• 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

PADI swim test

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Paladin, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. Guy Alcala

    Guy Alcala Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SF Bay Area
    745
    12
    0
    Er, that's what I said in one of my posts, that people need to learn to swim before they learn to dive. At least, they would if I was the instructor. And you have exactly stated my rationale for why that's the case.

    Guy
     
  2. Guy Alcala

    Guy Alcala Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SF Bay Area
    745
    12
    0
    +1 to all, exactly my opinions but stated much more clearly.

    Guy
     
  3. Guy Alcala

    Guy Alcala Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SF Bay Area
    745
    12
    0
    +1. And every time the swell/waves come up, we can almost count on someone drowning or being sucked out to sea and dying of hypothermia locally. Happened again in Carmel on Maverick's weekend, a father and son who had no business being in the water. The father died.

    Hell, I almost went over board owing to a oddball swell while I was standing in the boat (an RIB) after removing gear this past Sunday. The fact that I'd partially cracked the zipper on my drysuit to remove the shrink-wrap meant that I'd better be a strong enough swimmer to get my ass back to the boat totally flooded, and do so in a strong current (IIRR we'd just pulled in and stowed the current line, but were still anchored), sans fins, mask or snorkel. We were having to work against the current _with_ fins (Jets), so trying to swim in a drysuit would have required a powerful arm stroke. Put a weak swimmer in poor condition in that situation, and they're probably dead.

    You can bet I zipped up again immediately after, and closed down my exhaust valve.

    Guy
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2010
  4. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

    11,725
    1,881
    113
    Well, it is in the eye of this beholder, long distance swim racer, swam competitively, Water Safety Instructor, ocean lifeguard. I don't think you need to be a pro swimmer, but I do think a scuba diver needs to be a a swimmer, able to swim proficiently using several different recognized strokes, have some familiarity with survival skills and be familiar and at ease in the water. Sooo, what I am saying, to re-phrase, only about 20% of scuba divers I see including some with the They are Right acronym and various alphabet instructors are actually competent swimmers who would be at ease in the water without a layer of technology and who depend on that technology and when that technology lets them down they are possibly prone to panic at and the very least are severely compromised in such an event.

    If a scuba candidate cannot swim then let them learn to swim first, nothing wrong with that except it does not satisfy the retail store floor planning needs nor does it satisfy the instant gratification needs of the I want it all now without putting any effort into it thinking.

    Back in the day, when I was involved with a dive store in a certain capacity, I did teach a few student divers swimming skills.

    I am not a consensus seeker, sorry.

    N
     
  5. Guy Alcala

    Guy Alcala Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SF Bay Area
    745
    12
    0
    A related thread from the Public Safety Divers forum, and one I'm sure we agree with:

    http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/public-safety-divers/324644-diver-fitness.html#post5075365

    Guy
     
  6. Alexdz

    Alexdz Garibaldi

    2
    0
    0
    I'll agree with the guy. In fact this is my first post and I registered on the board just to do so!

    I'm not a swimmer, but I took the PADI course in Australia back in 1984. Of course the instructor wouldn't certify me because I couldn't pass the swim requirements. On the other hand, I was the only person in class who could (or would) skin dive down to 40 or 50 feet with her. On top of that, she did allow me to do the certification dives so I guess she figured she'd rescue me if my fins fell off. So long as I have those fins on I'm just fine in the water.

    I did manage to do about 6 dives in the year or two after, including a wreck dive in around 70 or 80 feet (Petchburi?). All of these were overseas, and typically the dive master would just buddy up with me. It is a business after all, and business generally don't like turning money away, especially in countries that aren't overrun with lawyers. Regardless, I got tired of feeling like a burden, so I quit diving.

    Anyway, I would just like to echo the question someone asked on the first page, which is, what empirical evidence is there that being able to swim 200 yards makes you a safer diver? Another good question might be how many weak swimmers injure or kill themselves while diving--although that would be tough to answer since thanks to these requirements weak swimmers aren't usually allowed to dive.

    This discussion reminds me of another I had at work the other day about motorcycles splitting lanes. I mentioned to a couple of guys (we're all riders) that Arizona is considering legalizing lane splitting, and their immediate reaction was the very common "oh man that is so dangerous." OK, so if it's so dangerous why is it that motorcyclists aren't dying in droves in California, where lane splitting is practiced regularly? Perception and reality are often at odds, even among those very familiar with the subject.

    Now I didn't come here just to be a dick and argue with you guys. I found this discussion because I'm planning to take the course again in a couple of months with my son (he's a good swimmer). In preparation I'm taking swim lessons so I can hopefully pass the stupid test, but in my uneducated opinion its importance is overrated. Despite not being a swimmer, and despite having almost drowned while paddling around at a beach once, I manage to find myself always attracted to the water. Besides the interest in diving I've also had sailboats for years. I could certainly agree that some test at the beginning of training to see that the student doesn't panic just by getting in the water makes sense, but the 200 yards is arbitrary. Unless, the evidence otherwise is out there--which it may be.

    BTW, I personally knew one very strong swimmer who drowned off that same beach that almost killed me, and I have a buddy whose girlfriend was a strong swimmer and experienced diver and who died in a dive accident in the Caymans. Apparently just being a strong swimmer isn't a panacea when it comes to water survival.

    Alex
     
  7. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    12,296
    2,691
    113
    Guy, Some very good points, and your swimming ability sure came in handy. Just curious as I don't dive dry--Are you more negatively buoyant in a flooded drysuit? Thus, how easy is it to float in one? If it's not too hard I imagine the boat could pull anchor and get you?
     
  8. kate b

    kate b Angel Fish

    7
    0
    0
    I know this may be a little late to the forum but that seems crazy. I am doing my certificate through NAUI and we were not allowed to use snorkel or fins. There are no dive schools in my area who allow that.

    The whole point of the exercise is to determine whether you are fit enough to be able to cope with a bit of swimming. There was no time limit on our 200m swim, we could do whatever method we preferred, take a few stops, we just had to be able to finish it. We then did a 5min water tread.

    I must say out of everything the swim has been the hardest part for me. Really made me realise how unfit I am!
     
  9. iztok

    iztok PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Charlotte, NC
    4,601
    393
    0
    PADI

    200 meter/yard continuous surface swim or
    300 meter/yard swim with mask, fins and snorkel.

    Completed before certification.

    If conditions warrant, students may wear an exposure suit as long as they are weighted for neutral buoyancy.
     
  10. Marek K

    Marek K Loggerhead Turtle

    1,824
    5
    38
    While I agree with you two and the others who feel that swimming should be a requirement, I don't think your statements are correct that swimming is required in Europe.

    PADI Germany: "200 Meter schwimmen (oder 300 Meter mit Maske, Schnorchel und Flossen)."

    PADI Poland: "powinieneś przepłynąć 200 metrów wpław (lub 300 metrów w sprzęcie ABC – w masce, z fajką i w płetwach)." Just what you think it means. :D

    OK, I don't know Dutch, but I'm pretty sure what this means for PADI in The Netherlands: "200 meter te zwemmen (of 300 meter met masker, snorkel en vinnen)." :D:D

    Our son took a PADI OWD course in Poland -- 300 meter snorkel. Daughter took an SSI OWD course in Poland -- also snorkel, I think.

    Again, I'm not thrilled with the snorkel requirement. But it apparently applies to Europe too.
     

Share This Page