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Who "Fails" Open Water Scuba Certification and why

Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by jagfish, Oct 3, 2020.

  1. Scraps

    Scraps ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    Correct. I also umpire high school baseball. Dive parents are much more level-headed than baseball parents.
    Colliam7 likes this.
  2. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    Yeah, agree again. There is also that you'll hear people say that there are more injuries/deaths playing sports-- especially like football-- than in diving. Just like there are many more killed by dogs than sharks each year. Difference is that underwater we are in an alien environment with access only to tank air unless we surface. Can't say why, but that makes me more wary.
    Number of irresponsible dive parents vs. baseball parents? Who knows what the statistics would be. But an irresponsible dive parent is probably more likely to be the direct cause of a child's accident.
  3. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    Perhaps a good point. In some places I know drivers must complete a driving test every year over age 85. But there is more likely that an older driver may cause an accident and harm others, whereas the old diver would likely only harm him/herself.
    I know there are statistics that back up what you say about young drivers. Then graduated licensing came into play maybe 20 years ago. Maybe I'm wrong or just getting old, but it seems to me there are more ---holes on the road today than years/decades ago.
  4. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    I saw something about old driver and young drivers, with young drivers having more statistical accidents than older mature drivers even though they generally have sharper reflexes and quicker reaction times etc. it comes down to maturity.

    How does this relate to scuba training?
    Well, we had a group of OW divers once and three of them were a group of HS senior boys full of vinegar.
    The very last dive after they did all their skills dives was the fun dive and I was assigned to lead them on a congratulatory fun dive. I led them out into the cove to our drop spot. Did a briefing on staying together, no goofing around, all the usual instructions. So we dropped and we all did the ok sign with each other. I instructed them to follow me, took a compass reading and we were off. Not more than 30 seconds into the dive, two of them took off chasing fish and the third looked at me like he was going to go with them but I grabbed him and made him stay with me. We searched around for a minute and surfaced. 10 minutes later I see the two other clowns surface by a cliff where the water was turbulent and a hazard zone with the swells crashing on the rocks. I sent the kid that was with me back to the beach on the surface, (actually there was another group with another DM on the surface close by so I sent him over to them).
    I had to get over to the other two before they became hamburger against the rocks. I was screaming at them to fin hard and get out of that area! I got over to them and we got out of the situation. I was so mad! I had to grind on those two like a HS football coach and let them know this was totally not cool!
    They were all “yes sir, sorry sir”, which was fine but Jesus! Talk about your heart sinking. So we got back in fine and they got a good talking to about their shenanigans. The problem was these guys were very athletic, they were competitive swimmers, in shape, they played other sports, etc. Yes they passed open water pool and ocean skills better than anyone with flying colors and were complete naturals, but they were too full of testosterone and vinegar and that impeded their judgment. They didn’t have the maturity to take the situation seriously. We had to reinforce to them the seriousness of the ocean and how much power it can have.
    This is right in line with kids driving around in hot rods and hot rodding around in the ocean on scuba.
    Their physical skills and need for action are much further ahead of their better judgement and maturity.
    Youth, they think they are all invincible!
    Esprise Me and johndiver999 like this.
  5. ginti

    ginti DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lyon, France
    There is a huge variation among agencies. To give you an idea, the 1st level of French agency teaches to dive with only 1 regulator, and divers at this level are not supposed to help you. But I think that instructors can teach extra-stuff during the course, because I have never seen a guy with only one reg...

    Wow... worst than I thought. I guess this is school, not university...

    My personal opinion is that rescue increases self-reliance and team awareness. Also, although accidents are rare, why shouldn't you be ready?

    If the price and duration of OW courses was double, my guess is that a huge amount of divers would not exist.

    @Eric Sedletzky @Scraps you are saying that young divers are more likely to have accidents. Do you know where I can find a statistic and a report about it? I am very interested in this topic, since I would like to push my young cousins into diving as soon as they reach the age for a license (in 2 years one will be 10)
  6. Saniflush

    Saniflush ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter


    I completely get what you are saying and I respect that you strongly believe that 10 is too young to certify but if we are going to go by the reasoning that you and some others have brought up of them not being able to rescue their dive buddy/parent/professional if something happened, then shouldn't we extend that to other recreations and maybe everyday life?

