Forwarded comment from Bruce Bearfeld


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Posted by Ken Kurtis on May 10, 2004 at 09:04:00:

Bruce asked me to post this comment on the Sundiver situation for him.
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dear ken;

i had heard of the diver left behind and the circumstances present. tony wiley from wiley's in riverside called me the other day and expressed concern that capt ray is being fried on the internet over this incident.

for the record;

with the capt on the bridge maneuvering the boat during a live boat situation, it is the responsibility of the dive master to check everyone in on the boat by hearing a response when the divers' name is called and looking at said diver visually. that is why they are there.

this is the way it has always been and for good reason. because it works. do not forget to count the number of divers left behind in southern california for the past 25 years and how many dives off our boats have been conducted during that period. furthermore, of those few incidents, none that i know of has ever resulted in a fatality. the system works. there is no
need to count tanks or any other method. it was not the procedure that was at fault, it was that of those implementing it. any other system is equally susceptible to failure if those responsible fail in their duty. operator error is universal.

the system failed not because of the captain, or the crew, or steve ladd the store owner.
the system failed because the divemaster in charge did not get visual confirmation that everyone was back on board before the boat left the area.

furthermore, it has been told to me that according to the log, this same missing diver made the second dive as well and was checked out AND back in. how could this be the case
if he was drifting alone elsewhere?

additionally, i was told that he was separated from his two buddies on descent who then continued the dive on their own. i have no problem with this as i do it myself frequently.

but then, the question comes to mind as to why these same buddies did not check that their third was on board before leaving? i always do so when separated from a buddy.
they also failed in their responsibility to exercise the standard of due care.

i do not even know capt ray. nevertheless, should anyone wish to give him, or steve ladd
grief over this incident, i feel obligated to inform them both in print and in person that they are way out of line and that they should shut their useless holes and go back to arguing over janet jackson's bared breast during the superbowl. it would be more intellectually apt for them to be commenting on.

i would also like to voice my opinion to you that i do not feel nor do i wish that there be any more restriction or any changes in the current procedures regarding diving on oil rigs. the fact that this dive took place on a rig is completely irrelevant.

the exact same thing could have happened, and has, in a variety of other dive sites. the only other requirement that MAY be indicated, is that all divers making dives at sites where
drift or current is a concern be required to carry a tube. this is already done in many of the areas i dive frequently where both current and tidal exchange are a concern, or where the diving is done far offshore, such as canada, florida, and many technical or wreck dives.
it is usually the boat that requires this, and i have been on several where the boat provides
tubes to each client that does not have one and it is a required piece of gear should you wish to dive off that boat. much as an alternate air source, SPG, LPI and other items that were not required in the past are now.

this was not a "rig" problem, nor was it truly a surface signaling problem. the divemaster in charge of the roster did not do his job. THAT is the ONLY problem.


i know that you are the internet maven of our local industry. unless you have knowledge that the facts i have been given are erroneous, i would appreciate it if you would forward this or post it where applicable so that my viewpoint be heard. failing that, i would appreciate it if you would tell me where to do it and i will do so myself.

there is enough crap being slung in this industry. i have been the recipient of quite a bit of it myself. most of it unjustly. i will not sit idly by while the types that spend too much time examining their own rectums, colons, and even intestines do it to someone else.

luv

b


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