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What do you wish you could change about your (rec) wreck diving class?

Discussion in 'Wreck Diving' started by blac86, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. sigxbill

    sigxbill SoCal DIR

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southern California
    69
    21
    8
    interesting - thanks for sharing!
     
  2. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    22,340
    12,802
    113
    My mistake for omitting it--that is true.
     
    sigxbill likes this.
  3. iarf

    iarf Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Mexico
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    Just going off of my wreck course here, I think all I gained from it was some false confidence and a piece of plastic.

    I learned it to PADI standards over 2 days. My instructor was unfit to teach the class (having no wreck experience besides the one I was trained on, and little on that), but at the time as a new diver I was unaware of that. I learned to lay line in a way I now think was stupid. I learned the basics of penetrating within light limits and to 40 linear meters (but was told the 40 linear meters was the only important one). The class I took covered nothing about proper gas planning for the dive, nothing about redundancy and we went through a passage that today I'd see as a minor restriction (Diving singles with classic regulator config and no redundancy, of course).

    When I finished my PADI wreck course, I was told that I was qualified to autonomously wreck dive and, not knowing what I didn't know, I began to. As I got more into diving I learned more and more about the risks associated and best practices involved, and quickly stopped my wreck diving exploits.

    Now a little later in my diving career having done some proper cave and wreck training, I'm frustrated with how this idea of "recreational wreck diving" was sold to myself and many others. In my opinion now, these courses should not exist in their current state as many of them are putting the students into danger past the end of the course. The standards need to be raised and the community needs to acknowledge that diving with a ceiling above you of any sort (physical or deco) is "technical diving" and needs to be treated as such.

    A "recreational wreck course" should either not include penetration or should be taught to a much higher standard than is commonplace. To me that would mean comprehensive planning, preparing divers to deal with problems underwater (not being reliant on the ability to surface), reinforcement of good general diving as well as penetration techniques, etc. I would also say that if you're penetrating and laying a guideline, odds are you should have a redundant gas source and be trained in using it.
     
    sigxbill likes this.
  4. Erich S

    Erich S Nassau Grouper

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    I agree that penetration/ overhead dives such as wreck, cavern and ice should be considered as tech diving.
     
  5. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver Tech Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    15,242
    7,887
    113

    They're not tech diving, because they meet no current definition of tech diving.

    Nonetheless, they should be considered a 'level above' basic open water diving.

    It's another case where some diver fundie skills are demanded in advance of training. You shouldn't go into wrecks if you have any tendency to drop into vertical trim whenever you stop or are otherwise task loaded. Wrecks aren't the places for bottom-churning rototiler divers. You need to have effective buoyancy, consistent trim, non-silting propulsion and maneuverung skills.

    Same is true of other fundie skills like gas planning and management, team diving procedures, effective light communication

    That's not "tech" really. You don't have to be a tech diver to be competent in fundamentals. High calibre skills shouldn't be thought of as the exclusive preserve of tech divers.

    That said, there is a class of diving for that is "advanced recreational". Advanced in the sense of application, not a silly name on c-card to glamour otherwise pathetic post-entry level courses.
     
    lermontov likes this.
  6. iarf

    iarf Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Mexico
    6
    2
    3
    That's what I was trying to get at, whatever name it should go by. I'm not a dive professional (working on that) but from my viewpoint as a consumer in this industry it seems like there's a lot of training that is offered that doesn't adequately prepare divers for real life application of their skills.

    Like you said, wreck diving does require effective buoyancy, trim and propulsion skills, in addition to solid fundamentals in other areas. I think a lot of programs are turning out divers who don't meet what I'd consider the minimum level of competency for wreck diving. I know when I finished my PADI "rec wreck" course that I was in no way prepared to participate in wreck diving to the limits of that training, but I thought I was. I see this as dangerous and irresponsible on the part of those offering this type of training.
     
  7. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver Tech Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    15,242
    7,887
    113
    That'd be true, but most of these instructors simply don't know what they don't know. It's the blind leading the blind.

    The biggest failure in recreational wreck tuition is that instructors don't need to be qualified at a higher level of wreck diving.

    In, comparative, cavern training the instructor must be qualified at cave instructor level (or at least, just cave diver, if PADI). In either case the instructor has a much greater depth of knowledge and experience... especially in relation to the foreseeable dangers and necessary risk mitigation measures.

    Wreck does have comparative higher level training.. advanced or technical wreck. But few agencies require wreck instructors to possess such qualifications before teaching penetration in the overhead environment.

    That's partially because many of the agencies themselves don't even possess higher level wreck syllabus/courses. Keep climbing upwards through the agency echelons... instructors.. instructor trainers.. course designers and 'educational consultants' in the HQs.. and you see the same level of clueless ignorance.

    But the same is often true with cavern/cave.. and it's always been acceptable that instructors could source their higher level training from other agencies.

    For some absurd reason, people are willing and able to accept that cave diving requires specific expertise, but simultaneously they seem entirely content that wreck penetration can be a free-for-all; that you can easily just make up as you go along..

    The gross disparity between cave and wreck attitudes to training and necessary competency.. IMHO.. exposes the deep greed of the dive industry. It's a very clear example of how profits are put before any duty-of-care to provide realistically safe training from expert instructors.

    Wreck courses are a big seller. And, unlike cavern/cave diving, there's little or no regulation of wreck access. Ethics are conveniently set aside.. and wreck penetration c-cards are handed out to incompetent divers by incompetent instructors.. who in turn are authorised to teach by incompetent instructor-trainers.

    This is one instance where IMHO blame lies with the agencies, not the instructors.

    It's the agencies' role to implement a comprehensive syllabus that really mitigates the known and foreseeable risks in a given activity. And to ensure that the respective instructors are expert and competent in providing that training.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017 at 1:40 AM
    iarf likes this.
  8. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    22,340
    12,802
    113
    I agree with this and have written about this before. The difference between the PADI wreck course and the PADI cavern course is stunning, as are the requirements for instructor qualification.
     
  9. Erich S

    Erich S Nassau Grouper

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    John,
    Isn't the cave course more of a basic class while cavern is for more advanced?
    Hence, you must have AOW to take the cavern course?
     
  10. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    22,340
    12,802
    113
    The two courses supposedly prepare divers to do roughly the same thing--one in a cavern and one in a wreck. I don't know why they would be considered to be so different.
     

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