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Dan - Human error in diving

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by EastEndDiver, May 2, 2012.

  1. Teamcasa

    Teamcasa Sr. Moderator ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Near Pasadena, CA
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    Indulge me Thal as I attempt to abbreviate both your post and Dan's article.

    Most diving accidents are you own fault. If you don't want to experience this first hand, strive to be a better diver.
     
    merxlin likes this.
  2. Hatul

    Hatul Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tustin, California, United States
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    I wonder how they define human error. If someone has a heart attack is that human error or what? I would think in some cases it's clear whether it's human error or now but in many it's a gray area.

    A common problem in dive accidents I read is failure to monitor gas supply, which is an obvious human error. Another which is usually a compounding issue on top of another problem is buddy separation.

    The 88% accident rate in first dives of a trip are interesting, but I would like this to go one step further and break it down to human error, equipment problems, medical issues etc. It's hard to know what this means.
     
  3. Thalassamania

    Thalassamania Diving Polymath ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
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    I guess I don't find PADI's "Statement of Safe Diving Practices" creditable since a significant number of their graduates do not appear to have sufficient knowledge or skill imparted to them to either understand what is being required or to competently perform the identified skill.

    "Checkouts" and workup dives are a really good idea.
    Few entry level divers are taught anything about effective gas management or emergency ascent. That's a deadly cocktail the injuries and deaths resulting are not all the diver's fault.
    That's my point, people, by and large, are not taught that diving can be deadly, they are taught how safe it is, and they are not equipped with the skills, taught and trained to the level required to be useful in an emergency.
    Yup!
     
    AfterDark likes this.
  4. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace

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    Lack of gas management contributes to putting divers in situations where they will run low on gas . . . but running OUT of gas is bad monitoring or bad judgment. How many threads have we read where divers have signaled the dive guide that they were low on gas, and the guide continues the dive, and the diver FOLLOWS him? The argument that people make when forced to sit through a gas management lecture, that if they just monitor their gauges they'll be fine, has some merit.

    As anyone who knows me knows, I don't have a high opinion of mainstream dive education. But we ARE taught to do buddy checks; we ARE taught to stay out of overheads, we ARE (or at least should be, by agency standards) taught to monitor our gauges. And, since gas is a finite resource, staying underwater and watching it disappear is definitely a judgment problem.

    One of the great things about resources like ScubaBoard is the ability to disseminate information widely. Whether that's Bob's gas management ARTICLE, or the huge information repository that is the "Near Misses and Lessons Learned" subforum, we CAN spread ideas and concepts, and even help share ideas for improved technique. This article has some good wake-up calls in it. It was worth sharing.
     
  5. Hawkwood

    Hawkwood MSDT

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
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    Okay, so given the above, where (or with whom) does the problem lie.

    Bill
     
    AfterDark likes this.
  6. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
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    First of all, I agree with the concern that mainstream dive education does not focus enough on either gas management or an emergency response to OOA (emergency ascent). To me, these statistics clearly indicate that more instructional time should be spent there. Too many divers run out of air without a buddy nearby. When they do that, they perform a poor ascent that leads to embolism.

    Now lets look at OW instruction. I know from a long written exchange that accompanied a Distinctive Specialty I wrote for Dive Planning, a Distinctive Specialty that includes gas management, that PADI believes that for the beginning OW diver, monitoring gauges and beginning an ascent at the appropriate PSI is all that needs to be taught at that level. OK, let's for the moment agree with that and ask the question: when is it taught at that level?

    According to standards, it isn't. Look at the RSTC standards and ask yourself if t it is possible for a student to be certified at the OW level without ever being asked to look at a pressure gauge during a dive, without ever being asked to check their buddy's gas level, without ever being shown how to signal remaining gas level, and without ever being asked to make a decision about the appropriate amount of reserve gas for beginning an ascent. Correct! Not one of those skills is mentioned in the standards or the course requirements!

    And so, in both the CW and OW work, I require my students to check each other's gas levels at several points while just free swimming. I include information on an appropriate PSI level for beginning an ascent. Finally, although it varies to some degree based on where I am doing the OW dives, I try on at least one dive to have the buddy teams swim independently while I watch and then initiate an ascent independently based on a specific PSI level rather than on my command. (I can't always do that.)

    As for emergency ascents, I have said repeatedly in this and other forums that we teach the emergency swimming ascent badly; so badly, in fact, that it is counterproductive. Our instructional methodology is designed to give the student the impression that if there is caca on the fan, they will not be able to get to the surface using it, so they had better hold their breath. (I can explain this in more detail, but it would take something of an essay on its own.)
     
  7. Hawkwood

    Hawkwood MSDT

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
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    I don't disagree, but I will provide a minor correction:

    PADI 2012 Instructor Manual
    Confined Water Dive 1 Performance Requirements
    9. Locate and read the submersible pressure gauge and signal whether the air supply is adequate or low based on the gauge’s caution zone.

    Bill
     
  8. flots am

    flots am Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
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    It's not too surprising, since the first dive is usually deeper and generally more demanding than the second.

    Notwithstanding the "reverse profile" issue, if a two tank dive was a 40' reef followed by a wall, instead of the other way around, the DM would get a chance to determine if everybody is actually qualified for the wall dive.

    The way things are done now, divers are dropped on the wall, then if they survive, the next dive is an easy reef.

    flots.
     
    AfterDark likes this.
  9. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
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    I stand corrected.
     
  10. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,635
    17,080
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    Interestingly enough, Dan research in the past showed similar first dive statistics for DCS as well. That one's hard to explain.
     

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