It seemed well enough balanced...

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Posted by seahunt on September 19, 2000 at 14:31:37:

In Reply to: Dangers of Buddy Diving posted by Frank Farmer on September 18, 2000 at 20:02:20:

It seems you want to warm up the board a bit do you...
What did you find in it that was so anti-buddy? It did seem
pro-solo, but being for solo diving doesn't mean you are against
buddy diving. I figure that you are not one to believe that
anyone who isn't for you is against you. That is for the
In the beginning there were buddy divers and there were solo divers.
Certification agencies pushed a rule of No Solo, but that rule was
often ignored and practical problems of the buddy system were
evident. No one talked about it much and it was said that if you had
to ask if it was OK, you probably shouldn't do it.
Then Scott Meir pointed out that solo diving was often unavoidable
especially for the instructor types that were the most vocal against
it. So Scott said that we better talk about solo diving and know when
we are doing it, even when we are with another diver.
Then came the internet and diving bulliten boards. Solo diving got
asked about on the boards and some were pro-solo and some were
After a bunch of discussion, a few guide lines became common on the
boards. These were:
1. If you have to ask if it was OK, you probably shouldn't do it.
2. You should be in good shape.
3. You should know the area of the dive.
4. Someone should know where you are.
At some point, the tension in the discussion on the board went up.
It seemed that some people were implacably against any solo diving
of any kind at any time or even discussion of it.
Some opposing responses came out of that.
1. Suggest all you want, but don't tell me I can't solo dive.
2. It's a silly rule because it's completely unenforcable.
3. Following a no solo rule would make it much more difficult to
even go diving.
4. How do you know if someone you are buddied with is competent?
5. Hunting and photography would be very difficult.
6. I like to solo.
So when all is said and done, a lot was said and nothing done.
Aside from all other issues, it seems like a law requiring a dive
buddy would be a completely unenforcable and so is a classic case
of a bad law. That is aside from a number of other reasons
including a very compelling economic reason. Still, buddy diving
can serve many purposes and is appropriate for many people and
So in light of the reality of the situation, my suggestion is to go
back to the way it was before it was ever discussed on the boards.
If you have to ask if it is OK, you probably shouldn't do it.
Since it can't be enforced as a law and probably shouldn't be if it
could, then the only thing to be done is for divers that strongly
oppose solo diving to do what they can to educate other divers
about the safety benifits of buddy diving as they see them and the
hazards of solo diving. As such, MHK's DIR demo's and ongoing
advocasy of the buddy system are probably the best efforts that any
diver can do. You just ain't gonna change the system.
As for the fanatics that want to scream and gnash their teeth about
it, most people of reason find you amusing.
Please dont spit while replying.
Enjoy the diving, seahunt
PS. What would you do if you suddenly found yourself the Official
United States Dive Tzar (the Czar is somebody else) and you could
make any law you wanted about diving? Don't worry, for this
exercise we will ignore the Constitution, economic issues, the
problems of enforcement and issues of personal freedom. You are
the Tzar and can do anything.
Would solo diving be a crime?
Would a captain of a boat that didn't enforce buddy diving be
guilty of a crime.
Would a captain of a boat have to enforce the law and report
Would a cop give a ticket or arrest a solo diver that they saw at
the beach?
Would these laws apply to free divers?
Would it be illegal for an instructor to mention solo diving a la
Scott Meir?
If it was a crime, how could a judge determine if the buddies got
accidently separated? Or would it be Zero Tolerance and if you
came up without a buddy you are just guilty?
Would an instructor with a class of newbies then be required to
also then have a 'qualified' buddy along to watch over them as
they watched their class?
Would these laws apply to commercial divers the same way and if
not, what is the rational?

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