Not really the point

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Posted by SC on August 14, 2006 at 16:47:47:

In Reply to: Re: Re: I don't think it's overreacting at all - What? posted by MHK on August 11, 2006 at 21:37:44:

The original point of the article was about some guy complaining that the basic training was too basic. You're complaining about additional training (AOW, specialties, etc) being too basic.

I agree with you that most specialties have pretty minimal education and could stand to get beefed up, but back to the original point:

The OW course is pretty decent for a starting point. I think the people that have no business being in the water by and large aren't put in situations beyond their capabilities by anyone except for themselves. The class stresses not to overstep their skill limitations, and I think the safety records show that that approach is working fairly well.

According to PADI, a million people are certified to dive each year. That figure seems a bit high to me, I'd go with another figure of 500,000 that I found(http://www.lakesidepress.com/pulmonary/books/scuba/sectionb.htm. I'm not sure where the author gets that figure, but there's not much in the way of info on annual certifications out there. If somebody finds a concrete number, I'd like to hear it).

Anyways, given that figure, compared to the amount of fatalities and injuries in the year 2003, according to DAN, let's compare:

DAN says 109 American citizens died while scuba diving in 2003. This does not include commercial divers or snorklers or freedivers. They further report that 10 percent of those fatalities had one year or less worth of diving experience; ostensibly OW students. Certainly some of the other peopole could have been OW, too, and infrequently dove, but 31% of the divers who died had 10 years or more of scuba diving history.
(There were no statistics for how many divers had died within a year of getting Open Water certified).

That's a rate of 1 in every 4,587 divers (or 0.0218% of all new divers, even if you were assuming all those fatalities were newbies).

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