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Who is responsible for what?

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by Jim Lapenta, May 4, 2009.

  1. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
  2. letterboy

    letterboy Not today, Mr ATF, not today. ScubaBoard Supporter

  3. MrChen

    MrChen Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Stuart, Florida
    Thank you for doing so, it was worth the read.
  4. GerrysGlitterGirl

    GerrysGlitterGirl Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Sunny South Florida
    FANTASTIC reading and sure is stuck in my head now. THANK YOU! I hope you do not mind but I wish to copy this and print it out to share with friends that are not here online. IT is worthy for everyone to read, new divers and long time divers that might think they know it all.

    Happily, I was blessed to find an Instructor who's first rule is "that any diver can end a dive at any time with no explanation given." He is patient, positive, encouraging, and did I say PATIENT?" He will go over a "task" as often as it takes. And he watches like a hawk for any mistake, then does not "tell me" what I have done wrong, he asks me to think what I should have done. In doing this, he makes me think more carefully about every step.

    God bless you all.
  5. AfterDark

    AfterDark Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rhode Island, USA
    Forty three years ago when I became certified DMs hadn't be invented. We did indeed self teach after training. I've managed to suvive 43 years of diving never having been guided by a DM. So YES WE CAN! Dive without DM's that is.
  6. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    Anyone is free to copy and post, share, print, distribute, etc. this article. Just do me a favor and make sure you credit me when you do so. That's all I ask.
  7. Desert Monkey

    Desert Monkey Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Connecticut
    Thank you for posting this. I am just starting my OW certification and this advice was invaluable.
  8. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    Giving this a bump as I do every year. Season is firing up. As Phil used to say on Hill Street Blues- " be careful out there".
  9. ShootingUnderwater.com

    ShootingUnderwater.com ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    Great post Jim. Your analogy of the boat/taxi is perfect and new divers should be taught to think this way during their certification course. You have a lot of knowledge to share - would you consider writing about navigation? How to learn it, how to remember it, etc.? So many people I know never use a compass - they depend on other divers to lead them or for tenders to save them.

  10. Timmyjoe

    Timmyjoe Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Chicago, Northwest Suburbs
    Jim, Thank you for sharing this with us newbies. Even us old newbies.

    I looked into getting certified back in the 1970's and was a bit intimidated by the PADI requirements at that time. Had a friend who was a super swimmer who was certified by PADI, but I didn't think I had the chops. Looked into it again in the late 1980's and by that time I was able to pass the initial (more relaxed than the 1970's) test to get in the class (1/4 mile swim, 10 minutes dead man's float) but then couldn't afford the $600 fee as I was a broke grad student. Life got in the way and I didn't have the opportunity again until just this past year.

    I signed up for the PADI Open Water course and was surprised that the swimming requirement was dropped down to 1/8 mile, or 3/16 mile with full snorkel gear (who couldn't do that?), and a ten minute tread water/float, that they were really laxxed about monitoring. I felt really rushed through the pool portion of the training, kind of a "Can you do this skill, good, next, can you do this skill, good, next, . . ." There was no "teaching" us the skills, or time to practice the skills, just testing us to see if we could do the skills. I passed but did not feel confident at all in the skills we were supposed to master. I talked to the shop owner and he let me redo the pool skills and take as much time in the pool as I needed to get comfortable.

    Then when we were doing the open water; again we went through everything very quickly and I saw in another group a very young diver who really wasn't getting it. The instructor kept tailoring what this young diver needed to do to pass and get certified because the young diver kept begging the instructor to pass him. And he passed. I felt this young diver would really be a danger to himself, and a buddy, if he were to dive on his own.

    It seems like the whole "dive business" is quite different than it was when I first looked into it back in the 1970's. Back then, you had to REALLY EARN your dive card, and they weren't at all hesitant to say, "You Failed" if you weren't ready and up to their standards. Now it seems almost like they are selling cars, trying to make a monthly quota on how many divers they can get certified.

    I do agree that we are all responsible for ourselves when we dive. I just wish there was more time in the training to practice all the skills we were supposed to have mastered by the time they gave us our certification cards. And I wish they were more willing to say "You Failed" and not let us get certified until our skill levels were up to a higher standard.

    Just this old newbie's 2ยข worth.


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