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Your thoughts on our PADI ow cert dives

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by Salt Life, May 2, 2012.

  1. Salt Life

    Salt Life Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Tampa, FL
    10
    3
    0
    Hello,

    I wanted to share our experience of our cert dives we "completed" here in FL to finish our ow cert.
    Would be interesting to hear some experienced divers thoughts.

    We started our PADI OW corse in SC last year with doing our book work and confined water dives there with an extremly thorough and knowledgable instructor. (My wife had to retest on the books before he would pass her)
    He took his responsibility seriously as one would expect in a hobby that can have fatal outcomes when your not trained. Else they would sell full tanks and cave maps at the local wal mart.

    So we completed those there and then life happened and we ended up here in FL.
    So we found a PADI dive shop close to our house and signed up to do our 4 cert dives with them.

    Our dives were to be at "devils den" and "blue grotta" both fresh water springs.
    We picked up our rental equipment friday eve because it was included in the price of the dive (regardless of if you had your own equipment you were familiar with and prefered to use) However, after a lengthly discussion about that at the dive shop they agreed to let us use our own bcd and reg.(But we still had to pay the rental fee tacked on to our dive fee. Ok, so fine, I paid the rental fee but still opted to use the bcd's and regs that were ours and were comfortable with.
    (We are getting our ow cert, however, right or wrong we have been diving for about 5 years and prefer our own equipment.

    So we are told to be at Devils den sat at 11am as the others in the class were going to do their confined water in the pool there and we would join them after that to do our ow dives.
    So around noon we all geared up and headed to the entrance.
    Which we then learned consisted of a 100 yard walk then decend down 2 sets of stairs (the last one being about 40 steep steps made of slick wood) and then we would be at the water.
    So we all make it down (10 total) only to find about 60 other peeps already in the water and viz about 2'. So after an attempt to do 2 laps around the spring as a group and losing members of our class along the way we met up and our instructor and dive master decided that it wasn't going to work to do our skills there due to the conditions and opted that we would do 3 dives the next day to do our skills.

    So we all meet at blue grotta sunday at 8am.
    Don't know how many of you are familiar with this site but its bacically a "cavern" that allows ow cert.divers in to a specific point.
    So we all decended to platforms in the intrance to the "cavern" and performed some of our skills. (Split into 2 groups, half with the instructor and half with the dm) after that we was to swim into the cavern down to "peace rock" (the deepest ow is allowed to decend there) (40').
    Well that turned into a fiasco considering the only lights of the group was with the instructor and dm (and the other 15 divers in there not in our class) so trying to keep track of who you was following was near impossible.
    So eventually every one ended back on the surface and were discussing the poor viz and the fact it was not an ow dive but more of an intro to cave diving dive when the class noticed (not the instructor or dm) hey, were missing one girl.and yep we was, so the instructor went back down into the "cavern" looking for her. (Mind you a good 3+ min had elapsed here) after another minute she surfaced and luckily had just got lost following the light from one of the other divers there.
    And then the instructor surfaced and found her with the class on the surface.
    So we took a break and tanked up and went back onto the platforms to do the rest of our skills. Except for one student that was too freaked out with the first dive to go again.
    So we did our couple skills, filled out our log books, got our temp card and left.
    Out of the skills we performed were, mask removal, mask clearing, removing bcd,buddy breathing, bouyancy control, and emergency accent.and that was all.

    I know what I think about our 2 days of ow cert dives.
    Any instructors or experienced divers out there want to give your thoughts?

    I put all of this in my course survey I sent to PADI.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
    kiming likes this.
  2. Karibelle

    Karibelle IDC Staff Instructor

    1,216
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    0
    Doesn't sound like a positive experience. And as you've already surmised, it did not meet PADI standards.

    PADI doesn't require your cheque to follow up. I know you're being sarcastic, but don't be discouraged by the fact that it is unlikely you will ever hear anything from PADI. Once they have the information, they may choose to follow up. Don't be afraid to call them to ask what is being done, or to ensure that your concerns are heard.

