Criteria for Solo Diving

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on September 01, 2000 at 11:15:53:

I think the whole disussion on solo diving and it's relative merits and lack thereof has been nothing short of excellent. This type of exchange of sometimes opposing viewpoints, in a (generally) civil manner, highlights the best use of this type of a BBS.

With that in mind (and as inspiriation), I'd like to take it a step further:

Under what conditions will you solo dive and why? (And if the answer is "Never" post that as well with your thoughts.)

I think , teach, and preach solo diving MAY be appropriate if:

1. You're very experienced. (100 dives or more)
2. You're familiar with the area.
3. You're feeling 100%.
4. There are no unusual environmental conditions.
5. If on a charter, it's okay with the DMs.

Personally, I will ONLY solo dive from a charter boat. I feel (hope and pray) that I'll be able to get myself back to the surface and can either summon help or will be spotted.

I will NEVER solo dive from a beach, or from a boat where there are no other divers topside. I think that's an invitation for disaster if something goes wrong as no one's watching out for you. Even though there may be lifeguards at a beach, their attention will be focused near-shore, not further out where we're likely to be in the case of a problem.

I also (realistically speaking) solo dive every time I teach a class since even though I'm surrounded by students, none of them would assume for a minute that anything is going to go wrong with their instructor. And anytime you dive with people who are either not paying attention to you or who are not ready to respond in a crisis, it's pretty much the same as diving all by yourself.

Ken Kurtis
NAUI Instr. #5936
Co-owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, Ca.

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