Re: Are C Cards needed and/or legal?

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on August 01, 2006 at 13:44:43:

In Reply to: Are C Cards needed and/or legal? posted by Captain Tim Burke on July 31, 2006 at 21:56:43:

<< You need a license to drive a car. >>
Yes, that's state law.

<< You need library card to check out books. >>
Not by law you don't. Standard of libraries, not a legal requirement.

<< You need a card to check out movies. >>
Not by law you don't. Standard of that industry.

<< So why is it that divers get so mad when they do not bring their C Card to the boat and the DMís question whether they should get on the boat and dive or not? >>

Because they're idiots?????

In all seriousness, it is not a LEGAL requirement to produce a c-card. It is not a LEGAL requirement to be certifiied to go diving. But it IS a standard of the industry, as scuba diving is 9for the moment at least) a largely self-regulated industry. And if you choose not to follow that standard, and something bad happens to the diver, you WILL be held accoutnable for nthe violation of that stadard and that may factor into the outcome of your case.

Now, to really get technical, what you need is "verification" of certification. (And we'll ignore the whole concept of whether or not certified = qualified.) A c-card provides that verification. So does having seen the c-card in the past even though the diver doesn't have it on them. (On our trip, if we know who you are and we've seen your card before, we don't need to see it again.)So does someone you trust (say another instructor, DM, or captain) vouching for the fact that the person is certified. Perhaps even a logbook will be good for verificiation. Generally, the attitude of the diver will tell you. Generally, the less competent and less experienced someone is, the bigger the stink they make about the whole lack-of-card thing.

And the reality is that, even if you can't verify that they're certified, you can still let them dive if they go with an instructor as their buddy or escort. That also meets industry standards. (Whether or not that's available on a given trip and whether or not there's an extra charge for that are also separate questions.)

And why should this be any different than Blockbuster? Well, I don't recall hearing Blockbuster ever getting sued because someone had a heart attack while watching a rented copy of "Psycho." The scuba industry is simply not like other industries so the "other-sports-don't-have-to-do-this" is not a valid argument.

Showing your c-card is a stanard of the industry. It's a well-publicized standard of the industry. It's something that's preached by every dive shop, club, and boat I know of. If someone's got issue with having to produce a card, either get over it, or simply revert to beach diving where (except perhaps for Laguna) you can dive cardless to your heart's content.

Ken Kurtis
NAUI Instr. #5936
Co-owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hill, CA

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