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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
    16,880
    8,586
    113
    Thank you very much for the kind words. This is one of the reasons that I wrote the post and a big part of why I published my book. It's also why I have pulled the outline for the next one out of storage and am working on it now. To hopefully give a little information to new and newer divers, as well as some not so new ones, that will cause them to stop and think about just what they are doing. Thanks again.
     
  2. Winter Xu

    Winter Xu Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Shenzhen China
    9
    3
    3
  3. Scuba Legends

    Scuba Legends Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: spain
    56
    19
    8
    Hy Jim,

    I like a lot the post. I believe is not usual to find people talking clear about this topics. It feels like accidents are hided and they "never happen". But maybe because English is not my mother language there are few things in your comment that surprises me.

    It is about the DIve Instructors part.

    Of course to say everything you want to say in this post would take ages so i understand that one has to be short.

    I am a dive instructor (PADI MSDT, SSI AOWDI) sine 10 years now. I´ve been mostly working in touristic areas but not only on them.

    I would like to say, first of all, most of the instructors you´ll find in those areas are young people travelling around, with tiny experience. I don´t know the numbers but i guess most of the Diving Instructors work for 1 or 2 years and then they return to "normal life" .

    So to the point that the instructor should know if the diver is qualified to become an OWD i believe that many times the same instructor doesn´t know. Most probably the instructor has only a bunch of dives (100-200) , he is diving since only 6 or 8 months and you are his 10th student ever.

    Me personally, i don´t blame on the instructors. Most of them are just poppets of the Diving Operators. Many Instructors would love to have the chance to spend a week or two teaching an OWD course (me for sure) no matter how good or bad is the student, just to keep training and training them until they not only get the knowledge, but the experience. But this is simply not possible.

    About deciding who dives. As an example, I´ve been pushed by a Course Director (owner of a company) to take divers from the boat even thought they were not diving for 4 or 5 years. It was me fighting for making them go through a refresh against a Course Director! The worst, the Dive Centers turn it the way that if you fight for standards or claim for safety they categorise you as a Trouble Maker.

    I don´t mind. I am not a monkey. I have been fired from my last job two weeks ago because I was a Trouble Maker. That is, i didn´t accept Huge and Incredible break of standards of the company i was working for: not doing final exam in courses, training dives done at 2m by a dive master without any kind of skill, OWD courses finished with only 3 dives because the customer is leaving.... the list is never-ending.

    So me personally, i love to talk about different ways to teach or other organisations of Diving with my students, i love to spend time and not only accomplish standards but to go above them, teach more than what the course needs, talk, talk and talk, dive dive and dive, make theory sessions in the classroom, etc... But the Companies don´t allow me, time is money!!

    I´ve even experienced the situation where i say this person is not ready to become OWD and the boss certifies him and make me feel again as a Trouble Maker-

    So to avoid diving accidents from my experience, needs to be improved the teaching methods,needs to change companies philosophy of the role of a dive instructor and the whole system should change. I would love that this becomes kind of regulated. I would love to make something like you should be assistant instructor and assit 200 courses before being able to teach a course by yourself. That would quit from the market and with one strike Holidays instructors that just think about the night party or work for free while travelling etc...

    That would also guarantee that the person in front of you is an experienced teacher.

    But unfortunately that would kill thousands of business around the world based on cheap employees and internships.

    Unfortunatelly in my experience, safety, standards and quality are against business.

    Happy Bubbles to everyone

    Gery @scubalegends


    PS: I love the part of the cave diving rule to call the dive. I am cave diving instructor and when i teach signals to my students, doesn´t matter if i have in front of m a DSD or a OWD i teach them that thumb up is go up but as well that nobody is obligated to be underwater if he or she doesn´t want to, and the thumb up might mean as well to call the dive.


    I
     
  4. Awkward Turtle

    Awkward Turtle Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Baton Rouge
    3
    2
    3
    I'm advanced open water certified and recently received my rescue diver cert. I have 70 logged dives and after reading this post I feel like "I do not know what I do not know". A reminder that complacency has no place in this sport. Remain vigilant and never stop learning.
    Thanks for your well written wake up call!
     
    Scuba Legends likes this.
  5. Octopusprime

    Octopusprime Dive Resort

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Chicago Suburbs
    476
    73
    28
    Thank you. This is well written. The only person responsible for diver safety is the diver.

    However, everything in life is dangerous. I think that it is important to put things into perspective. Below is a list of things that statistically are more dangerous and cause more fatalitys.

