Posted by Walt on April 20, 2004 at 09:50:53:
In Reply to: Re: Accident waiting to happen - responsibility? posted by Chris on April 19, 2004 at 20:17:49:
Amen, Chris. I am concerned that the pumping of people through cert classes is going to cause a problem where big brother will eventually step in or our sport will be destroyed by ambulance-chasing land-sharks, resulting in fewer boats or shops being able to afford liability insurance, etc. PADI especially seems to be more interested in quantity than quality and that is a real shame. They have excellent materials and course structure, but allow divers to be certified who, quite frankly, should not be allowed in the water, as they are truely accidents waiting to happen. And the sad thing is that it is not the diver's fault - they are pumped up about being 'Advanced' or 'Rescue' divers after making 9 or so dives in sometimes tropical settings where they might as well be tetherd to a dive master by an umbelical cord. They don't have the humility to recognize that they are not really competant without a LOT more practice at their sport. Do fifty or a hundred dives, then you are at a basic level; do a hundred more and you know that you learn something more with each dive, then maybe you're advanced, maybe not, depends on your dives. Seems like PADI and the shops would be pressing for MORE dives to be required, than fewer, as the more dives you do the more you pay for the right equipment and boats. And MORE classroom and pool training than less. Our sport would benefit because we'd see fewer dive accidents and fewer people who simply give up on diving after they were trumbled once or twice while doing a beach entry. In this regard, kudos to the volunteers of Los Angeles' 3 R's program for providing REAL beach training (for $5 a morning session at that!)
In the end, each person is responsible for their own safety and to know their own limits. Just wish the cert agencies would do a better job at driving this point home and require more supervised dives by REAL instructors - not retail clerks who just got their training in Cozumel. The real instructors - you know who you are - press your agencies on this point. A REAL instructor is a diver's best gift.
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