Re: head in the sand

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Posted by Kendall Raine on January 23, 2001 at 10:49:02:

In Reply to: head in the sand posted by Chris on January 22, 2001 at 19:36:56:


As usual, you raise good points. You also do so in a coherent way. Thank you. I'll respond in order.

Yes, many people solo dive and have a long history of doing so trouble free. Will it always be so for them? Time will tell. While many facts are unavailable, I suggest Mia Tegner with her long and successful history of solo diving could well be alive today had she had someone to watch over her on deco. The simple fact is, and I doubt you will oppose this, two self-sufficient divers diving together as a team are each individually taking much less risk than they are if they dive independently. Does that mean solo diving is wrong? That's a moral judgement and I'm not a moralist. Solo diving is sub-optimal, however, for the reason of safety cited above.

Having said that I acknowledge diving in teams is no guaranty of safety. Remember I qualified the statement above by saying two self-sufficient divers. Many divers are not. I think buddy diving is used as an excuse by the training agencies to turn out poorly trained or incompetent divers. Their construct is two incompetent divers are safer diving togther than alone. You said it best, some people shouldn't dive. The problem is experienced divers get so frustrated diving with incompetents that they figure they're safer on their own. They're probably right about that, too. My point is that motivation represents a compromise between diving with knuckleheads and finding a qualified partner. I don't accept the compromise is necessary.

I am against such a course because it's flawed at its base. For example, what do you suppose the course curriculum would look like? What do you, Chris, as a solo diver, do that's different what what any competent diver would do, regardless of whether they dive solo? My guess is nothing. You're a highly compettent diver who dives by himself. Did you acquire all that competence through a course. No. You did it through experience. If the course is to teach people to be truly self-sufficient, great! We need that since the training agencies, aside from GUE, and perhaps BSAC, show little interest in the subject. To have a course that, at it's conclusion, says to the student, "you are now qualified to dive solo" is an invitation to encourage people to get in over their heads. It's like saying to people with 15 dives that they're "advanced" divers. That is a fraud designed to put money in the pockets of agencies and instructors.

Finally, do you really think PADI would pass up the chance to make money from teaching a solo course if they thought they could get away with it? The fact is they know they can't for the reasons I've cited.

As for your last point, we are in complete agreement.

Best regards,

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