    Good luck.
    kari
     
  3. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,635
    17,077
    113
    I would be very surprised if you don't hear back from PADI. What you describe includes major violations of standards. Years ago on two different times on two different continents, I witnessed clearly substandard instruction, and I wrote to PADI each time. The first time I got a very concerned response and an indication they were going to act upon it immediately. They told me I would not ever be told the specific action, but they assured me they would do something. In the second case, they asked me a series of questions because they were unable to identify the instructor with the amount of information I gave them. I tried my best, but I was still unable to give enough information.

    So what happens when PADI hears something troubling? They investigate. A number of years ago I was acting as an assistant instructor with a shop, and I assisted on every OW training dive a certain instructor conducted during that summer. During that time, the instructor was investigated by PADI because a student filling out a random survey sent out by PADI had said that the instructor had failed to meet one specific standard by not using an ascent line during a CESA. The student was wrong--every CESA was always done using an ascent line. Once PADI figured out that the student had misremembered, the investigation ended, but it was a real hassle for the instructor for a while.

    So what happens if PADI's investigation reveals a problem? Every year we instructors get a list of all the instructors who were disciplined during the year. Those actions range from retraining to expulsion. That information is included on the PADI web site so that someone can check to see if an instructor who has been suspended or expelled is still trying to instruct.
     
    SubMariner likes this.
  4. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,635
    17,077
    113
    One more thing--you said you sent a survey to PADI. Both of the shops I have taught for gave students surveys, but they went to the shop, not to PADI. Make sure your report went to PADI and not the shop.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  5. Rogersea

    Rogersea Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: Tongo Poiint Basdiot Moalboal Philippines
    1,091
    135
    0
    Your OW Dives were planned and conducted poorly.

    Sounds like you were diving before and will continue to dive despite the poor experience. So good for you.

    I am not sure why you included the "didnt enclose a check" comment, as it does nothing but detracts from your credibility.
     
  6. Salt Life

    Salt Life Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Tampa, FL
    10
    3
    0
    Yes the survey was the one e-mailed to us via PADI and not the shop.
    I actually recieved it the day after we did our dives, but didn't fill it out mainly because we had not recieved our cards yet (didn't want to run the chance they would hold our cards and make us do the dives again) and then after we got our cards we pretty much decided to just forget the "only dives" we have had in 5 years we felt uncomfortable doing (with an instructor) and move on.
    And 10 years ago would have probably done just that.
    But the more i thought about it over the past couple months (our dives were March, 25/26) (wow that wont make it hard to know who this is refering to) I can't stop thinking what if the missing girl had had a problem down there and nobody would have known. (this is "new" divers and you never know how they will react in the water, let alone in a "cavern" with no direct path to the surface.) Or what about the diver next week that gets left there, or the week after....

    I do wish we would have made the trip back up and finished our class with (this one i will name) Sean Miller at Scuba Express in Murrells Inlet.
    He is a good instructor.

    As far as PADI goes i really don't expect to hear from them, they have the information and if they want to verify it wouldn't bee to hard to contact the others in the class to ask them. Heck call the girl that got left there. And as far as the instructor goes, he wasn't a bad guy at all, but he is by far no instructor, wether that can be trained to him or not? not up to me.
     
  7. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,635
    17,077
    113
    Well, it sounds like you did the right thing. I would be shocked if PADI did not follow up, because what you described was terrible.
     
  8. Salt Life

    Salt Life Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Tampa, FL
    10
    3
    0
    I am not sure why you included the "didnt enclose a check" comment, as it does nothing but detracts from your credibility

    Yes I maybe shouldn't have added that little sarcasm in there, But there again I really don't see why we had to pay the rental fee for equipment we didn't want to nor did use, including the 10 dollar each compass rental we paid to simply go over it briefly while we was sitting by the cars (never looked at it in the water)
    Here is the site, would you do your ow certs here?Google Image Result for http://www.scubabluegrotto.com/images/bluegrottouwmap.jpg
     
  9. TONY CHANEY

    TONY CHANEY Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Mount Holly, NC
    1,739
    602
    113
    I agree with all that was said. PADI does do investigations. Even if you are OK with letting this go please report the instructor, DM and or shop. If might prevent a future diver from a mishap or receiving piss poor training. I still can't get pass you paying extra for gear when you had your own.
     
  10. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,635
    17,077
    113
    That money went to the shop, not PADI. You have to remember that they are two different things.
     

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