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Late-May Visit to Port Huron Area

Discussion in 'Great Lakes Wrecking Crew' started by Pearldiver07, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. Mitten Diver

    Mitten Diver ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    Pearl, you seem rather pompus for a PADI course director. Maybe you should speak to Drew Richardson about the position that you are promoting.

    Solo Diving: PADI Worldwide's Position
    Drew Richardson Senior Vice-President, Training, Education, Environment and Memberships, PADI Worldwide

    Why PADI advocates the use of the buddy system
    The buddy system in use today for scuba diving came from a decades old water safety concept found in swimming and lifeguard training. It was adopted because it applied to diving and because it made good safety sense. Early support of buddy diving safety procedures was referenced by Jacques Cousteau and the crew of the Calypso in the book "The Silent World". The goals of training divers include developing the skills to take responsibility for themselves and to be self-reliant. The buddy system provides divers in training with a safety redundancy to this skill base that diving alone simply cannot provide. PADI has, and will continue to, train divers using the buddy system based on its proven benefit to diving, divers and diving safety.
    Practicality & Convenience
    The buddy system has provided tangible contributions to millions of dives. Buddies provide an extra set of eyes and hands for each other. Providing assistance in putting on equipment, adjusting straps, assisting with weights and tanks, entering the water, helping to load and unload gear are but a few practical arguments that support the buddy system.
    The roots of the buddy system arise from diving and water safety. Early days of diver training heralded the buddy system as an important safety procedure because only through the buddy system could a diver reasonably expect to escape from entanglement, entrapment, out of air situations, disorientation, a head injury, chest pains, cramping and dozens more. Diver training and diving equipment have improved, yet these same values apply today. Like all safety-based systems, the buddy system is not perfect. However, the simple fact is that without a buddy in the water, the distressed diver has little or no chance of assistance.
    The buddy system is the most basic form of scuba diving fail-safe. Buddies have helped each other in subtle and profound ways for decades. Often the smallest buddy intervention averts a string of error chains occurred and negative outcomes or tragedy. The safety record of scuba diving has improved dramatically over the past few decades, while the number of certified divers has increased. During this time, buddy system training techniques have been an integral component of this training. While there is no way to quantify the accidents that were prevented or did not happen because of one buddy looking after another, empirical outcomes support the relevancy and integrity of this training.
    Diving is a social activity, so the buddy system is more than a safety rule. Diving with someone you know and are comfortable with adds to the fun. Most divers actually enjoy companionship in and out of the water. It is fun to share exciting adventures and experiences with others. Fundamentally, the buddy system is about dive companionship, something that won't appeal to misanthropic personality types.
    Can Solo Diving be done responsibly?
    Yes, but let's be clear about what responsible solo diving is and what it is not. It requires experienced scuba divers willing to make the necessary commitment to train and equip themselves to accept the added risks involved. That is to say, a person with the required attitude and aptitude to pursue responsible solo diving. This is true in other adventure sport activities such as solo rock climbing.
    It is important to clarify what responsible solo scuba diving is. PADI views it as a form of technical diving and not for everybody. To responsibly engage in solo scuba diving, a diver must first be highly experienced, have a hundred or so buddy accompanied scuba dives, be absolutely self-reliant and apply the specialized procedures and equipment needed to engage in the activity. This includes, but is not limited to redundant air sources, specialized equipment configurations, specific dive planning, and management of solo diving problems and emergencies. When solo diving is performed within this description, we see a place for it. Responsible solo diving is not diving alone without the mental discipline, attitude or equipment. That said, no amount of redundant equipment can effectively back up a diver's brain better than another individual.
    What concerns does PADI have with regard to solo diving
    When a problem occurs on a solo dive, or when the diver is alone in the water, there is little or no chance of assistance for the distressed diver. This decreases the chances of a diver surviving the problem or having a favorable outcome. Diving alone reduces the chance of survival regardless of the problem. Since 1989, there were at least 538 fatalities where it was clear divers were either intentionally diving solo, or became separated from a buddy and were de facto alone.
    PADI is concerned by certain proponents of solo diving within the dive industry, including a major diving publication, who attempt to promote solo diving by bashing both PADI and the buddy system with headlines touting " Why the Buddy System is dangerous". This is both irresponsible and reckless. To suggest that the buddy system fosters a false sense of security and increases the likelihood of panic is outrageous and contrary to the empirical evidence. To claim that divers shouldn't use the buddy system for fear of being sued by a diving companion is ridiculous. The unfortunate reality in the litigious U.S. is that folks have sued one another for nearly anything. It is no surprise that there have been a handful of cases where one buddy has brought suit against another. Outside of the U.S., this argument doesn't hold up and smacks of the fear mongering to sell magazines. Besides, how long will it be before a solo death results in a suit against a magazine or other forum endorsing solo diving, a practice that is contrary to community practice. There is nothing to prevent such lawsuits from arising.
    PADI's position is clear; solo diving proponents should advocate responsible solo diving on its own unique merits, requisite training, and equipment needs and not through sensationalized attempts to disparage a proven safety system, that has served the majority of recreational scuba divers well.
    BoneCrusher likes this.
  2. BoneCrusher

