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Early scuba training push ups on the beach

Discussion in 'History of Diving Museum' started by shurite7, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    I think it would be a blast to go through a full vintage early 60's course someday just like they used to do. It would be a great challenge.
    When I got my double hose up and running I did the ditch and don at the deep end of the pool, Lot's of fun!
    I'll bet not too many people these days take it upon themselves to try it.

    ---------- Post added January 17th, 2014 at 07:23 PM ----------

    And they call water boarding torture? ha!
    I gotta try that.
    *Add. You got me curious so I went on You Tube and found this, look familiar?
  2. Rhone Man

    Rhone Man Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: British Virgin Islands
    When I did my DM in 1990 my instructor told me that when he originally qualified as an instructor with NAUI back in the early days, they started the day by putting on their tanks and running up and down the beach chanting "NAUI, NAUI" like the marine corps.

    He may of course have been sh***ing me, but the image certainly stuck in my mind.
  3. John C. Ratliff

    John C. Ratliff Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Beaverton, Oregon

    I took my NAUI ITC in 1973, and I don't remember that kind of exercise. We did not run with scuba gear on even in the U.S. Navy, so I think your instructor was filling you full of some "stuff." What I do remember is a lot of swimming, teaching, and actually doing several times mouth-to-mouth artificial resuscitation while swimming an inert diver (our buddy) through about 200 yards of surf. That's right, the inert diver actually was given mouth-to-mouth through the surf, and instructed not to breath for him/herself for this exercise. I remember having to do it with one fin, as I lost a Jet Fin on the way in. (By the way, my NAUI Instructor Number is 2710, not in the double digits like Dr. Sam Miller).

    If you want to see some photos from the U.S. Navy Underwater Swimmers School, look at the embedded link. This is not BUDS training, as that training is much more comprehensive than the U.S. Navy Underwater Swimmers School's training in scuba (ours was a three-week course in open circuit scuba). It is one of the schools we went through as USAF pararescue trainees. But our mission was so much different than simply training scuba divers that the two really cannot be compared.

    One big difference between scuba training today and in the 1960s is that today there is much more reliance upon gear rather than water skills. We older divers used to call today's diving "push-button diving." There were water skills required to begin scuba diving training. I have to get my old Blue Book out to see what they were, but I do know that the water skills were considered important.


    PS, I forgot to mention that we had to sing when doing those flutter kicks on our backs with our facemasks full of water. It really does help you figure out how to control your glottis.
    Sam Miller III likes this.
  4. shurite7

    shurite7 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: In transit

    thanks for the info. It is good to know the background to pictures like the one posted. Not to long ago I was able to review one of the first instructor exams. It was quite interesting to say the least.

    You have a good point about past divers relying more on water skills and today's divers relying on equipment. The sad part is how many divers don't want to maintain their equipment on a regular bases.
  5. agilis

    agilis Cat Lives Matter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: N.J.
    Scuba certification training no longer includes doff and don in the deep end of the pool? Taking all your gear off and leaving it on the bottom, surfacing, deep breath, swimming back down, regulator back in mouth, tank secured on back, mask on, clear mask, fins, check systems and carry on to next exercise. 3 minutes tops. Easy-peasey. People are being certified without doing this basic demonstration of competence? WTF?!?
    dead dog and cmulvaney like this.
  6. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    They haven't done this for years.
  7. agilis

    agilis Cat Lives Matter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: N.J.
    Did diver safety research demonstrate that this element of training was actually counterproductive? Even harmful?

    Or do dive trainees of more recent vintage come to the training process so well prepared and so comfortable in the water that this simple but extremely revealing test of composed competency is unnecessary?

    I'd hate to think that training has become so dumbed down that doff and don was delayed until AOW level. If such a basic element has been eliminated from training, what else has been dropped? This certainly should make any resort diver think twice about the instabuddy they are being paired with.
  8. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    I don't think they do a dof and don at the deep end of the pool at any level in current training. Don't quote me because I'm not an instructor so I out of the loop on the details. The closest thing that I know of is the divemaster gear exchange while buddy breathing but not everybody goes through DM training either.
    There is another thread going on right now on SB where ths exact topic is being discussed. I mentioned that training has been incrementally reduced during the span of 45 years, and I was challenged by a modern instructor to name just one thing taken away in the last 30 years. I named three. I declined to debate the individual further until I had a chance to do my research to find out exactly what all the agencies started training with and when they dropped certain aspects and what they were. I am curious to know what was taken away and what training has morphed into from then to now.
    There is a lot of hearsay and I hear stories of instructors doing all sorts of things back then, but I don't know what was a requirement and what was added by a rogue overzealous instructor of the time.
    I'm working to find out.
  9. SanDiegoSidemount

    SanDiegoSidemount DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Diego, CA
    I probably have a photo somewhere of the "Edwards Field Crawl" we used to put students through at UC Berkeley. No, we weren't just being sadistic. This was genuine preparation for handling the surf zone in Carmel/Monterey, which can get gnarly.

    The drill was about 50 yards across and back a large field on campus in full wetsuit, fins and gear: crawl, roll over, stand up, turn around, walk backwards, get down, roll over again, crawl forward, etc. Inevitably, we'd attract quite a crowd of gawkers.

    It was also a test of gear. Something would always come loose or get broken during the drill. Better to happen there than in the surf!

    Oh yeah, we also did the rescue drills with real mouth to mouth for 100 yards or so towing the victim from the "incident" to the beach. You can't check a student's effectiveness at mouth seals in rough water if they're not really sealing, pinching (with thick 3-fingered mitts) and blowing. Being on the receiving end of one of these rescue drills was truly a unique experience.

    ---------- Post added January 20th, 2014 at 12:07 AM ----------

    Holy hell, here it is! Spring of 1988.

    View attachment 175849


    That would be me in stylish blue and yum-yum yellow. It's not exactly push-ups, but in the same ballpark.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
  10. captain

    captain Captain

    This is the back of my YMCA card with the requirements in 1970. Most pool sessions began with a game of underwater hockey with mask and snorkel, no fins. We were in a 25 meter pool and ditch and don requires ditching in the deep end, swim to the shallow end underwater on one breath, take a breath and go back the same way and don. I was was 28 and had been diving since I was 13 and I think I was the oldest in the class.

    c card back (Small).JPG
    Eric Sedletzky and agilis like this.

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