An update is definitely in order, but its not enforced today anyway...

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Posted by Walt on November 16, 2005 at 21:36:18:

In Reply to: Re: So read Ariticle VI posted by Ken Kurtis on November 16, 2005 at 18:41:01:

I was thinking about enforcement of diver qualifications, specifically Section 301 which I consider a minimum competancy level (If you can't swim, you should learn before thinking about learning to dive). I remember 2 divers in my PADI Basic class who never learned to swim and another 3 who couldn't do the "200 yard" swim (which was actually just 12 laps in a 40 foot pool, or just 160 yards!). We were never asked to do the 50 foot underwater swim. (Yes, this was in LA County!) The swim skills are supposed to be PREREQUISITES before training.

Then there's section 306 - a 400 yard transport w/ F.O.G. as a requirement of the performance evaluation. Again, we didn't do that in PADI Basic, "Advanced" or even "Rescue". Wonder how many "divers" (present company excepted) can do this anyway?

Section 304 states that only 2 dives in a day shall be credited, but we did 3 on a boat in PADI Basic. Of course, the LA County requjirement is VERY light in this regard as just 2 dives are needed anyway.

Section 303's requirement for 9 hours of OW training for the listed skills also seems light, though limiting it to 6 per day is a good idea. As for my PADI Basic, I remember just the 3 boat dives and one shore dive for a total of maybe 6 hours in the ocean. As for Section 303's listed skills - maybe just half were actually taught or practiced (until "Rescue").

I'd agree that these sections need to be beefed up but they also need to be enforced. No wonder there are so many divers who are uncomfortable in the water and who stop diving or have accidents.

How comfortable and competant is anyone after 2 dives? 4 dives? 8 dives? How many OW hours are needed..9? 18? 30? Again, just Basic, not "advanced".

I believe 8 dives (2 a day limit) would be a bare minimum with another 12 hours (4 hour a day max.) for learning and practicing the skills or 303. The first 3 dives are for learning and skill demonstration; the next 3 would be skill application; the last 2 are for student observation ("solo") and fun. The 12 hours would be used to make sure the diver can actually apply each of these skills.

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