    • Riding a bicycle on a city street
    • Being a passenger in an automobile
    • Riding a motorcycle
    • Smoking tobacco
    Driving a car is a great analogy to scuba diving because driving within your limits is much like diving within your limits. A brand new driver should not try driving at 100mph it in huge snow storm without gaining experience over time.

    When you look at most dive accident reports a large majority of them the diver or divers made multiple mistakes. One mistake is not usually faitle. For example... 1. The fail to follow their plan. Plan was to go to about 60ft and ended up in 90ft. 2. Did not monitor air and ran out of air. 3. After one buddy ran out of air they continued sharing air. 4. Buddy runs out of air. They drop waits and have an uncontrolled accent. One diver dies other spends 12 hr in deco chamber.

    At any one of those points they should have ended the dive and had Normal controlled assent and they would be alive. Just like driving you need to pay attention, monitor your gauges and drive within your limits.
     
  6. Wookie

    Wookie Secret Field Agent ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    23,047
    31,586
    113
    Well, actually, no one should be driving at 100 MPH in a huge snow storm.

    But it's so much fun.
     
  7. John Mooradian

    John Mooradian Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Midland, ON
    27
    5
    3
    I am a newly certified diver. That said - foolishly and irresponsibly - I dove over 6 years roughly 25 times uncertified and untrained. I'd say that during that time I was almost proud of the fact that "I did it without training".
    Last year I learned a few things that made me rethink what I was doing and I decided to buy some gear and get certified. What an eye opener. Just trying to select the gear without knowing literally anything about what I was doing was impossible. Luckily I met the folks from Dans in St. Catharines. I got the right advice. I purchased good gear but more importantly I INVESTED in great training.
    I am a fairly athletic guy and I am pretty confident. (Not necessarily competent...) so over the years it was not difficult for resort dive operations to view me as fit to dive. With me not knowing and fully understanding the risks, foolishly I put myself in situations which I not only was not prepared for but had no idea I was not prepared for. This was my fault - not the fault of the resorts or operators.
    I have been formally training for the past 4 months and I have logged 18 legitimate dives including my checkouts through AOW, Nitrox and Dry Suit.
    I am (and always was)comfortablenin the water, but now I am comfortable in knowing that I have a good base level of training and a plan to get to the level that I want to attain.
    The post that Jim created is dead on. It reinforces the training I received and was fortunate enough to receive. The training is more a reflection of the trainer and the shop than of the certifying body - but both must go hand in hand. To Jims point - the most critical link is for us - as the risk taker - to apply the knowledge we are given, the experience we gain and the support system around us to make good decisions, be safe in what we do, be confident and candid about our own abilities and sometimes - just say no / be respectful of those who say no. Make it easy for others to do the same and notmpressure them with feelings they will spoil our dive if they believe they need to stop.
    I will stop myself here, but great thanks Jim. I'm sure you are a great guy to dive with.
    Be safe and enjoy All.
     
  8. Erich S

    Erich S Barracuda

    200
    84
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    Back in the 70s the courses lasted much longer than they do now. In fact, when I got my PADI Basic Scuba cert in 1976 we had to be also CPR certified to pass.
     
  9. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manassas, VA
    8,136
    3,771
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    Just curious: How did that work? Did they know you were not certified? Was it one of those "act like you are supposed to be there and nobody will question you" things where they just never actually asked to see a C card? Did they ask to see a C card and you gave them a shuck-and-jive answer and they just accepted it?

    My ex and I went to Mexico just after we were certified. I had Nitrox certification and she did not. I asked for Nitrox and told the dive operator that she did not have Nitrox certification. They gave us both Nitrox anyway. So, if they knew you weren't certified and let you dive anyway, it would not surprise me that much.
     
  10. John Mooradian

    John Mooradian Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Midland, ON
    27
    5
    3
    In some cases they never asked and I - stupidly - just went with it. In some cases an adventure dive just turned into multiple dives with a buddy the following day. (In one case the fellow I was buddies with - intelligently - complained (how would I ever help him? As he started to discuss a dive plan it was very clear I had no idea). They simply paired me up with someone else - who did not speak English and really didn't know what just happened) At one point I was buddies with a guy who had never had a kit on. Even in a pool. The "DM" asked if he ever snorkelled before and he said he had. They told him "it's the same only with a tank and better because you go deeper". Shut you not. I was right there. ( Aha moment) As I said, I learned a lot the last year. Scuba is a great activity. Fun, challenging, peaceful. Really is what we make it. But it is not natural to be underwater and certainly not without risk. If we do not fully understand the risk we can not mitigate it properly - leaving us vulnerable to some truly nasty results.
    Dive smart. Dive safe. Speak up in an appropriate manner if you see something not right, and have fun!!!
     
    Jim Lapenta likes this.

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