Posted by Jim on May 02, 2004 at 21:52:46:
In Reply to: Accounting methods posted by Jeff Shaw on May 02, 2004 at 21:14:27:
1. Check in and out on roster, tag board (like DAN provides) etc.
2. Check tank slots for empty tank, no gear, etc.
3. Roll call with face-to-face verification.
4. Head count.
No single one of these methods is fool-proof (the agencies keep certifing better fools). When I was divemastering, we used a combination of these with different people doing the head count, calling roll, etc. and they all had to square or else. It was just like the airlines do with their head counts, etc. We never left a diver behind. Face-to-face verification meant that. After a while we stopped rousting sleeping divers and went below to check ourselves.
By the 1990s, the ethic on dive boats (with the exception of Mickey's Sea Ventures out of Hueneme)required that we not bother the divers with such trivial matters as mandatory roll calls and they cut back on the number of d.m.s at a time when the boats were getting bigger. About this same time some boats started carrying "d.m.s as crew" who treated shop d.m.s with real distain. (Up until then many boats gave shops an option, provide your own d.m. or we will charge you to provide one). About that time, I quit d.m.ing except for a select group of instructors and only on boats where we weren't treated like we had the plague and started volunteering as a diver at CINP doing wreck surveys, underwater video, kelp forest surveys, etc.
Another trend seems to have started about then. I never wanted to be an instructor, but I was one hell of a divemaster/rescue diver/lifeguard. In my mind, the certification agencies began to treat dms as a less-than-terminal certification which led to the deprofessionalization of the practice. Now dms are seen as nothing but instructors-in-waiting. Too bad, given most of the professional dms I knew went were lifeguards, kept current on DAN 02, professional rescuer CPR, and practiced these skills. I recall taking Darren Douglass to task once over his charge that dms were on a power trip.
I guess the industry, dive shops, and boat owners get what they deserve.
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