Textbook vs. Real World

Outer Bamnks diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on September 05, 2001 at 12:54:16:

In Reply to: Ken emphasizes expediency and MikeKane emphasizes perfection posted by Karl S. on September 05, 2001 at 12:02:53:

Karl, you hit the nail on the head and this is a difference I have stressed in all the leadership-level classes I have taught and to all the DMs or AIs (as well as Instructors) who have come under my wing.

Remember the motto: Expect the worst, hope for the best.

What Mike describes is what I would call the Textbook scenario. OOA diver comes up, I give him air, he calms down, and we can both rationally extracate ourselves from the problem. I can signal, he can signal, he's calm(er), I'm calm, off we go.

Much as I'd like to say this happens 100% of the time in a real-life rescue scenario, the problem I have with this is that if this is what you expect, and it doesn't play out that way, you may have a larger problem.

I call my take on the OOA response Real World. Much as I'd like the OOA diver to calm down, in the real world there's a good chance he won't. And I also know that the longer we stay under, the greater the chance is that he may panic again, so I really want to get us to the surface where air is not an issue and a greater level of support (boat crew, shore staff, etc.) is available.

If, by some miracle, he's calm and under control, there's still no harm in going up. But if all hell breaks loose (again), I'm ready to deal with it and will be that much closer to the surface to boot.

- Ken

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