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No solo diving in overhead environment

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by Foxfish, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. Glenlivet

    Glenlivet Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: near Heidelberg, Germany
    27
    15
    0
    Sorry, but what is your point? What do you want?

    If you don't want to dive solo in an overhead environment: don't do it

    If you want to dive solo in an overhead environment: get cave training & experience and do it

    If you want someone to tell you diving solo in an overhead environment is ok so you don't have to accept the responsibility for your decisions and actions: forget it.
    It is your decision and your decision alone. No one and especially no agency can take that off your hands.
     
    TTPaws and waterpirate like this.
  2. Foxfish

    Foxfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Perth, Australia
    717
    118
    0
    Leaving the question of whether a solo diver should enter any overhead environment aside for a minute, what kind of training would you recommend? Firstly I'm diving in the ocean. What did you learn in cave training about understanding ocean conditions like wind, swell and current and their influence the risks of diving in an overhead environment?

    Secondly nearly all the 'caverns' in which I dive have multiple large openings allowing a diver to easily exit from all areas of the cavern, are well illuminated and have no chance of silting. If I required a torch to see within the cavern or a string line I would not enter.

    The difficulty I have is accepting that doing any kind of overhead course is going to be of much use in these circumstances.
     
  3. Glenlivet

    Glenlivet Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: near Heidelberg, Germany
    27
    15
    0
    In my eyes, you would need training and/or experience for the ocean conditions present at the site and at least the basics for diving in enclosed spaces like horizontal trim, non-silting propulsion (frog kick, modified flutter), precise buoyancy control and precisely positioning yourself by only using your fins (back kick, helicopter turn).

    Whether you get all this through a class or by training and educating yourself is up to you.


    I can't comment on that, since I know that I don't know enough about caves and caverns. :wink:

    But I would recommend two books from Steve Lewis to you: "Staying Alive" and "The Six Skills and Other Discussions".
     
  4. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
    73,616
    58,022
    113
    ... the person is dead ... she died solo in a cave ...

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)

    ---------- Post added February 4th, 2014 at 09:43 AM ----------

    You're assuming that Steve Lewis is the ultimate authority on solo diving. I doubt even Steve would agree with that opinion. Steve speaks only for himself and the agency he represents. Once you've familiarized yourself with a few agencies, you'll begin to realize that there are a great many things they do not agree on.

    FWIW - it wasn't that many years ago that every agency except one were almost fanatically against the recreational use of nitrox ... many publishing "scholarly" articles on how dangerous it was for the recreational user. They have since changed their mind. What changed it? It certainly wasn't the physics behind using nitrox.

    Outside of the classroom, agencies don't "allow" divers to do anything. You have a fundamental misunderstanding of what agencies are for. They don't create standards for diving ... they create standards for teaching diving ... and those are two very different things. When I teach a class I MUST follow the standards of my agency ... because not doing so opens me up to legal liabilities if one of my students gets hurt. That doesn't necessarily mean that diving outside of those standards is dangerous ... it means that the agencies, after collaborating with their insurance providers and legal staff, have determined that the conditions they stipulate are the safest way to train people who are learning how to dive ... and that their insurers have agreed to terms for coverage if these conditions are followed.

    As an example ... most agencies stipulate that a snorkel MUST be worn during OW class.. Does that mean that someone who chooses not to wear a snorkel once class is over is somehow diving outside of their training, or somehow doing something dangerous? No it does not. The use of a snorkel is a personal decision that should be made depending on the circumstances and conditions of the dive, as well as how compatible it is with other equipment choices the diver is making.

    Agencies are not the ultimate authority on "safe" diving ... they don't attempt to be. As a business, their rules are intended to help them limit their own liability while students are in classes. Once class is over, the diver needs to be capable of making their own decisions how they dive.

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
    TTPaws, uncfnp, MMM and 5 others like this.
  5. Foxfish

    Foxfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Perth, Australia
    717
    118
    0
    From an article after her death:

    Another cave diving instruction agency that does not recommend or sanction cave diving solo. I question the sense of requiring all this training and making up these rules if the organisation fosters a culture that allows divers to casually disregard them once they are certified.
     
  6. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,636
    17,115
    113
    Here in America, we had a famous problem involving our then President, Richard Nixon, a problem known as Watergate. There were hearings to determine if he had breached the law. During a hearing, Nixon's attorneys were answering questions about a document that clearly showed culpability. They kept insisting that words that obviously meant one thing meant something else. When Senator Sam Ervin pressed them on that point, insisting that the words meant what they obviously did, they asked him how he knew that was what they meant. In exasperation, Ervin replied, "Because I speak the English Language. It's my mother tongue!"

    I understand how Ervin felt. I have read this thread and tried to figure out what you are saying. I speak the English language. It is my mother tongue. But you have me baffled.
     
  7. Foxfish

    Foxfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Perth, Australia
    717
    118
    0
    Use that as the guiding principle for interpreting comments by the instruction agencies I've mentioned that explicitly state they don't sanction or recommend diving solo in an overhead environment.
     
  8. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
    73,616
    58,022
    113
    Here's a different perspective ... Cave Excursions

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
    Jaydubya likes this.
  9. OtherHalf

    OtherHalf Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Virginia
    278
    92
    28
    And yet we've pointed out at least one agency that does, and we continue to point out that agencies don't make rules, they make guidelines for training, and here in the US, we have the fundamental right to make decide to dive against the ADVICE of an agency whose rules have no legal basis.

    Why is it so important to you that an agency sanction the practice? Agencies have lawyers whose job is to protect that agency from liability. Most will always go on the record against diving outside specific training. Why do you think PADI has so many specialties: it makes money and protects them from liability!

    Why is the rationale of having separate instruction, as most all the solo-cave divers use, insufficient for you? Did you receive instruction for every condition you've ever dove in? I mean, do we need to add Deep-Night-Nitrox to do a dive to 110' on EAN32 at midnight?
     
    Glenlivet likes this.
  10. tstormdiver

    tstormdiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Kentucky
    6,172
    1,129
    113
    Simple answer,... How can it hurt? I have, & many others have, always seen improvement in knowledge & skills as an asset. One of the most valuable lessons I learned in my cave courses is to consider the "What if's",... Things I would have never otherwise even considered. There were also many other things I learned in cave training that 99.99999.......% of people would never consider. Information, knowledge & skill can be your friend when the doo doo hits the rotating oscillator. Believe it or not, Yes, my cave training (in high flow caves) did help me to learn to navigate high current areas of the ocean, by carefully choosing hand holds & reading the currents to avoid the worst. By most of my diving, I am a quarry rat & don't deal with currents very often, but it really helped in the Galapagos where the currents are strong & crazy. Yes, the crossovers are few, but still there. There is no scuba police & no one can make you do it,... but wouldn't you rather have the deck stacked as much in your favor, as possible?
     

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