Posted by JRM on September 06, 2000 at 08:54:12:
In Reply to: Re: Market Share vs. Responsible Training posted by Jason on September 05, 2000 at 19:21:10:
That's not an abrasive question. I've logged near 40 dives, all but 10 in Monterey, with more than half being in 10' vis or less (and a couple of night dives). I don't really consider myself experienced enough to do anything too extreme, but I can manage to stay off the bottom.
I don't think my lack of dive time is why I don't see where the problem is, I think it's a lack of experience with poor instructors and poor divers. So far I've managed to dive pretty much exclusively (outside of class) with people much more experienced than I (my wife has over 500 dives, having grown up two blocks from the drink in Santa Barbara). And I wouldn't feel real comfortable striking out on my own with a buddy of my skill level yet. So I don't have a problem with an instructor telling students to get more experience before heading out. That seems to be another angle of the "inexperienced=bad" argument. And there may be some validity there. But I will continue to argue that "inexperience does not equal poor".
And as far as a lack of teaching rescue training, I don't understand. I think it would be a *really* bad idea to try and teach rescue stuff to begining folk. Aside from the argument that everyone should take a CPR or CFAS (First Aid) class, I fail to see how rescue training in OW is possible. They have a discreet Rescue Diver program, which is a whole additional class and a bunch of dives. And just throwing a module into the OW class won't help. I know quite a bit about rescue situations (albiet not SCUBA related), enough to know that gaining and keeping skills requires constant practice. And how much can you do in four OW dives anyway (ah, there may be a necessary expansion).
I think that OW training I received was more than adaquate for what they intend: Dives with other folk in good conditions to less than 60 fsw. Is it good enough to hit the Andrea Doria? No, but no class ever could be.
I think people are disturbed about the class because they may have forgotten what it was like to be a newbie, and they have lost patience with people who can't dive to their level.
And what do people think about the "experience SCUBA" type stuff, where they stick you out with a DM (hopefully) and no training other than: suck on this! Or how about those psycho four hour resort courses: suck on this, heres some bread to feed the fish! Now there I can see some issues.
And not to say that I don't see issues with the big agencies. But from having worked with the Red Cross extensively, I'm here to tell you that people are passed that have no business touching another person in an emergency. But they fulfilled the basic requirements, and we have to hope that in a given situation they wont make things worse. I think OW is good for OW. Although I do have to laugh at the fact that after this weekend I'll be considered an Advanced diver (paper only). Or even worse, you can manage to get an AOW cert after only nine dives. But hey, I've got enough certs to fill a small office (I'm gainfully employed in nerd-dom) and they don't mean anything.
I guess I see the same thing over and over again. School doesn't prepare you for the real world. I have a degree in Geology, but it had absolutely nothing to do with real world applications. Geochemistry is great, but it doesn't help you log a hole. You learn on the job. I have absolutely no formal training in my current area of employement, but I've been doing it since high school. I see people graduate and enter the field all the time, and they can't do anything. They discuss some great theoretical issues, but they can't even make simple cables.
So it boils down to this: If people don't think newbie divers should be doing the things they are doing, perhaps they should invest some time in them instead of bashing the agencies who brought them in.
Actually, I guess it's kind of like the climbing explosion thats happened in the last several years. It seems everyone thinks they can do this now, and people like me end up bringing them down (I haven't had to bring anyone dead yet, but only by small margins). And I get really upset when I see someone doing something stupid. But I've been trying to teach, and as such I experience fiascos like this weekend (had to come out early, a new guy wasn't prepared for the weather).
I don't know why it bothers me so much. I guess its because I hate having to start at the bottom and work my way back up again. It took me four years before I finally made my first big wall climb, and I guess I don't look forward to waiting for a couple of years to do my first wreck :-(
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