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Don't know what happened

Discussion in 'Near Misses & Lessons Learned' started by Dody, May 2, 2021.

  1. johndiver999

    johndiver999 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Gainesville FL
    Based on my reading of a recently deleted post, I have stepped over a line and have caused the OP to feel attacked personally. I apologize for that and will not be making additional comments on this thread.
    RayfromTX and chillyinCanada like this.
  2. Coztick

    Coztick Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: calgary
    Silver bullet?
    You're thinking the children and their grandpa had some unforseen advantage?
    Must be something OTHER THAN your physical condition and propulsion skills?
    I think it's great that you enjoy the training but you must not endanger others by taking on responsibilities you can't fulfil.
  3. stiebs

    stiebs Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Then why did you set a goal for being certified as a Dive Master? I've been diving for 30 years. I'm not a dive master, not even a master diver. Heck. I only got cert'ed as AOW when some of the boat operators started getting picky about who they'd allow on 18m+ dives. That doesn't mean I won't be there to offer my experience and advice to newer divers on club dives.

    Maybe take this piece of advice on board for the future - stop thinking about your diving progression so scientifically! It appears to be doing more harm than good! You've said yourself that you are in it for the fun, not as a career. So just take a step back and approach it as a hobby that you are doing for fun. There is nothing another course / cert card can offer you right now that just simply getting out there and diving will do.

  4. ginti

    ginti DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lyon, France
    Hi @Dody , glad that you feel my contribuition is useful :)

    Actually, I believe you finally got an idea of possible explanations for the situation you described at the beginning of this thread. Indeed you said that you will do different tests (weighting, swimming, and so on). Am I right?

    If yes, I suggest you open a different thread because these questions deserve their own space, and the answers might be helpful for many aspirants DM.

    I will divide this answer into two parts: 1st, what you are supposed to be as a DM and 2nd, when I believe one is ready to take the big step. Please consider that I am not a dive professional, so my ideas may be biased - professionals know it better than me.

    1 - DM/DL

    First of all, different agencies have different regulations and different names. Here in France, the equivalent to a DM is "Niveau 4" (N4), equivalent to CMAS****. In most European countries, the equivalent to DM is the third level diver, or equivalent to CMAS***. With most American agencies, you have the Dive Master certification, Dive Leader, or something similar. From now on, I will only use the word "DM". What do these DMs have in common? They take responsibility for other divers. As such, depending on the country regulations, you might be held liable for accidents.

    In general, if an accident happens, you should prove that your response to the accident was appropriate. Here we enter into the legal aspect, which I am not going to cover. So let's move on., In general, I can think of three different kinds of inconvenient that can trigger an accident:
    (A) inconvenient that you can solve with skills, such as currents, low visibility, typical environmental issues, etc.
    (B) inconvenient that require interactions with other divers: out of gas scenarios, exhausted people, bad etiquette divers, etc.
    (C) extreme events: unforeseeable extreme environmental events (never heard about it actually), panicked divers, serious injury, unconscious divers, etc.

    Group (A) comprises things that are manageable with good skills (when they become unmanageable, they move to group (C)). As a DM, you must manage them, period. No excuses. If one day you don't feel well or for any reason, you think you are not able to manage them, do not dive.

    Group (B) includes things for which you have extensive training. You are supposed to react appropriately and efficiently and, if the other diver(s) do not respond in an "extreme unforeseeable way"***, you are supposed to solve the issue. The management of these kinds of scenarios includes the abortion of the dive.

    ***"extreme unforeseeable way" = deliberately not listening to you or getting panicked; both these reactions would move this scenario do group (C)

    Group (C) includes things that, unfortunately, you can only partially manage. As a DM, you are supposed to react to put as many divers as possible in safety. For injury and unconscious divers, you should have the training, and you are supposed to respond as to standards. For extreme environmental events, prevention is the only weapon: avoid going to the sea if you expect a thunderstorm. Panicked divers and people who deliberately don't listen to you: well, here really depends on the situation, the only constant is that a DM must be proactive in solving the issue.

    2 - When are you ready to be a DM

    For sure, you need the training, but is that all?
    Before becoming a DM, you need to ensure that your skills are good enough to manage issues in the group (A), that your communication and skills are enough to solve problems in the group (B). Also, you must be able to react to events in the group (C) promptly. How can you ensure that? Let's split the answer into three parts.

