dive safety issue.

    Yes, I am strong enough and fit enough to climb a typical boat ladder with doubles and a couple deco bottles, but I would much rather hand up the bottles first. The dive boats I have used in the past have dive crews that are happy to do that sort of thing. In fact, they have always expected to perform that service, reaching down from the deck to get your gear before you offer it. I appreciate it, and I would probably not use an operator again if that kind of service were not provided.
    eleniel, ChuckP, Mod63 and 11 others like this.

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