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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. JMBL

    JMBL Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: France
    Well, I've never been turned down (never dived in Northern America btw) but I remember some places when the operator was relieved when I showed both my PADI and CMAS certification because he knew only one and not the other, all depending on the location.

    Alas, I must admit my homeland (France) is not really PADI friendly. I remember diving with a friend, she had been a diving instructor for at least 2 decades, for various agencies, PADI among them. We were with common diving friends, and had planned to dive the 'Grec' and 'Donator' (wrecks between 40 and 56 m) in le Var. I had organised everything and I knew the manager, I had given him the background of all divers in the group, everything was ok... Until we got on the boat. That instructor came to my friend and told her : you don't dive unless an instructor accompanies you ! We sorted it out, but it took some time...

    That was 10 years ago, situation has improved, but is still far from perfect...
    drrich2 and jale like this.
  2. Wibble

    Wibble Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    DiveMASTER certainly isn't a master of diving. Dive leader maybe, but not in any world is it dive mastery.

    AOW is also a misnomer. It's a course for novices with an awful misleading name. There's nothing advanced about AOW and it implies that you have more skills than you do. "I'm advanced, I can do anything" -- except you don't know what you don't know.

    Most people with lots of experience across a vast range of conditions will all tell you that "the more they dive, the more they know they don't know"


    When you book on a dive, it's up to you to have the right experience and 'ticket'. As things are, few 'resorts' will allow exceptions to the diving outside of your qualifications.

    The simple answer is to take a refresher course. If you're as good as you think, you'll breeze through the course and probably learn a lot whilst doing it.
  3. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    I dove for thirty years without a cert. But when I finally got around to it, I went from OW to DM in about six months. I've never been denied, but I've seen a few who have. Once was diving a Hellcat they had just found in 200ft of water. Everyone was pretty much done with their kit but this one guy. He kept looking for a hose. I went out to my dive shop of a van and got one for him. The captain intercepted me and suggested that this guy wasn't really ready for this dive so I put it back up. He was gentle, even smooth about it, but he did not want that guy on this dive. Fun day even though I never got to see the plane.

    There's an industry-wide perception that OW is simply not enough and I mostly agree. Many OW divers don't have a clue about trim and buoyancy and dive with their feet dangling most of the time. AOW at least gives them a few more dives with a professional. It may not add a lot to their skill levels, but at least they have a dedicated rescue diver if they really lose control. So, support the industry and get your AOW, but do yourself a favor and get cavern certified by a full caver. You'll learn the control you should have mastered in OW. You don't have to continue on to full cave, but this will add to your fun even in OW.
    ginti likes this.
  4. ginti

    ginti DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lyon, France
    May I ask you why?
  5. Edward3c

    Edward3c Instructor, Scuba

    Yes, because I wanted to dive with my own tanks. 300bar 12Lt to the operator's 232bar 12Lt. I got my money back and the business has lost out to thousands in lost income as I won't take my club, or students, there.

    More importantly its the dives I've turned down because I didn't consider myself dived up enough to complete them safely.
  6. Bobby

    Bobby Dive Equipment Manufacturer

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Charleston, SC
    I worked on live aboard dive boats, captained and mated on day boats, and taught as well. There are too many people that come through with virtually no experience and/or skills and think that they invented diving. I've pulled too many people out of the water that exhausted themselves before getting to the down line, have had too many real OOA situations (from others) at 100 feet, and have pulled too many bodies out of the water because they insisted that they had the skills for the dives.

    Some resort locations might be trying to sell another certification, however IMHO most are trying to open a conversation to gauge the skills and experience of the person at the counter, for the dive the captain has planned that day. I stopped logging dives a couple of decades ago and have had shops, that don't know me, question my experience. Getting my dive computers to show the last few dives and pulling out appropriate certification cards without any bravado goes a long way. I've also informed captains and crew that I will be last in and may struggle a bit when I've been off of boats for an extended time. The skills I have today are not the same as what I had in the past, when diving boats regularly, for the same type of dive. I do a lot more cave diving now than I do boat diving so I let the crew know that I may not be as sharp as they might think I would be.

