Re: Accident waiting to happen - responsibility?

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Posted by Jake on April 20, 2004 at 09:03:24:

In Reply to: Re: Accident waiting to happen - responsibility? posted by Scott on April 20, 2004 at 08:34:58:

Bravo, we are ultimately responsible for our own safety and happiness.

Want to see a diver factory. Go out to Casino Point on Saturday...I will be there as I have been many times helping with classes. Instructors try to do a good job, they are usually paid by the class and while I have seen bad divers get certified these knowingly certified by instructors have been exceptionally rare. Most instructors I know (and I have worked with more than 50 over the years) are consciencious responsible people, kids for the most part, who really like working in the water. They take their responsibilities quite seriously and recognize that holding back a marginally proficient diver is wrong.

I have a confession to make, as a newbie I was a disaster.

I do blame the agencies which have continually been eroding standards in pursuit of merit badge marketing of specialty courses. While I don't advocate a military-style training system, equipment improvements have made diving available to more and more people. I haven't seen much improvement in the quality of divers.

To play off the analogy in an earlier email, certification is like driver's ed, it teaches you how to pass the driver's test not how to dive. After that, you are pretty much on your own and as anyone who has a male teenaged driver in the family knows getting them to be a safe driver is tough.

Diving is one of the largely unregulated sports and what regulation there is by NAUI, PADI, etc., is largely competitive regulation (protection of dive instructors prerogatives) rather than protective (protection of the diving public). And don't assume all newbies are as stupid as to be entralled by lousy diving. I have been diving with lots of people once, I don't dive with some of them a second time. For many years, I was the club's designated dive buddy. I was a newbie once and had a lot more experienced divers patiently show me the ropes, so I return the favor whenever I can. I figure its an honor to be asked by a newbie to go diving with them, not an imposition.

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