    BoneCrusher NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lapeer, Michigan
    The St. Clair River is an AMAZING dive location.



    The St. Clair River is a very unique dive location. It is very demanding and can be VERY hazzardous. Its not just the HIGH CURRENT that is an issue, but also the monofillament line, the underwater obstructions, the boat traffic, the visibility... and on and on. Every dive site along the river has its own unique challenges. I don't care who you are and what experience you have, if you haven't dove the St. Clair river before, jumping in with the plans of diving it solo is as close to SUICIDE as one can get.

    If you don't like diving with a buddy paired up on the boat or in the river (and I highly doubt you would get anyone around here to willingly pair up with you based on the attitude you have presented to date here :no:), then contact one of the local shops and HIRE an experienced DM or Instructor to dive with you and to give you the low down and cautions for the given dive site.

    PADI... :shakehead:
    PADI IDC Instructor... :confused:

    I truely wish you the best. I hope that you are open minded enough to take some/all of the recommendations of those who dive here locally. The last thing I want to hear/read is about an Instructor who lost his life in late May.
  3. Pearldiver07

    Pearldiver07 IDC Instructor


    I merely offered up that prefer to dive solo when on more challenging situations, and this was a consideration that I brought up when opening this thread.

    It is amazing how many people have taken it upon themselves to bash my personal preference for diving when they know little, if anything at all about me.

    Ok, I'm pompous, irresponsible, arrogant, untrusting, and if you'd like - I'm the demon seed.

    If you'll review all of my posts, you'll find that even if I disagree with someone, I do it in as tactful as a manner as possible. In fact you'll find it unusual to even find me doing more than providing input when requested.

    This thread was to find out information about diving in the Michigan thumb area. I correct myself - it WAS about it. You all talk about whatever you like - I won't be back on this thread again - it's a waste of time.

    I'll be signing off now.
  4. Busdiver

    Busdiver NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Metro Detroit, Downeast Maine, FL
    Hi Pearl,

    Your requirement to have your buddy sign a release does not bother me and in fact is pretty responsible. The sad truth is that you are a dive professional and the days of "leisure" diving is over. If you dive with a buddy there is always some degree of professional responsibility that is placed on you even if the dive is not a training dive. If your neighbor is an AOW diver and the two of you are going diving at a quarry in Ohio and something happens to your AOW diver buddy, their family can attempt to take legal action against you due to your professional standing. They may not win but it will not stop them from pursuing action on those grounds, and since you did not have a release (why would you, it is a leisure dive and not for training, and he is my friend) your insurance company may not cover you and your dive agency may not assist you. I usually have friends sign a release if we are going to dive. My instructor sat me down last year and told me that I always needed to watch out for liability issues and that this was a hard reality.