    Part A - environmental specific needs
    Where are you diving as a DM? 30°C water, 20m visibility, no currents? Or North pole in the winter? You need to identify the environment to individuate all the variables to put into the group (A), that is, the problems manageable only with skills. If you dive in 30°C water, 20m visibility, no currents, you should be able to manage at least moderate to mild currents (because they can still happen on bad days) and be sure that you do not rely too much on the high visibility, just in case it drops to 10m (it can happen). If you always dive in a lake, clearly you need to manage different conditions.

    Part B - environmental experience
    As you see from Part A, you must know how to manage worse conditions than the average. How can you ensure that you are ready? You need to test your skills in these dire conditions. That is, gain experience in the worst diveable conditions of your environment. Like it or not, this requires time because you will not experience a lot of bad conditions in just six months.
    NOTE: In reality, if you dive in places with highly stable conditions - you can get enough experience very quickly because bad conditions will rarely happen; if they happen, you treat them as part of the group (C): you do not go diving :) Even if you dive in places with extremely unstable conditions or change the environment very often, you may gain the experience quickly. But these cases are pretty rare.

    Part C - skills and communication experience
    Lastly, you need to ensure that your skills, awareness and communication are automatic. That is, you need to:
    - experience actual issues (hopefully not serious);
    - ensure that your skills/awareness/communications are satisfactory when you respond to the issue;
    - if they are not satisfactory, reiterate.
    Again, the only way to ensure this is via experience.

    In summary, when you have tested your skills, communication and awareness with various issues and in a variety of environmental conditions (that fairly represent the worst scenarios you can face as DM), you may think about going this path.

    NOTE: you may be a good DM in some environments, but a very bad one in some "others"; do not lead in the "others"!

    I hope people with more experience than me can correct me and improve this answer.

    Cheers :)

    1 - I repeatedly used the words "issue(s)", "problem(s)" and similar; what do I mean? Any situation that alters the pleasure of the activity; from very easy issues, like light forms of stress, water in the mask, a double-ender that won't open - to more serious ones, like gas sharing or equipment failures (frankly speaking, I do not wish more serious problem to anyone).
    2 - what do I mean when I say "good skills"? Each agency has its own set of standards; when speaking about skills, I like the GUE approach. I believe most people would say that a fundamentals rec-pass level is sufficient for being a DM; you can find the requirement for a rec-pass here, at page 34: https://www.gue.com/files/Standards_and_Procedures/GUE-Standards-v9.pdf
    Is this the best approach to evaluate skills? No; and I don't think there is any best approach
  5. Edward3c

    Edward3c Instructor, Scuba

    It won’t matter whether it’s your first or only time in the year you accept the DM role. If there was an incident you will be held responsible because you hold the qualification.

    Whether you meet the standards or not would be irrelevant. You accepted the role. If an operator wants me to play tail-end-Charlie they’re going to have to pay me US$2,500 per dive.

    If you read the Dive Leader link you would have seen we don’t teach follow the leader diving, we produce thinking buddy pairs.

    As I suggested earlier just go diving in a variety of locations and conditions to build your experience, which unfortunately can’t be gained from a book. Then in a year, preferably two, do a DM refresher.
  6. Angelo Farina

