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Nerdy Certification/Experience Question, but still curious...

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by Aerosynth, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. Aerosynth

    Aerosynth Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Midwest/Central U.S. is where I hang my hat. Where
    114
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    I'm a pretty new diver. Just certified this year. I have a question you've probably all already heard before, but I am still curious. Indulge me. I'm just trying to get a better understanding of the sport.

    It seems to me there is an inherent safety flaw with non-expiring, lifetime certifications. Here's what I am saying. I'll give an example. Right now I am just O/W certified. But if I were to go through a "diving phase" right now, I could have advanced certifications... AOW, deep diver, wreck, etc... maybe more than that... in just a few months' time.

    So let's say I get bored with diving. I don't dive for 4 or 5 years, but all the sudden I decide to pick it back up. I'm still certified at all those advanced levels, and hypothetically would be cleared to go on a 90-foot wreck dive even though I've been out of practice for years. Right?

    Isn't that unsafe? Do dive operators typically do more investigation into a customer's dive history when the dive is more advanced, or do most of them just look at cert cards a clear a person to go on the dive? Wouldn't it make more sense for agencies to require re-certification every [x] number of years?

    Mainly, I am curious to hear from divemasters, instructors, charter operators, professional divers. Also, another somewhat-related question. Instructors: if someone was OW certified 10 years ago, and hasn't dove once since the certification, and they all the sudden come to you wanting to take an AOW class, what do you do? Can you (or WOULD YOU) refuse to teach them the class?

    Sorry if these seem like dumb questions. Just curious. Mainly, I am trying to get a better understanding of how dive pros separate the experienced divers from the inexperienced ones, aside from looking at certifications.
     
  2. Scuba Ken

    Scuba Ken Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Astoria, New York, USA
    180
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    Some will check your log book for recent dive experience, but other than your on your whether or not to dive.
     
  3. dwallace

    dwallace Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario Canada
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    Common sense says that after an extended time from diving you should take a refresher course to reacquaint yourself to being underwater.
     
  4. tstormdiver

    tstormdiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Kentucky
    6,186
    1,134
    113
    Definitely a refresher would be in order in that instance.
     
  5. Zaixon

    Zaixon Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    385
    36
    28
    around here most places just look at your cert card. but you should know yer own limits and take safety per-cautions. If you havn't dove in quite some time and are hesitant about a dive I think a refresher class would be the smartest thing to do and built back up to doing more advanced dives from there. but one thing always comes to mind is know your own limits
     
  6. RJP

    RJP Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
    13,460
    6,053
    113
    There's no "right" to receive scuba instruction; you can refuse any student for any reason you want. However, if instructors turned away un-prepared/under-experienced students, the market would be pretty thin.

    If someone came back after not diving for years I'd want to do a Scuba Review with them before doing any sort of instruction with them. This would serve as a refresher for them and a chance for me to evaluate them as well. Depending on how that went I might well suggest they join us at the local quarry for a Discover Local Diving - or just buddy up with some local folks - to get even more acclimated to being in the water before jumping into a course.

    I conduct PADI Scuba Reviews all the time, and am now at the point that I am no longer surprised at how GOOD most people are who return after many years out of the water. Most recent one I conducted was a man who hadn't been in the water in more than 10 years. He had demonstration quality skills. Still think it was the other staff at the shop yanking my chain.
     
  7. adurso

    adurso Solo Diver

    50,473
    184,524
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    There is no law requiring a certification to dive. The various rules are promulgated by agencies for a variety of reasons.

    Many of us got cards because we did not own compressors and charters and shops started asking for a card to get fills or go on a trip.

    The availability of training is a good thing and should be encouraged

    A rational person might think it was a good idea to get refresher training after not diving for a while.

    Darwin still rules the sea....
     
  8. Louie

    Louie Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Vancouver (yet again but not for long)
    870
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    In my experience, shops and resorts recommend a refresher course if a person hasn't dived in over six months. Alternatively, they may require or strongly recommend that a long-time absentee does a checkout dive with a DM or Instructor prior to a course or dive trip.
     
  9. BioLogic

    BioLogic Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: midwest U.S.
    186
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    We just did the Oriskany in May. They asked our cert level, our last dive, and our last deep dive. They either refuse the diver or insist they have a personal DM if they're not satisfied. But that's the charter operator's decision, not a general rule.
     
  10. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

    11,975
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    You realize that dive instruction is not required by any law of the land and that many people even to this day are self taught and are not "certified" whatever that might or might not entail.

    My pilot's license is good for life or until revoked, suspended or returned willingly, so is my A&P, of course these are covered by federal law and log books or other recent proof of experience is required, scuba diving is not a regulated activity largely and it falls under the right to pursue happiness and personal choice.

    N
     

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