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Problems with Certified to 130 feet in one course, circa 1975-1980

Discussion in 'Grumpy Old Divers' started by ScubaBackpacker, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. ScubaBackpacker

    ScubaBackpacker Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    50
    35
    18
    Hi !
    When I was first certified in 1975 and again in 1980 there was only one level of certification as an open water diver and it was to 130 feet. 1975-1995 I did a fair amount of Caribbean diving on my 1980 certification, sometimes to 120-130 feet. How can some dive operations now require 3 levels of certification,i.e. 3 classes, to go to the same depth ? I've talked to Padi reps and they don't seem to know what I'm talking about. How can they certify you to 130 feet and then take it away ?
    Anybody else run in to this issue?
     
  2. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,636
    17,064
    113
    You may be misremembering things a little, and I do mean a little.

    The wording used in classes can be tricky, and it has changed slightly even in the last decade. Here are some key facts about OW certification and your limits.

    1. You are certified to the level of your training and experience in all matters related to diving, including depth. Implied (but admittedly not clearly stated) in that statement is the fact that your experience can push your limits beyond the level of your training. (And, yes, I have had that clearly explained by PADI.)
    2. In the OW class today, students are told that they are certified to a depth of 60 feet with the OW card and 100 feet with the AOW card. They are also told that the recreational depth limit is 130 feet. What is NOT clearly stated in there is that those limits are actually recommendations. I would bet you were told something very similar in your class 40 years ago.
    3. Neither PADI nor any other agency has any power to regulate your dives post certification. The only ones with that power are local legal authorities and dive operators who can put whatever limits they want on what is done under their supervision.

    Summary: No dive agency requires you to have a certain certification to dive to a certain depth, because no dive agency has the legal power to do so. A dive operation (the word you used) can make those rules, and they may cite agency recommendations as their reason for doing so. They have that right. You have the right to go to a different operation if you don't like it.

    My guess is that the difference between now and years ago is that you are running into more dive operations that are limiting divers based on a fear of litigation than you did years ago.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
    Altamira, Wookie, giffenk and 2 others like this.
  3. northernone

    northernone Great White Rest in Peace

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Currently: Cozumel, from Canada
    3,793
    3,388
    113
    Now there is more money to be made selling 3 classes instead of one in depth training.... we like marketing our little cards and certificates. Imposing modular learning strategies in a training program is a great substitute for personal responsibility, experience based skills and understanding methodology to develop our own limits.

    ...it's also useful to avoid some lawsuits I have heard.

    Here's an offer: If we're ever in the same area I'd love to provide the advanced / deep training at material cost in exchange for the enjoyment of diving with you. If it's something of benefit for you in your dealing with dive charters. As @boulderjohn more elegantly said 'their boat, their rules'.

    And welcome back to diving!

    Regards,
    Cameron
     
    Trace Malinowski and KWS like this.
  4. ScubaBackpacker

    ScubaBackpacker Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    50
    35
    18
    I'll admit that I don't have any recollection of what Herman Bakkin(sp.?) told me in my first certification class back in 1974 or thereabouts, nor what Michelle Pugh told me when I chose to retake the Open Water Diver course in 1980 in the Virgin Islands. Perhaps there were additional certifications for rec divers at that time, but I don't personally remember hearing of any level of certification for recreational divers other than Open Water Diver in 1975-1980. But I know for sure that between 1975 -1995 or so I did more than a dozen week-long dive trips to Carribean dive destinations like Bonaire, Belize, Bahamas, Virgin Islands, and Australia, always diving with what I believed to be reputable dive ops., and on a number of occasions diving with the dive masters to over 100 feet and on at least one occasion a maximum of 130 feet. These depths were not at my suggestion -- it's just where the dive masters took us or me. No dive operation during those years asked for more than my basic open water dive course card(I lost the 1975 version but still have the 1980). Perhaps where they led and I followed was ill-advised in light of new knowledge, and/or perhaps there is a greater fear of litigation. But when last year I decided to brush off the rust and pick up diving again, and spent a month in the Bay Islands, I noticed that what was in 1975-1980 apparently one course and one fee, had morphed into several courses with multiple fees. I can't help but puzzle over the rationale for these changes.
     
    Trace Malinowski likes this.
  5. ScubaBackpacker

    ScubaBackpacker Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    50
    35
    18
    Thank-you for the offer and the welcome back. I continue to be curious about the changed landscape. Now I have the money and the time to take whatever courses I want, but I'm not sure I would have pursued diving in my twenties under the current regimen. I wonder if other folks that were certified back in the seventies and eighties will chime in on this.
     
  6. northernone

    northernone Great White Rest in Peace

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Currently: Cozumel, from Canada
    3,793
    3,388
    113
    You're in the right sub forum for that. Enjoy. Cameron
     
  7. MaxBottomtime

    MaxBottomtime Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Torrance, CA
    8,673
    7,517
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    I wasn't certified until 1989 but my NAUI instructor drilled it into our heads that 60 feet was the recommended depth limit for OW1 and 130 feet for OW2.
     
  8. RayfromTX

    RayfromTX Student Of Gas Mixology Staff Member ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Hill Country of Central TX
    5,688
    5,254
    113
    How much did your course in 1975 cost in 2017 dollars? How much time was spent in the class and in the water?
     
  9. northernone

    northernone Great White Rest in Peace

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Currently: Cozumel, from Canada
    3,793
    3,388
    113
    To help the math:

    100 in 1975 → $446.11 in 2016
     
    scrane likes this.
  10. Trace Malinowski

    Trace Malinowski Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Alexandria Bay, NY
    2,325
    2,499
    113
    I learned to plan decompression dives to 190 feet in open water class in 1981. It was recommended that we use an anchor line or weighted shot line if we were going to dive that deep and wear doubles. The doubles consisted of two tanks with a manifold that couldn't be isolated, a primary regulator on a short hose, an octopus on a longer hose, and plastic backpack and a horsecollar BCD.

    The reps from PADI probably never played with an 11 1/2" tall G.I. Joe and were born after "Friends" and "Seinfeld" were on TV.
     
    captain, rhwestfall and northernone like this.

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