    Angelo Farina Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Parma, ITALY
    For most agencies, a DM is "less" than an instructor, something as an assistant instructor. My personal experience was opposite. I consider that a good DM is far beyond an instructor.
    All my career was done with the Italian sport federation FIPSAS (it is NOT an "agency", it is a member of CONI, the Olympic sports confederation). FIPSAS is affiliated with CMAS.
    Instructors are NOT paid within FIPSAS, they are volunteers, working for free in their clubs, affiliated with FIPSAS. So a FIPSAS-CMAS instructor is not a "professional" instructor.
    In 5 years, I went to all the degrees from assistant-instructor (which is NOT a DM in FIPSAS) to Instructor of 1st, 2nd and finally 3rd degree.
    Only after three years of activity as 3rd-degree instructor and course director, I started working as a professional DM in a touristic organization, called Club Vacanze, in touristic resort in Sicily and at Maldives. I did this work for 5 years, 1985 to 1989.
    I find that a DM has much larger responsibilities, and is required to posses more advanced skills than a "normal" instructor.
    The latter does most of his activity in a pool, and brings the students to the sea only in the weekend, at very limited depth (10-15 meters max) and in very favourable conditions: clear, warm water, no current, no waves.
    A professional DM instead has to do with divers of all levels of expertise. In CMAS it was allowed to conduct recreational dives down to 50m and with deco obligation. Hence a DM needs to carry additional gas for emergencies, and to be able to conduct a group of divers in deco-constrained dives in safety. This requires A LOT of expertise and skills, which are not really required for becoming an instructor and working as such (except perhaps for "tech" diving instructors, which I am NOT).
    Albeit being already an instructor was not a formal requirement for working as DM at Club Vacanze, what was required was a very long experience, given both by a large number of dives (min 200) and by several years of "diving history". In fact, some skills require time: it is not possible to acquire them in just in one year, even if you make 400 dives in one year. You need time for "digest" the knowledge, and this takes several years (at least 3 in my opinion, but better 5).
    In my case, it did take 10 years between the first OW degree (1975) and the year I started working as a professional DM. I was young, and this means you need to "mature" before being able to get responsibility for other divers.
    As said, I think that also for more mature divers 5 years is the minimum time required between OW and being ready to work as a DM.
    In the meanwhile, better to to do a lot of diving in different conditions (under the ice, in caverns, in wrecks, by night, in lakes, in the sea, in cold and muddy waters, in the strong current of channels at Maldives, etc.).
    I did never give significant importance to "specialty" courses, as they did not exist at my time. We did learn all these "special" skills simply by diving together with more experienced divers. I do not think that collecting C-cards has any value, what matters is experience and skills. Both come only with time and with effort.
    But there is a last point: being able to cope with different diving situations require to adapt the equipment and the "diving style" to the environment.
    I find profoundly wrong the GUE approach of "standardising" the equipment and the diving procedures. They developed proper equipment and procedures for a very specific task, that is diving in caves in a group. Their choices for this task are just perfect, and doing this type of dives I agree that their approach is optimal.
    But in different environments, like in a river, or in channels at Maldives, frog-kicking with SP Jetfin fins is absolutely unsuitable. All the equipment hanging form the harness is also unacceptable: a light with a canister? Nonsense!
    A 2m-long hose on the primary reg, to be donated? Just a source of problems...
    So a guy wanting to become a DM should make experience in different environments, with different equipment (including CC rebreathers, which are very "instructive", but also free-diving, which for me is an unavoidable pre-requisite for being a proficient scuba diver). And, again this takes YEARS...
    stiebs likes this.
  7. ginti

    ginti DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lyon, France
    This is OT, but maybe it needs a bit of clarification.

    GUE doesn't require jet-fins, just rigid fins (as the freediving fins and other kinds of fins are). Frog-kick is not the standard kick - indeed, there is not a standard kick; if, in any situation, a better propulsion technique is preferred, use it :) Canister lights are not required, and not even encouraged if a diver does not need them. Trim is not horizontal but adapted to the environment (I say it because there has been an entire thread here on SB about it). Equipment hanging from the harness is forbidden.

    People believe that what GUE calls standardization means using the same set of tools for any situation. This is simply not true.

    Source: GUE standards. At page 118 you find the equipment. You will not find information about propulsion techniques and trim, simply because there are not standards about that.

    P.S. any time I have to share gas (luckily, not often), I am so happy to have a long-hose to donate! It makes navigation while sharing way easier. And if you are wondering, I never had to share gas with another GUE diver :)

    EDIT: concerning propulsion techniques, there are standards about proficiency in courses, for obvious reasons.
    Raphus likes this.
  8. hedonist222

    hedonist222 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dubai, AbuDhabi, United Arab Emirates
    yes but as I understand it, if I were to be GUE and not use the same brand as "them"
    then I'd stand out like a camel in the England countryside

    standing out means I haven't drunk the kOoOooOoooL AiDDee
    David Novo likes this.
  9. ginti

    ginti DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lyon, France
    That is simply false. Never happened to me to find a group of GUE divers where all the people had the same brands. There are many threads about it on SB.

    The last time I dived with a GUE buddy, we had different brands for almost any piece of equipment, here's the list:
    - regulators me: scubapro; buddy: apeks
    - fins me: scubapro; buddy: apeks
    - suit me: ursuit; buddy: santi
    - lights me: bigblue, halcyon and scubapro for the secondary; buddy: halcyon for all lights
    - computer me: garmin; buddy: shearwater
    - harness and backplate me: tecline; buddy: halcyon
    - hood me: k01; buddy: santi
    - wing me: tecline; buddy: halcyon
    - drygloves me: teds; buddy: santi (integrated with the suit)
    - undergarment me: santi, fourthelement and decathlon; buddy: santi and a random brand on amazon (for the socks)
    David Novo likes this.
  10. hedonist222

    hedonist222 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dubai, AbuDhabi, United Arab Emirates
    well I did say "as I understand it"
    So my perception and not a statement

    thanks for clarifying

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