Team Diving

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Posted by Tribes on August 18, 2004 at 10:45:35:

There has been a lot written about team diving. Team diving has been one of the corner stones of diving instruction since the beginning of organized sport diving. Team diving has been said to be the safest way to dive. But is it?
There have always been problems with this concept. Because every ones definition of what a team is, is different. If you look at a scuba text the definition of team diving go like this “The practice of never diving alone. You always have someone to assist you, if necessary, and with whom to share experiences”.
But, will that team member really be there if you need them? . When was the last time you and your other team member or members discussed gas management, limits on the dive, team members responsibilities , team members compatibility, team members equipment configuration, and a “what if” plan. These are all things that a team member needs to know about, from what I have seen over the years there are very few that even do site checks or even pre-dive equipment checks before they dive.
In fact, to be buddied up with someone that you have never met, and have no idea about there skill level, can be very dangerous to your health. RULE #1 has been around for a long time “don’t dive with a stroke”. There are many cases where you maybe better off diving solo or sitting out a dive, then diving with some the divers you could be buddied up with.
Is team diving safer? I think the answer is yes and no. It can be safer, but in many cases it makes no difference or is hazardous. I have seen many great team divers over the years. But they are the exception to the rule, most dive teams are very loose, and are clueless to each others abilities. If there was an emergency they could just as easy get you killed, as save you.
The key to this is, that divers as individuals have to be self sufficient (the other team member is a back up, but should never be depended on).
The other key is that you and your team members need to sit down and talk about the team. Maybe even go out practice team skills. This would make a real team and not what past off as team diving today.


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