Should 10 year olds be diveing?


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Posted by Captain Tim on June 29, 2003 at 21:58:04:

As Captain of the GE I see a lot of things. A lot of things I do not like, but because I am in business, I cannot always say what I would like too. As long as it is not blatantly, unsafe I usually keep quite. Today though: I am not sure what to do about this.
I came aboard the GE this morning at about 06:00. Got a cup of coffee and started to look the divers over, and the experience level of the divers. A little girl came out of the galley of about 6 or 7 years old and I asked Terry whom she belonged to (I always am concerned when we get children too young for getting sick).
Terry informed me that she was a student. I said Bu**SH** she is way to young. Well it turned out she was 10. She could not have been over 3'5" tall and all of 50 or 60#s.
She went in the first dive, only to come out almost immediately, as she was freezing cold. Her suit was probably 2 or 3 sizes too big. We helped take off her suit, put her in the shower, then in the galley with a huge blanket that they brought for her. After about an hour she was ok.
She missed the second and third dive and went in on the forth. I told Terry to watch her as did I. I told him if there is any problem you jump or I will depending on where she was. She jumped off the boat, came back up with a gasp, again the water being so cold. Terry and I watched like hawks. She tried to swim to the instructor and her Father, but could not. The instructor came back and towed her to the dive site. She made it through the dive, but I am not sure at what cost.
I was a nervous wreck. I was very relieved when she got back on the boat.
I know that PADI is instructing children this little, but give me a break. I think it has been about a year or two since this has been discussed on the boards. Any comments or new news? I personally am still worried about what affect this may have on a still growing child. And this child did not belong in the water.
Captain Tim



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