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So, what is a good Skipper ?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by Sandie7, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. Sandie7

    Sandie7 DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Lisbon, Portugal
    I always thought the Skippers were the people who had to drive the boat.

    In diving, some of them had the added bonus of helping divers with the equipment.The ones I met so far, help a bit, some are really helpfull, and a few don't really care much.

    I recently realised there a bit more to be expected, so, what makes a good Skipper for us divers ?
  2. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    Keep the boat afloat, and don't leave anyone behind.

    Depending on the boat and conditions, he may have his hands full taking care of the two jobs above, but if not, it is a service industry and will help in the long run for him/her to be courteous and helpful with the divers, as everyone having a good time is the best recommendation to others. Most of the commercial dive boats I have been on have had DM(s) to deal with the divers, but if the boat were anchored, the Skipper would pitch in with the rest of the crew to insure the divers had a good and safe time.

    I may be old, but I'm not dead yet.
    scuba5150 likes this.
  3. rhwestfall

    rhwestfall Woof! ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: "La Grande Ile"
    I define it as captain & crew:

    minimum: get me there, get me back....

    bonuses: keep an eye for "things not right"

    My favorite charter used to be run by a very active diver. He knew all the roles. A few years back, he sold the business to one of his crew who is not a diver. This guy brings an "A" game every time. Though not a diver, he sure thinks like one. Watchful eye, knows when/where to step in, and is everything you want. I was out this past weekend with him and they were training a new crew member. Looks like the service tradition will continue successfully!
  4. rivers

    rivers PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Bristol, UK
    Get us to and from the wreck safely, be able to put the shot on the wreck, and not miss slack.
  5. GrandpaScuba

    GrandpaScuba Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Seattle, Puget Sound
  6. divad

    divad ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor


    Yes, but that's in terms of "a four hour tour," A Four Hour Tour.
  7. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    The skipper is in charge of the boat and everything that happens on it. A dive charter is part of the service industry, and if a dive charter is to be successful, then divers will want to come back and give good recommendations. The skipper is in charge of the system that generates return customers and good recommendations.

    Some of this is required by law. There was a thread on ScubaBoard a year or two ago about a skipper who was charged (and convicted) with violations of marine law when a diver died. The diver surfaced in distress, and the crew was unable to bring the diver aboard. I don't remember everything exactly, but apparently regulations required to skipper to be present during those operations (she was below deck preparing food). In addition, the crew was not properly equipped and trained to handle the emergency, and providing that equipment and training is the responsibility of the skipper.

    A couple of years ago, a California dive club chartered a boat for a 3 tank dive. Members of the club called the roll after each dive, and they missed a diver after the first dive. He was picked up by another boat late in the day, lucky to be alive. It is the duty of the skipper to call the roll. That duty can be assumed by a member of the crew, but not a passenger. The same is true of the dive boat in Florida this past spring that got all the way into the intracoastal waterway before realizing they were missing a diver. They went back out into the ocean and found him, but if he had perished, the fault would have been the skipper's.
  8. RJP

    RJP Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
    Damn inflation! When I was a kid it was only a THREE hour tour...

  9. nolatom

    nolatom Captain

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Orleans
    The best skippers know when NOT to go out. And when to start back in early. Judging weather and seas is paramount. All else is useful, but less essential.

    It's called "captain's discretion", and it is a broad discretion indeed, and a lonely one when it's a close call.

    PS: That incident with the captain who got her license suspended for a year was basically for not throwing a life ring at a distressed diver on the surface. The Coast Guard views it as a straight "man overboard" situation. Dive boats tend to see it as "diver needs help", and send the DM in. It's a tough distinction for dive boats, whose passengers (unlike those on "typical" passenger boats) are actually supposed to be in the water.
  10. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    If you take a Rescue Diver course, you should learn that throwing a ring (which was not available) or other device is preferable to sending a DM in the water. That should have been part of the training that was not provided.

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