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Collapse of the "Buddy System"

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by CAPTAIN SINBAD, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    The degree to which it as emphasized in your OW class was very much influenced by the practices of your individual instructor. Someone being certified at the same location at the same time might have had a different experience.

    Although it is obviously too soon to make a difference in the current world of diving, the new standards and procedures PADI is introducing this year into OW instruction greatly increase the emphasis on the buddy system, both in the CW instruction and the OW requirements. This is part of a number of changes based on their joint research with DAN that revealed that the number one preventable cause of a dive fatality (as opposed to, say, a sudden cardiac event) is initiated by a diver going OOA without an alternate air source (like a buddy) nearby.
  2. DeepSeaExplorer

    DeepSeaExplorer Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Cave Country
    That never occurred to me... When I was cross-country skiing in Yosemite, I lost a ski and it went down into a deep snow well around a tree. I climbed down in and climbed back out. It was difficult and I was covered in snow by the time I got out, but it never occurred to me that it was in any way dangerous. One thing's for sure, it was more difficult than I thought it would be.
  3. captain

    captain Captain

    Two solo trained divers diving as buddies are safer than two insta buddy divers. Should the two solo divers get separated they are at less risk than the same happening to the insta buddies.
    Kharon likes this.

    CAPTAIN SINBAD Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Woodbridge VA
    I totally believe the folks who say that they have had good buddies and pre-dive communication is also a factor in how good your buddy experience will be. Yet after reading these replies I am convinced that there is a significant percentage out there that confirms the neglect of the buddy protocols, be they due to lack of pre-dive communication or due to post-splash negligence.

    I am thinking what is the problem in integrating the use of pony bottles in AOW training? This does not need to be taught as a "solo-diver" course. If the use of pony bottles could be offered as one of the optional specialties (if not a compulsory one like deep and navigation) then would we not be addressing the safety gap here?
  5. cgvmer

    cgvmer Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Jersey
    I was just reading this thread and was thinking back to the Handicapped Scuba Buddy course I just completed this weekend.

    What is involved with being a handicapped scuba buddy, is totally dependent on the particular needs of the Handicapped dive your diving with, but the training included taking a quadriplegic diving. You learn total to be totally dependent on your buddy requiring that they equalize, return a dropped regulator, move. As a buddy, I must be ready to do that, there are other levels, and loss of sight single limb etc.

    So what I'm suggesting is the buddy system isn't dead, but it must be trained and practiced and formalized like any other skill.
    They call me Tater and TSandM like this.
  6. BRT

    BRT not a soft touch ScubaBoard Supporter

    I almost always (maybe 3 or 4 exceptions in 29 years) dive with a buddy. My buddy is usually my wife. She usually stays very close to me. She also lets me lead a little. If I have a problem she will probably know. If she has a problem I will likely know only if she grabs me or I hear her clang her tank or blow her noisemaker. Reality is that masks create tunnel vision and I must turn physically around to see her. This doesn't get done every 30 seconds. If she goes OOA and I am swimming away should she find her flashlight and bang her tank? Should she chase me down? Should she wait for me to look around? None of these are good options. In the PNW many days if she got entangled and I swam for 10 seconds before I looked back I wouldn't be able to see her. I made a turn once and lost her. I could hear her banging her tank like she was next to me but I never found her till we went up. There may be some of you who are such good buddies that you face each other all the time but the videos that I watch tell me that other divers do not spend all their time looking at their buddies. I don't think the buddy system is dead, I just think it never was what it was cracked up to be.
  7. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    In low vis you modify the procedures to dive elbow to elbow. You slow down and match the pace of the slowest diver. If one finds them constantly looking back to see where their buddy is, slow down. Not hard to do.
    TSandM likes this.
  8. PfcAJ

    PfcAJ Orca

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: St Petersburg, Fl
    Idk, I'm certainly not an ocean guru but I've hot dropped a few times and been able to stick with my buddy.

    It sounds like the group left you in your example :(
  9. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
  10. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    It's not tunnel vision. It poor buddy positioning. Easy to fix by staying in a good line. No more than a 1/4 turn of the head to see where your buddy is. If that.

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