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Lessons to be learned-Death in Palau

Discussion in 'Accidents & Incidents' started by detroit diver, Apr 10, 2003.

  1. Flightlead

    Flightlead Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Atlanta/Buckhead, GA
    NAUI OW training includes about 1/2 of the PADI rescue course. I'm told (haven't seen proof) that NAUI actually LOST a lawsuit because of their additional training.

    Take a NAUI course or (better) BSAC course.
  2. ScubaSarus

    ScubaSarus Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Connecticut

    "This thread was started in the Spring of 2003.

    Before you revive old threads, ensure there is a reason to respond to a five year old thread rather than starting a new one.

    Most of the guys and gals in the thread in 2003 are no longer with us today...



    Maybe a good reason to lock threads after a certain period of time. I thought this was a new thread myself at first.
  3. Cacia

    Cacia Divemaster

    Not sure if this has been mentioned. I don't hook in when the current is raging, too risky. At some point, in an extreme current, you need to just fly with it. (IMO) (and not get close to any entanglements or obstacles)

    I think calm people who can follow directions can do Palau Blue Corner most days, but Pelelui can just be too much for beginners.
  4. Jim Kerr

    Jim Kerr Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NorCal
    Hey DOC, I hope you don't mean they're all diseased. :D

    I second that on putting a lock on threads that have not had a reply after a certain length of time.
  5. Boxcar Overkill

    Boxcar Overkill Contributor

    Everyone wants to do Blue Corner when the conditions are right. But what "the conditions are right" means is that there are are strong currents that bring out the sharks. So the best time to do the Blue Corner is when it's at it's most challenging.

    The problem is that the boats get too big, and there are experienced people diving with relatively new divers on the same boat. (Boats assignment is usually based on what language you speak rather than experience level). So when the current gets strong, there is pressure to go to Blue Corner, after all, people have paid a lot of money to get here, they want to see the show.

    But that is precisely the time that it is the most dangerous for newer divers. If you go by the theory that the dive spot should only be as advanced as your boats weakest diver, than there are going to be a lot of mad veteran divers who aren't getting what they paid for, because the conditions are set for an awesome dive, but the new guys are holding you back. But if you do otherwise, you'll end up putting divers in over their head. That is the inherent problem of having too wide of a variation in divers abilities on your boat.

    I've dove with most of the known ops here. Some are more conservative than others. If one is going to Palau, they need to understand that many of the operations here will take you to some pretty advanced dives (by rec standards) regardless of your skill level because the other folks on the boat demand it.
  6. spydeedyves

    spydeedyves Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Central Massachusetts
    Thanks Flightlead, I'll check into NAUI
  7. GrandpaScuba

    GrandpaScuba Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Seattle, Puget Sound
    I'm perfectly capable of diving in those conditions. But, I go on dive vacations to have fun and I don't find dealing with those kind of conditions to be fun at all. There have been several times that I have stayed on the boat when everyone else went in, just because I didn't like the conditions.

    Still... I would be annoyed if I paid for an expensive vacation and the operator kept taking me to places that I felt were unsafe.

    Though, I usually do a lot of research before signing up for any vacation. One of the things I really look into is what kind of diving is done at my potential vacation spot. If I had read that these kind of conditions were normal for this part of the world, I probably wouldn't even take that trip. I go on vacation to relax and have fun.
  8. Boxcar Overkill

    Boxcar Overkill Contributor

    To be fair, it's only a few spots that are like that in Palau. There are also lots of easy going drift and wall dives, and about 70 WWII wrecks, too.

    But there's a reason guides started using reef hooks at Blue Corner and the Peleliu sites. Sometimes the current is so strong there, and you need to hook in to keep from getting blown off the reef.

    Unfortunately, Blue Corner and the Peleliu sites are at their best when the current is really strong. And at their best they're really amazing dives. I'm not sure there's much in the world of recreational diving that can touch them. If your not a brand new diver, you'll easily find it worth the effort to get down and hook in, and watch the show.

    Although even for experienced divers, there are times when you should just say no.
  9. Cacia

    Cacia Divemaster

    I know I told this story a long time ago, I hope it was not this thread.

    We were going in for only four days for our fifth time to Palau...we did not want to compromise doing check out dives, so we negotiated that up front when we booked. (Made the argument about expense, our desires, etc) They (Sam's) were great and accomodated us by not putting any inexperienced divers on our runs. It was as easy as explaining what we wanted, and what we wanted to pay for.

    My advice that if you are wanting conditions that fit your experience level, communicate that clearly, and many times they will set you up with a very affordable option. DM's are cheap, in the scope of a trip like that. I always try and be really nice, outlining what I would like before I pay and pose it as a "request" that I am making. That way it is very likely to go your way, and everybody is happy.

    Initially, we had this wonderful lady who was on chemo on our boat, initially, and she needed easy dives.
    Still, we had them rearrange people. They only really know what is brought to their attention. I made it clear to the lady we would really miss their company, but had come to do Blue Corner, Big Drop-Off and Pelelui. You know what? They were fine with that. People like that don't want the pressure of disgruntled *hot shots* glaring at them all day either. Or even feeling like a liablity...I've been on that side too. When I have been in over my head, I look for private help, often as a solution.

    I thought it was very touching and cool that they were diving in Palau while she was battling cancer, but they would not have been happy trying to compromise with us everyday, and we were not willing to dive German Channel or muck every dive.

    Of course, there are times, when you did not pay so much and can happily just go with the flow, out of the goodness of your heart.
    But, if you are going to be PO'd, consider advocating for yourself early.
  10. Seadeuce

    Seadeuce Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Ireland
    Back in 1996 I booked a certain liveaboard (OH) on the basis of their advertising that they were doing dives for advanced divers - and I don't mean AOWs!
    We had one person aboard with only 30 dives up.

    Never got to Peleliu or Siaes Tunnel.

    Had some good dives there but I will never forgive them for false advertising, and for not delivering the goods. Nothing short of fraud IMO.

    If less-experienced divers are allowed on board they should be told from the outset that they will not be diving the more challenging sites.
    These are the sites that I travelled halfway around the world to see.

    Dive operators would do well to realise that their dive clients have mighty long memories when it comes to dives done - and missed - at world-class locations.



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