    Now for charters. I am not sure any charter is going to be thrilled if you dive solo. I work on the Great Lakes Diver which is also based out of Pt. Sanilac. I can NOT tell you that diving solo would be accepted. This is something you would need to discuss with Rick our head instructor and the fellow who runs the charter. He is currently in India until the end of March but checks this forum out regularly. Again, most likely he will NOT agree to you diving solo but then again he is British and struggles with his numbers.

    The St. Clair River. I encourage you to dive it. You can hire a guide out of Bruno's Dive Shop. This is the same shop that owns the Great Lakes Diver. There is an instructor candidate out of the shop who knows the river extremely well. He goes by the name Bonecrusher or Bonefondler on this forum. He will be asking you (and most of his friends from here on out) to sign a release in order to limit his risk and liability. He is one of the best in the river and the person who will be teaching me how to dive certain parts of the river. I may be an instructor but I am aware of my strengths and limitations and I want to minimize my own personal risk. This means I will gladly seek aid from those who know more then I do.

    I hope to get to meet you when you are in the area. This is an amazing area to dive. I hope this helps. Shoot me a pm if you have any other questions.

  5. BoneCrusher

    BoneCrusher NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lapeer, Michigan

    I truely hope that you were just looking for information about diving in this area. There are a lot of people who can give you great information. I am more than willing to discuss with you details about diving in this area.

    I think what set this off wrong was the post about the solo diving preference and liability waivers for diving an area that you are unfamiliar with. My recommendation would have been that wasn't needed in the post looking for information. Instead, anyone who spends any amount of time on Scubaboard knows that will start a heated discussion. You are correct that we don't know your diving skills and conditions that you have been diving in. All that we know is that you haven't dove in this area yet. I think that is why so many people worry about it and speak up when they see it.

    Don't take it negative, take it that we are divers who care about other divers and don't want to see someone get hurt.

    I also prefer "solo" diving. In fact, I have the card. :) However, I don't solo dive on new locations. Also, most of my solo dives are not truely solo. I consider them solo because no one is within immediate distance from me. However, I also carry multiple redundancy with me. Now it won't get me out of all situations, but it increases my odds.

    I normally don't discuss solo diving much especially on a charter or around other divers that I know are not solo divers. Its normally a discussion with the charter captain and the DM/Instructor on the boat in private.

    Either way, I hope this helps with understanding why the posts the way they were. As I said, I am more than happy to discuss diving around here. Feel free to PM me directly if you would prefer.

  6. kidsdream

    kidsdream Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southeast Michigan and Key Largo, FL
    Interesting thread. Primarily as it raises the question about liability related to "professional" dive buddies. I think what took so many off guard was that that poster was the one with limited experience and was requested a release to be signed.

    I realize we live in a litigious society, but after in over 700 dives I've never had a buddy request a release to be signed. And many of my friends have professional certs and they frequently engage in a variety of "extreme" diving activities . Most likely the poster concern (and responses) could have been couched in a more enlightened manner - but what fun would that be.
  7. Busdiver

    Busdiver NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Metro Detroit, Downeast Maine, FL

    I cannot speak for other dive "pro's" but can only speak on my training and what was beaten into my head--which will also be beaten into bonecuddler's head.

    There are a lot of times when I dive with friends but the experience is already being covered, i.e. a buddy wants to dive off the boat, it is a GL diver experience and I am covered. When Boney and I were diving in quarries in October he had already signed on for his leadership classes so I was covered.

    The question would come if I was diving with Mitten or you and we were diving as buddies at Gilboa or in Florida. I would not question ability since both of you both probably have more experience then I do. The problem arises if something tragic occurs underwater and if your estate wants to hold me liable since I have a "pro cert" (despite the fact you may be a more experienced and skilled diver).

    I hold a pro cert because I love sharing the addiction of diving with new divers and I enjoy training. As we all know the cert does not make you uber-diver, it just means you carry a different level of responsibility (warranted or not).

    On a side note, I am looking forward to early May and charter season. I am looking forward to seeing everyone this year out on the boat.


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