• Welcome to ScubaBoard

  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Instructor sentenced after diver's death

Discussion in 'Scuba Related Court Cases' started by European, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. kafkaland

    kafkaland Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Saline, Michigan

    I'm not a dive professional, but a diver who hires a professional on occasion, and my experience has been different. For instance, I recently hired an experienced instructor for a day to work on skills. In this case, I wanted to do a lost line drill (which I hadn't done since full cave), learn line repair (which I never formally learned), and work on some bottle handling (I had a new deco bottle / harness combination and wanted to speed up the process of getting this trimmed out). The instructor had me sign his usual training release, but there was no curriculum to follow. I would assume, though, that for the individual skills the rules of his agency applied. I found that doing this was a good way to spend a day and some money - I think it made me a safer diver. What would have been the alternative? Practicing lost line with a buddy? It is, when conducted realistically, one of the more dangerous drills for student and instructor alike, and I was glad to have an experienced cave instructor doing it with me. And line repair - should I have to look for some buddy who teaches me what he thinks he knows, instead of an instructor who can professionally teach that skill? The deco bottle I could have figured on my own, though, with a bit of trial and error. So I believe there is value in teaching outside of formal courses, and I hope instructors will continue to be available for this.
  2. KevinNM

    KevinNM DIR Practitioner

    I’ve done that kind of thing too.
  3. clownfishsydney

    clownfishsydney Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Sydney Australia
    As the person most responsible for the dive related defence of Gabe Watson at his murder trial, my comments are as follows:
    1. As novice divers they did not know any better, so they hired a professional to guide/look after them.
    2. To take divers into a lake in 5C water in 5 mm wetsuits is incomprehensible.
    3. The apparent overweighting by the instructor or shop is incomprehensible.
    4. To give divers 10 litre tanks to do what was obviously planned (by the instructor) as a deep (more than 20 metres) dive in very cold water, was also incomprehensible. I would not do such a dive in warm water with that size tank even though my air consumption is better than 95% of divers.
    5. To take them to 30 metres when they only had 25 dives is simply mind blowing.
    6. To take them to 30 metres considering all the above is even worse.
    7. I can understand dumping his air after the emergency ascent is understandable.
    8. Leaving the diver at depth after he descended again is fully understandable.
    All that said, it seems to me the shop got off totally and the instructor very lightly. I would have been a lot more harsh if I was the judge.
    BurhanMuntasser likes this.
  4. leadduck

    leadduck Nassau Grouper

    This was only the criminal case against the instructor. The money goes to the state. It's not much because the defendant was a first time offender with almost no income. Regarding the German Scandinavian day-fine system as opposed to Australia's see Bartl, Benedict --- "The 'Day' Fine - Improving Equality Before the Law in Australian Sentencing" [2012] UWSLawRw 4; (2012) 16(1) University of Western Sydney Law Review 48 .

    A civil court case seeking higher damages may follow and include the shop.
    kafkaland and Schwob like this.

Share This Page