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Dumbest things you've seen a newbie diver do

Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by silvernotch, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. silvernotch

    silvernotch Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: SW NJ
    I'm hoping you can all shed some light on mishaps you've seen newbie or inexperienced divers encounter. I've read the pet peeves thread but I thought this could be a thread with personal experiences. I'm hoping myself and other new divers could learn from others' mistakes.
  2. Deep-6

    Deep-6 Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Northern IL
    I've never actually seen a newbie DO anything truely dumb. I've seen them make mistakes, I've seen them have very poor skills. In my personal observations, newbies are some of the most conscientious divers and are mindful of buddy checks and reviewing hand signals; etc. When it comes to newbies, it's not usually the dumb things they do, but more often the dumb things they say. Usually it's just some 19 year old boy wanting to run with the big dogs, trying to impress everybody with his "stories."
  3. luckydays

    luckydays Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Pedro CA
    Dunbest thing I did as a newbie was trusting my dive buddy's to take care of me when I went out with them. I should have been trusting myself instead. Nothing bad happened but there were a few instances that I was in over my head and I did not say anything because I did not want to ruin someone else's dive.

    I have since learned that if it is not right, I am not doing it, bedamned those who think otherwise.
  4. miked

    miked Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Park Ridge NJ
    The "dumbest" thing that I've ever seen a newbie do:
    Act as if they are far more experienced than they really are, and, as a result, wind up in some type difficulty.
    Helipilot86 and ZKY like this.
  5. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    I think, from reading this board for almost five years, that the most common mistake new divers make is getting involved in a dive that's above their heads. Whether that's permitting a buddy to talk them into something they don't feel good about, blissfully following a dive guide into more dive than they're prepared to handle, or simply (through bravado or ignorance) deciding they're ready for something they're not, it often results in an incident. And all too often, in a fatality. This is particularly true of new divers doing deep dives. We lost one in Puget Sound that way last summer.
  6. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

    I've seen a few real doozies but I'll relay one.

    A diver was hanging around at the shop when I came in with my buddy to fill tanks before taking off to dive. He started chatting to us asking where we were going and then said that his buddy stood him up and asked if he could tag along. We said ok.

    Once at the site we wanted to dive we briefed him. The dive was planned to go outside the designated dive area (my mistake) and we had planned to swim back into the dive area before surfacing. We briefed everything. Direction, depth, air consumption, time, buddies, goals etc etc you name it. He was AOW with about 15 dives so we decided that I would lead the dive and my buddy (who was RD) would buddy up with the new guy. I was RD at the time too.

    So off we went. We had agreed to turn the dive at 120 bar and our maximum depth was 18 metres.

    At about 15 minutes into the dive I was at about 150 bar when the new guy grabbed my flipper and showed me his SPG..... He had 40 bar. Neither myself nor my buddy expected that and believe me we were clear in the briefing that he had to keep an eye on it and give us a sign when he was at 120..... (my mistake again)

    He didn't have time to get back into the dive area on the air he had so I offered him my reg (longhose) so we could swim back. He utterly refused to take it. I tried a couple of times to get him to put it in his mouth and he refused.

    So I signed to my other buddy to abort the dive and surface. He signed "HERE!?!" I said "Yes". He signed "OK" but shook his head. The problem was there were a lot of small sailing boats around and the chances of an encounter were pretty good. But I figured better that than a dead new guy. At this point the new guy was getting low on air.

    I signed to surface and the new guy started pushing the inflate button on his BCD and took off. I tried to grab him but missed so I rolled over on my back and signed to him "slow down!".... so then he vented all the air in his BCD and crashed to the bottom in a big silt bomb.

    That's when I had enough. I took ahold of him and started to lift him myself. In the process I took my alternate and handed it to him. He still refused to put it in his mouth but after a few tries I got him to at least hold it in his hand. I figured if he went OOA he'd use it. :) I lifted him to the surface and I think he still had a few bar left when we got there.

    At that point we were about 80m outside the dive zone but fortunately in no danger of an encounter with a sailing boat. I was a little annoyed with the new guy at that point and just said "ok, let's get back inside the dive zone and make it fast". He tried to snorkel but the whole experience had overwhelmed him and he cramped up completely and I had to tow him back to shore. All the while my buddy had taken up the wing position and was doing what he could to help but didn't say a word.

    Until we got back to the car. The new guy had parked a few cars away and as soon as we walked back to the car and were out of earshot he just looked at me and started talking. The whole conversation went something like this:

    buddy: "f*kn hell... didn't see that coming".
    me: "nope"
    buddy: "we have to get rid of this guy"
    me: "yep"
    buddy: "you want to debrief this?"
    me: "with you or with him?"
    me: "let's go eat first".

    There was a cafe around the corner so we went and sat down and the first thing they new guy said was "great dive guys. That was fun".


    I learned a lot from that dive, especially about assuming anything based on what someone says about themselves, the value of a check-out dive with new buddies and a lot about intervening earlier and more assertively. I hope the new guy learned something too. I never dove with him again.

    eleniel, pmalbec and Helipilot86 like this.
  7. Mopar

    Mopar Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Mistake their snorkle for their reg. and do a giant stride entery.
    BauderDesign and kimbalabala like this.
  8. Deep-6

    Deep-6 Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Northern IL
    Mopar...somebody actually did that? Is it wrong that it seemed funny?
  9. Mopar

    Mopar Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Well.....It was a kid probably in High School. After I found out he was o.k. I laughed.
  10. Deep-6

    Deep-6 Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Northern IL
    Glad to hear he was o.k. I would've felt pretty bad if the outcome wasn't good.

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