    My 10 year old is not going to be able to ski me down the slope if I careen into a pine tree. He won't be able to drive me to the hospital if I have a heart attack. He won't be able to do anything if I step out in front of a bus without looking. It's my job as a parent to make sure that I am trying to make good decisions for him and I. I don't think I'll try to ski the triple black diamond when all I know how to do are the greens. I think I will try to eat a little better so maybe I don't have that heart attack. I think I will look both ways before I cross the street, and I think I will try to go diving with him in good conditions where he can grow as a diver and we can have an enjoyable time that we will both remember fondly and maybe bad **** won't happen while we are doing it.

    I have no statistics to back it up but I suspect driving to the diving destination is probably a whole lot more risky than the dive itself.

    Once again I do not mean this to sound combative and I respect your opinion because it is yours and yours alone to have. I just don't understand why we are sometimes trying to put a different measuring stick to scuba than what we are anything else. Doing anything without good judgement or weighing the possible downsides is mistake number one.
    Colliam7 likes this.
  7. Rose Robinson

    Rose Robinson Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: British Columbia
    Hi John,

    It's early here, I stayed on the mainland last night, but to the point, what's wrong with A's and B's.

    Allowing talent, which sometime hides below the surface to fall between the cracks, is a primary sign of a poor teacher. If your day ends when the bell rings, you're not doing everything you could be doing, and if you're going to ask me ''how much time do you think I should spend on the ''less worthy'', you've picked the wrong profession.

    I was an A student, and being an A student is the foundation of my success.

    Pretty hard to get University acceptance with D's, unless you're on a football scholarship, and that number is so low, it's hardly relevant.

    If you ever get up to BC, contact me, I'd be glad to show you the rewards of being an A student, we'll tour my operations in a Porsche, you can drive. My maid will cook us dinner, she's Portuguese, her broiled squid in caper pesto is to die for.

    On the topic of diving, if your instructor is constantly looking at his/her watch while he/she is instructing, you've picked the wrong instructor. I'm sure on a world wide scale, there are more bad dive instructors, than there are bad dive students.

  8. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    I would not have become a diver if the price had been double what it was. I thought long and hard about that expense (and the expense of the activity following the class) at the price it was then.

    It is actually the precise opposite. DAN has long noted that the two most consistent factors in dive fatalities is older age and obesity. They have noted that not only is the average age of a fatality well above the median age for participating, that age is rising.
  9. ginti

    ginti DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lyon, France
    First of all, thanks for the answer!

    Ok so let's use DAN as a source, fair enough. Anyway, I couldn't find anything better. This is the most recent report I can find:

    I couldn't read it all, so I hope I am not missing any important details.

    Frankly speaking, it seems to me that the number of fatalities is too low to be statistically significant. Also, assuming that there are more adult divers than kids, the fact that more old people are more represented in these statistics can be just because they are much more, and not because they are more at risk.

    However, looking at raw numbers, no reason why not to provide training for kids.
  10. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    Considering the fact that the largest category for fatalities each year is usually medical events, especially cardiac events, age is very likely a factor beyond just having the most divers.

    The number of fatalities is indeed extremely low, to the point that it would be hard to draw too many conclusions. I used to study those statistics with interest, primarily because I was busily refuting the many false claims made repeatedly on ScubaBoard. It has been a number of years since I did that, but I used to go to the end of the report, where they describe the incidents for which they have information and see what was there. Here are some of the categories other than medical events that stood out.
    1. Highly advanced divers doing highly advanced dives. In addition to the DAN reports, I write cave diving fatality summaries for the National Speleological Society, so I am well aware of the cases in which cave divers took significant risks, as well as the cases in which advanced divers with no cave certification decide they have what it takes to dive in a cave anyway.
    2. Darwin Award candidates. One I remember right now is the diver who descended solo on a partial tank to work on lobster traps and got entangled. Another is the guy who decided to dive with a partial tank at dusk after spending the day fishing and drinking beer so he could spearfish at 200 feet for big groupers.
    3. Unexplained solo diving deaths. This is a surprisingly large category that includes both intentional solo divers and divers who accidently separated from a buddy and then were found dead with no clear explanation or not found at all. This includes three highly experienced friends of mine (I was not there) whose deaths are absolutely unexplained--two were never found.
    Boston Breakwater and ginti like this.

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