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DSD Fatality suit. Brooks v. PADI

Discussion in 'Scuba Related Court Cases' started by JohnnyC, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. Landau

    Landau Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver
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    For the PADI Discover Scuba the current standard is clear: Participants cannot be left unattended either underwater or at the surface.

    However you substitute a descent line, bar or platform for confined shallow water if confined shallow water is not available. Most tropical areas I've been to have a beach somewhere nearby that offers pool like conditions. I personally wouldn't want to lead students in their first underwater scuba hanging on a line.
     
  2. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
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    One dive operation in Oahu used to do DSDs on a boat. During dive 1 for the certified folks, the DSD folks would get the mandatory lecture using a flip chart, then one at a time with the instructor go to the mooring ball and descend enough to practice the DSD skills while holding onto the line. During dive 2, they would tour with the instructor at a 1:2 ratio, at the same shallow site where everybody else was.
     
  3. ScubaWithTurk

    ScubaWithTurk Bubble Blowing Buddha

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE
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    I am ok with DSDs as they allow people to try out diving without the full commitment of an OWC. This tends to lead to the person taking the course or realizing diving is not for them. I see it is a nice gatekeeper or introduction.

    I do fully believe in a pool session prior to open water and I will never do DSDs at a ratio of more than 2:1. If I had 4 arms, sure I could do 4 students but I do not. It is my opinion that anything about 2:1 is dangerous both for the participants and the instructor. The fact that standards allow it is a money grab if you ask me and all instructors should be more vocal about getting the standard changed.
     
    Esprise Me likes this.
  4. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
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    We are easily replaced. Not sure if 1600 new instructors every month from PADI alone is accurate, but regardless, I know so many instructors forced to break standards of their respective agencies (i.e., not just. PADI problem) in order to keep their jobs.
     
    ScubaWithTurk likes this.
  5. ScubaWithTurk

    ScubaWithTurk Bubble Blowing Buddha

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE
    759
    559
    93
    Oh I know this very well. I was put in a position where I was told my staff (I was the manager) needed to break standards because we "needed the money" and if they did not, they would not get paid that month. I no longer work there although not for that reason.

    I believe I need to be careful here or I will hijack this thread and turn it into problems with the industry that hurt the industry, the instructors and the students.
     
  6. Seaweed Doc

    Seaweed Doc Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle, Washington State, USA
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    I used to be really skeptical of DSDs, but a comment from a very experienced instructor changed my outlook. He said that he did DSD as if students were in an openwater course but just doing CW dive 1 and OW dive 1. In essence, it gives the student an option to count the work done toward regular certification.

    On the other hand, he never did more than 2:1 ratio....
     
  7. Tony66

    Tony66 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Mid Atlantic
    25
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    What's great is we can all have our opinions and make choices for ourselves. I don't feel dive training is inexpensive at all, not where I live. At our LDS OW will run about $700, AOW $500, EAN $200. I can't think of a hobby type activity were it costs close to what dive training costs. Diving is not a hobby that everyone can afford or they choose to afford.

    My point was that legal services costs PADI, dive shops, boats, instructors a whole lot of money and those costs get passed onto the consumer.
     
  8. Tony66

    Tony66 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Mid Atlantic
    25
    8
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    Not joking and I agree 100% that LDS and instructors make very little money and I don't really understand why you all do it. However my point was regarding stupid lawsuits and personal responsibility.
     
  9. JackD342

    JackD342 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Highland Park, IL
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    As I read the first attached document, I see numerous attempts to find fault with the program and the history of the program, the vast majority of which do NOT have direct bearing on this specific incident. The single most direct connection to the fatality is the allegation that the diver did not receive "adequate" training on the "the hazards of barotrauma, ..."
    Almost every other issue cited is a tangent.
    upload_2019-10-9_11-10-11.png
    That topic is most certainly included in the DSD pamphlet, and the quiz, and the fine print in the Liability Release and Assumption of Risk Agreement. https://www.padi.com/sites/default/files/documents/2018-02/10648_DSDRelease_Medical_v1.pdf

    So the critical point of discussion is, was the issue of breathing compressed air "adequately" explained, or was it just not "adequately" understood? As an instructor, I think that issue ultimately resides in how I deliver the program, and what material I choose to emphasize along with how I emphasize it. The diver is also responsible for engaging in the briefing and taking it seriously. Which is all easy in theory, but then there is the occasional panic response which relies on close supervision to mitigate and/or resolve. This one absolutely sounds like panic rather than a misunderstanding.

    So my personal opinion is that the DSD program is not inherently flawed, although there may be some areas requiring review and adjustment. (I wouldn't mind a swim test added, maybe to the same level as the BSA definition of "beginner:)
    I also think that any elevated inherent risks can come in with the execution and the delivery of the program, and the ease with which an operation can become complacent over time.
     
  10. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    3,689
    1,946
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    I can't speak for others. I do this on the side (well, I did before having a baby due in November and this film project in Greece, but I'll start up again). Long term, I plan on opening up a dive op in Greece where the cost of living is much, much lower. Hours each day will be longer, but not as stressful as working in tech (though current job I just started is AWESOME!). I just want to live the Greek island lifestyle and a dive op is the only practical way to achieve that.

    I used to be a ski patroller (on weekends). Skiing became a tax deduction (miles, equipment, dues). Some days on the mountain really sucked. My red jacket had some nasty oil stains from adjusting tower pads on wet days.

    But then some of my best days, my best actually, were when patrolling. My best day was on president's day, sunny, but with a thin layer of clouds, so the snow softened, becoming the most forgiving I've ever experienced. No accidents, so we took turns skiing our asses off. Because we were patrollers, we never waited in line.

    I suspect that some do this on the side, taking peanuts, as it gets them to get out there. Plus some enjoy teaching.

    I know a number of instructors in my local area who will only teach at max ratio with everyone on their knees, as it isn't "worth my time" (their words) otherwise. Well, even the extra money from the extra students is nothing compared to their primary job. I don't understand why they do it. Why not focus on getting better results with smaller ratios? The difference in pay in the grand scheme of things is insignificant. Teach well and people will come to you when you are independent. I taught for shops just to cut my teeth. Now I get referrals from former students and more importantly, people who dive with my former students.
     
    chillyinCanada and Miyaru like this.

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