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Have you ever been refused to be allowed to dive?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by wildbill9, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. wildbill9

    wildbill9 Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: arkansas
    I am AOW but wife is only OW. When she was certified, early 80's, there was never a 60 ft limitation. She has over 800 dives, we dove Indonesia liveaboard and often hit 80 to 100 feet in Bonaire. Never had any concerns. Once we wanted to dive Spiegel in Florida the next day. Boat captain explained AWO unless approved by the shop owner. As we kitted up he watched us, talked about where we had dived and obviously watched us dive. We returned to the boat and all of a sudden the our certification level was no problem. I have a hard ti!e justifying paying PADI for a unneeded "badge*. Seems like a scam to me. So.has anyone been refused a dive became they were not AOW? B
  2. KatieMac

    KatieMac Photographer

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Small town Ontario, Canada
    I haven't been. Although if I were a dive shop owner, I would be extremely reluctant to bring anyone on a dive they weren't certified for.
    eleniel, shoredivr and BoltSnap like this.
  3. Caveeagle

    Caveeagle Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: High Springs, FL
    Well, sort of.. we had planned a dive trip to west palm with me and my two daughters, who are both AOW. The trip had required AOW+Nitrox due to the expected dive profiles. Sort of last minute, my younger son wanted to go who was just OW+nitrox. They initially said “No”, but after talking with the boat captain, I agreed to buddy with my son, and would keep him a little shallower. Once we talked it through, all was ok, and my kid did great.

    I can understand why some operators might enforce this rule.. but it has been my experience that most boats will accept a dive log with healthy experience as comparable to AOW.

    Esprise Me likes this.
  4. AdivingBel

    AdivingBel Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Missouri
    I've not been turned away, but I've always made sure I had the required cert for the dive. I've seen others turned away and I never wanted the hassle of having to justify my experience via logbook or unnecessary checkout dives while dive traveling (I certainly understand a quick checkout if it's shop policy, but I would hope to know that going in :)). An AOW & nitrox cert get me where I need to go. I've seen several situations where the additional cost of AOW was minor if you were doing the dives anyway and a good instructor will usually have something different/interesting to pass along. All IMHO, YMMV.
  5. drrich2

    drrich2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    Ironically, when I read your thread title, I came to post that on a Key Largo trip in 2013, diving with Rainbow Reef Dive Center, on the morning trip out to do a deep wreck, I saw 2 guys with OW but not AOW basically told they had to have AOW or the captain could take a look at their log books (which they didn't have with them) and make a decision. They had to sit out that dive.

    I don't think it's a scam. A few issues:

    1.) It's said modern scuba training is more modular, so the basic OW cert. doesn't contain as much as it probably did when your wife certified.
    2.) The U.S. market has to factor in the fact ours is considered a 'litigious' society. An operation letting a diver 'certified to 60 feet' dive to around 90' and that diver dying or being lost at sea looks bad for the operator and the captain. Disclaimer: yes, I know a basic OW cert. does not set a permanent depth limit of 60 feet, and it's possible within recommendations to advance to dive the limits of recreational dive depths with ongoing experience and mentorship, and many people with 'just' an OW cert. are better divers then many with an AOW cert....but now you're talking nuance, informed understanding and the freedom to act with common sense and expect consenting adults to be responsible for themselves.

    Does that sound like modern America to you?
  6. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    I've never been turned down but have my AOW for 20+ years and my EAN for many years, as well.

    I'm writing this because of Roatan, where it is more often than not, a diver without AOW will be refused certain dives.

    It's even frustrating for me personally, having had my AOW at the time the depth allowable was 130' and having many 130' dives in my experience, plus having dived Hole in the Wall to 130'. Suddenly, one day, only 100' depth was allowed no matter your cert or experience level. Despite my conversations with the shop there was no way around it.

    This may not be the case outside of West End dive ops, I've no idea but if you're going to Roatan, you may want to be aware.

    Further, while I don't consider it a scam per se, it has served to help instructors and shops on the island.
    Curious_George likes this.
  7. ibj40

    ibj40 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Texas
    I guess I have to question all of this, when I look at the minimum requirements to acquire the Divemaster certification:

    Minimum age: 18

    Certified as PADI Advanced Open Water and PADI Rescue Diver (or equivalent from another organization)

    Medical clearance attesting to dive fitness signed by a physician within the previous 12 months

    Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care (or equivalent) course completion within the last 24 months

    40 logged dives
  8. Curious_George

    Curious_George Green water guy ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Arkansas
    Yea, you are right. Not going to argue the lack of common sense these days. It seems many have decided no need to think for themselves when they can be told what to believe on Facebook, Twitter or a "news" show. It’s too much bother to see if there is actually evidence to support the wild claims being made.

    Thankfully, for those of us who are only OW, there is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence up thread of shops willing to look at the evidence of a persons log book and make a judgement about a divers skill level. We all know that AOW is no guarantee of capability anyway - except to a lawyer perhaps.

    I hope I never have the misfortune to be led on a dive by a "master" with 40 dives.
    Ryan Neely and chillyinCanada like this.
  9. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    The short answer to the Op's question is no (in my case). The obvious answer if you've read Scubaboard threads is yes, many dive ops require AOW for dives below 60 feet. It seems to be a major reason for everyone getting AOW cert.

    The Spiegel dive in Florida may be an exception, or could have gone the other way-- "We require AOW for our insurance purposes and don't care even if you have 10,000 dives".

    It's not an agency "badge" scam, and everyone knows that AOW (with a total of maybe 9 dives) doesn't mean you are in any way advanced. Dive Ops accept so many folks who would not be diving in say, 1965-- ie. old people like me, overweight people, KIDS (another pet peeve of mine), etc.
    It is an insurance thing, especially in the U.S. with all the lawsuits.
    TTPaws likes this.
  10. oly5050user

    oly5050user Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Westchester NY
    It’s all about liability. AOW is more than a deep dive. Know how to navigate on a compass, accurately measure distance covered for navigating. I have been diving for over 54 years and teaching for 49 years and if none of my usual dive buddies can dive for whatever reason I do not even get on a boat, as I refuse to dive with a “instant” buddy that I can be held liable for if they hurt themselves. It also detracts from my dive to need to end a dive after 20 minutes because this person is already low on gas where I usually get 60 to 90 minutes out of a tank. Rather stay on shore and drink.
    dead dog likes this.

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