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Self Reliant/Solo pre-requisites vs DiveMaster pre-requisites

Discussion in 'Advanced Scuba Discussions' started by loosenit2, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. Graeme Fraser

    Graeme Fraser Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Narnia
    The standards are there, but it's up to the instructor and dive centre to follow them in spirit as well. I have seen (and worked with) instructors who seem to think a good course is one that can be completed in the shortest possible time. I've also seen centres that will allocate minimal pool availability. Just look at another recent thread with a poor instructor lamenting the fact that he was expected to knock out confined 1-5 in 2 hours!

    An example is CW5 which, in my opinion, is the most important dive, but often bolted on as an afterthought to CW4. If done properly it allows the students to really start thinking and planning as an autonomous diver. By this point I want students to demonstrate they can confidently rig, test and predive check without staff input; plan, present and carry out a dive plan; demonstrate controlled descends, ascents and buoyancy throughout the dive, and confidently respond to a range of issues during the dive itself. These aren't Graeme Fraser standards, they're agency standards. If there isn't sufficient pool time to allow for this, guess what? we'll come back when there is. Luckily we usually manage to pace things so this isn't necessary, but on the occasion that it is I haven't had any pushback from my employer.
    Princess Chris likes this.
  2. Princess Chris

    Princess Chris Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Wellington, New Zealand
    So you are saying every single one of your students on their very first time in open water would react as trained and not make the inside of their wetsuits significantly browner? If that is the case you sir are a very lucky man and I envy you greatly. Also not everyone is lucky enough to work for a shop where time (especially pool time) is unlimited.

    I agree and disagree with instructors basically diving solo. For OW 1 yes you are pretty much on your own but 2,3 and 4 ideally your students confidence has grown enough to be about to act correctly or at least roughly correctly.

    As far as number of dives required for the DM I personally think it should also involve an inwater assessment. I've seen divers with 20 dives be far more confident in the water than people with hundreds. When it comes to being responsible for others its not the amount of dives thats important it's the ability to think clearly and act accordingly which not all people have.
    Esprise Me likes this.
  3. Steve_C

    Steve_C Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC USA
    The required number of dives is a minimum standard. In my own case I had a few 100 dives before doing DM. We never discussed how many dives it would take me. I did some DM skill dives with instructor, I assisted him with some courses, we did some ocean dives together under varying conditions including low viz on a ledge at 110 ft where I lead. Then there were tasks that took some extra dives on my own, like mapping a quarry and preparing the information on a dive site. At some point he said ok you are done. Also picked up a cert I did not have (deep) even though I had done a number of deep dives at that point just so I would know how the cert was carried out. Whole process took a few months.
    AfterDark likes this.
  4. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    You dove solo to map a quarry for your DM class?
  5. Outbound

    Outbound Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Michigan
    [QUOTE="Searcaigh, post: 8730228, member: 169058]"I'm sure there will be an "Assistant DM" course in the pipeline soon :wink:[/QUOTE]

    The Assistant DM is the person who stands next to the DM when he/she turns your air off when it's actually on, telling you "Your air wasn't on!"

    Or maybe that's the Assistant to the DM? (A joke for fans of "The Office")
    Searcaigh likes this.
  6. DeepSeaExplorer

    DeepSeaExplorer Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Florida
    I have to disagree that an instructor with students is a solo dive. Regardless of what skills the students may or may not have, the instructor is not solo. Just because someone is new to diving doesn’t mean they can’t drag you to the surface if you have a heart attack. Even a student has an octopus you can grab.

    Some of those students are cops, firefighters, ex-military, etc. They’ve probably had first aid or been in challenging situations. You don’t know peoples’ life history. To say that you’re solo when in the water with them is an insult, frankly.

    It’s a whole different thing than being a mile off shore completely by yourself with not even topside support because you swam out from shore, or being 2,000 feet back in a cave completely alone with no direct access to the surface.

    Frankly, when someone says something like that, they don’t know what they’re talking about.
    MykaDives, Bob DBF and Graeme Fraser like this.
  7. Jcp2

    Jcp2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    How about self reliant? Thinking back to my confined water dives, I was with my teenaged daughter, a woman who was taking the series over again because she had difficulty breathing off the regulator her first time through, a man who barely made the 300 m snorkel swim, and a woman who brought her all ready but just certified boyfriend with her for additional buddy confidence. Maybe the certified boyfriend might have been helpful.
    My open water dives were shore dives with my daughter and a different instructor. I think I might of been of some help after the first two open water dives when I had a better handle of what the site was like (entry, current, exit). Maybe.
  8. Esprise Me

    Esprise Me Kelp forest dweller ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    I do know that none of the students in my OW class was a cop, firefighter, or ex-military. Two of them were in high school. It's not about whether any OW student ever could perform a rescue; it's about whether you can be sure that at least one person in every class will. Otherwise, you're either cancelling the class ("sorry guys; I was counting on at least one Navy Seal showing up, but you all barely passed the swim test and it took all afternoon"), bringing in reinforcements (which some dive shops do, but I don't believe it's required--maybe it should be?), or you may be effectively diving solo, at least for the first couple checkout dives.
  9. AfterDark

    AfterDark Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rhode Island, USA
    I don't recall who posted that but the comment you cited as harmful was in response to a similar comment that diving with students was like solo diving. If you look back in the thread you'll find it.
  10. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    I did that too. A simple shore dive that I was already familiar with. That may seem taking the easy way out, but I lived in an area where getting a buddy to come a long distance from the shop to team up was asking a lot. Plus pretty much all the sites "close" to the shop had already been mapped by DMCs and on their website. You do what you can to finish the many components of the DM course.

    Side comment-- I re-read my old DM manual regarding mapping. The intro. says it is an important skill because it will help you give better site briefings. That's surely true. It implies that you should map any site that may be used for checkout dives. Think any DMs actually do this? It would seem that a good knowledge of the basics of the site would suffice. Perhaps the details (ropes, other markers, exact depths, trees/plants around the shore entry, etc.) needed to do a map is kinda like the equipment swap--in that it may more be just an exercise in task loading? Maybe not, just a thought. All the DMs I knew did just the one map project for the course. Our instructor more or less said not to let it go too long, basically to do it and get it over with.

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