Re: Re: NAUI/PADI DM questions

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Posted by Capt. K on March 20, 2006 at 18:27:52:

In Reply to: Re: NAUI/PADI DM questions posted by Ken Kurtis on March 19, 2006 at 19:14:30:

Great points, Ken. I particularly like the hog-tieing suggestion. ;)

Eric, FYI, there is an enormous difference between taking a dive master course, whether PADI or NAUI, and becoming an on-paper DM, and actually working on a dive boat as a dive master. As far as 'really working in the industry' - is your paper restricted to dive shop DMs?

Technically, a DM outranks the captain in relation to the divers, but there are few scenarios I can think of where a DM would be able to make a diver oriented decision exclusive of the safe operation and business of the vessel, therein necessitating the involvement of the captain/crew and a consensus, as Ken says. As a DM, Instructor and Captain, I don't know that I would ever overrule or ignore a DM who was convinced diving was unsafe. Simply, the DM's focus on the divers might allow him or her to notice a danger factor the captain/crew might not. He/she might be the only one who saw the 16 ft white... Also, if the DM refused to DM, someone else would have to assume the position. There might not be available or qualified alternates that trip.

As far as your specific questions:

Since you are representing the shop, do you have the right, and are you expected to exercise that right, to cancel a trip because you feel the conditions were not ideal to conduct the dives?

-No. Cancelling a trip is a decision for the operator and the shop owner/charterer. Don't forget, it is 20+ miles to Catalina and further to SBI and there may be more to conditions than a DM can immediately see. Captains have access to radar, electronic data and radio communications that DMs do not.

As the DM, once again representing the shop, are you expected to not let any diver on the boat you feel is a threat or otherwise problematic in their attitude that could affect the other customers on the trip?

- From experience, I would agree threats should absolutely be hog-tied. Or at least not allowed to dive. There is very little paperwork involved in refunding a disgruntled diver while there is a mountain in relation to an incident caused by said diver. Also, your other divers will likely appreciate your firmness where it involves their safety. 'Problematic attitudes'? As Ken says, you can't stop someone from diving b/c you don't like them. As a DM, it is rather important not to put your personal agenda ahead of your job.

Again, as the DM, are you expected to not let any diver on the boat you feel is a danger to himself or others around him?

-Yes. As above, diver safety is paramount, not personal feelings or agendas. The job description includes keeping people out of the water if they might injure themselves or others. Rescue training tends to discuss the signs and symptoms of a dangerous diver. Dive masters are expected to know them and act on their knowledge. A shop or boat in opposition to that probably isn't safe. A DM would, however, absolutely be expected to notify the captain and/or crew of such a danger.

If an accident occurs on your trip and a diver is injured, are you as the DM, required to take a drug test along with everyone else on the boat that was responsible in any way for the advanced safety or rescue of the injured diver as per the Coast Guard's request?

- While CG does seem to currently see peeing in a cup as the cure all for accident resolution, but they do not have authority over civilians. So no, CG could not require a DM to take a drug test if he/she were not employed by the boat.

- As far as certifying agency requirements and expectations, you should probably contact PADI and NAUI PR Departments for the official word.

Good luck with your paper.
Capt. Kyaa

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