    The old saying, you don't know what you don't know, applies. Too many people dive once or twice a year and believe that they are highly skilled great divers. My own experience is that a couple of months out of the water means that I need a shake down dive to dial my fine motor skills and mind back into diving before I take on anything complex. Sometimes I need two or three shake down dives to get it all sorted. Having worked in the dive operator world I can say confidently that if an operator tells someone that they are not going to let them on a dive, it is not because they don't want to take their money. It is very likely because they are looking out for their safety and well being. Trust me, most operators need every dollar of income they can get and teaching revenue usually most all goes to the instructor, not the operator. I've been on both sides of that coin as well.
  7. jale

    jale Contributor

    Remind me a personal story :)
    Many years ago, after a few days diving caves in the South of France, I went to the Atlantic coast to spend a few days wirh friends.
    One day, I went into a shop to enquire about the next day dives. It was supposed to be two 20 something meters dives for some students. I was ok with that and was asked to show a c card.
    I showed the card I had with me: Advanced Trimix instructor, one side TDI, one side CMAS (yes some cards are/were like that).
    The guy told me I would need a check dive and I said I was ok with that if he checked me during the first minutes.of the dives and decided if I could.go on with the dive. He says that the check out dive should in fact be done before the outing, in front of the shop, for 10 minutes and charged at a full normal price...
    I politely declined the nice offer :) and as I left, I saw that just across there were another dive shop.
    I went into it and 5 minutes later was registered into next day dives :)
    I told the second dive shop owner about my "nice" first encounter and he told me:
    "Some people never learn".
    2 years after, I went back and the first shop had changed hand...
    JMBL likes this.
  8. jonhall

    jonhall Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Indianapolis
    Not me. I look at the level and the particular dive some of the posters have written about - seems much depends on where you dive and the types of dives you are going on. My diving is basically travel to a tropical place and dive what is offered. Before AOW, ~ 45% of my dives were deep, 35 of those being 70-110'. I either swam through or dropped into 9 wrecks. Nothing beyond OW needed or asked for.

    When we started traveling with friends in 2008, the husband who we'd known for years had been certified in college, ~1978 diving quarries, and didn't dive again until 2007 when he did 2 dives in Matzalan for something to do. When he was with us on that first trip together I saw his c-card which was a "Scuba Diver" card. We dove in Aruba, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, St. Croix multiple times, and wound up in Kona in 2013. He forgot his card and they weren't going to let him dive - they tried to look him up in the system but couldn't find him. He had kids at home that were going to make a copy and send it to him - in the meantime, the op said he could dive, but I would need to be responsible for him. He dove the whole trip.The next 3 years we dove several more times together. Flash forward to late 2016 in Playa del Carmen where I told him we should take the AOW since we were there for 2 weeks and it was "free." The op wanted to see our OW c-cards and he pulled out his "Scuba Diver" card. Long story short, they didn't accept it, but let him basically take a refresher and certified him OW before he could do the AOW. To that point he had never been refused a dive.

    Here's what doesn't make much sense to me. AOW, as I understand it, would allow me to dive the Spiegel even though, diving a wreck wasn't one of the specialties I did in AOW. The c-card allows me to do the dive.

    Would most of the instructors say it's generally up to the diver to make a good decision based on their own ability and comfort level as to whether they do a dive, assuming the dive has been explained to them? Of course had I made good decisions, I probably wouldn't have done lot of the dives I did early on and missed out on those experiences.:)
  9. oly5050user

    oly5050user Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Westchester NY
    I was on line to check in at a shop on Cozumel , guy in front of me claims to be an instructor and gets all upset when the owner insist on a “check” dive before he can dive. Well this “instructor” storms off and leaves. I see and hear all this going on and think to have some fun . I tell owner that I am ok to do a check dive, but only if he personally does it, thinking it can be fun to put mask on upside down or insist to dive with only 1 fin on, wear tank upside down and tell him that’s how we do it in China. All kinds of silly **** . Well he laughs and says the last guy was a a!!hole and he knows I can dive. Mind you I never saw this guy ever before in my life. Disappointed that I did not get to screw around on him. After the dives I gave him a few beers .yes I can be a ball breaker at times
  10. CT-Rich

    CT-Rich Solo Diver

    I have a “scuba diver” cert from 1980. I know that I will not be allowed on a bunch of charter boats because I lack the AOW card. Most of my diving in recent years has been shore diving and I have no “drysuit” certification either.

    I understand where the charters are coming from as far as liability is concerned, but the idea that I should spend hundreds of dollars to get remedial training so I pay money to get on a charter irks me. When I went to Grand Cayman, the shop that ran the trip vouched for me. I would like to have more charter options, but I have plenty of expenses that take priority over training dives that I don’t really need.

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