Re: Proactive/liability, the first place to look for a dive instructor

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Posted by tleemay on January 20, 2003 at 16:43:56:

In Reply to: Re: Proactive/liability posted by Ken Kurtis on January 20, 2003 at 15:52:51:

"In our case, we'd choose #3 (but I'd be curious
to have others chime in with what they think the
best choice is and why). Does it give us added
liability? Possibly, since we're going to be on
the dive with them. However, if by being on the
dive with them we can prevent them from going too
deep (because they'll be with us) and prevent them
from running out of air (because we'll have them
frequently checking their gauges), then we may
indeed have incurred additional liability but if
nothing goes wrong on the dive, it's a moot

You or one of your DMs escort a diver with the
experience noted above. He is monitored every 1-2
minutes for AC, depth, presense of mind, etc. This
goes on for 7-8 cycles until for some reason
(hypothetically; the DM had to assist another
diver with a problem during the escort) the DM
turns his head just long enough for the diver to
get into some kind of trouble... narcosis was
setting in and he/she sharted to "fly" away from
the pinnacle towards the open ocean and higher
current (yes it has happened ).

The diver starts to drift away and float down to
the bottom, where he/she sees the dive gnomes
dancing in the purple hydrocoral. Diver he/she
wants to play with them at -180+'... 16 minutes
into the dive.

The DM realized after about 3-4 minutes in solving
the other diver's issue that one of his/her
escortees has disappeared (I recall that you
escort more than one diver on sich dives per DM).

The DM starts a search UW, can't find the diver
imediately and goes to the surface to advise the
topside DM, captain and crew. By then, the narc'd
diver is well beyond sport depth - and at the very
least takes a hit or a more specific AGE for a
rapid ascent. Diver he/she is recovered from the
water by the deck DM or rescue diver (whos' not
already N2 loaded up, never blacks out, but
suffers paralysis. He/she sues.

Could it not be said that if the DM was not so far
stretched to monitor more than X divers at this
VERY advanced and potentially dangerous site that
he/she could have paid closer attention to the
injured diver that the DM could have realized
there was a problem sooner, rather than not
recognized the problem until after the diver was
missing from the group? Would it not for sure be
brought up that the charter organizer knew it was
a very advanced spot, yet let a not so advanced
(in experience) diver do the dive? As you know
Ken, the card means nothing of experience outside
of saying you are now cleared to continue diving.
I don't care if you are triple goo-goo gas
certified to dive and teach bind folded. Unless
you have time in the water in MANY different conditions, you are not experienced.

Would it not have been a better decision to recognize the lack of experience in the first
place and denied the diver the trip until they
could get more experience? That could be an
xcellent motivation for the shop to push them
onto an open boat or two. After you have
experience in seeing them in the water, and they
develop a history with you, then you as a
shop owner could make a better judgement call in
letting them in the water at Farnsworth.

We have seen in the very recent past that just
having a DM, Instructor, dive shop owner, or
any combination of the three is not reason enough
to justify someone new (say <100 dives as a
reference) from doing dives at Farnsworth on a
Reef Seeker Charter... even on the most flat calm,
no current, vis forever days. I am a firm believer
that experience, and proof of it, is a must for
diving Farnsworth, Matterhorn, or any other
really advanced sites by the accepted
recreational local standards. Farnsworth is
considered to be one of the more advanced sites in

Why not apply the Reef Seeker logic of no-nitrox
to letting new divers do Farnsworth? You don't
want to be the proving case should someone sue
under those similar terms, so apply the same rule;
No Nitrox, no new divers at Farnsworth. That will
definately increase keeping the shop out of court.

If that doesn't compute, then use your own logic. Taken from the end of your last graph in
paraphrase; If they dive nirtox on a Reef Seekers
boat and they don't die, then it's a moot point.

I'm not trying to turn this into a Nitrox issue,
I'm just trying to show the correlation between the two ideals and applications. Ken and I have
been around and around this tree on Nitrox for
almost 8 years now. We know where each stands and
I hope respect each others positions (I'm sneering
right now). ;-)

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