some personal thoughts on diving and keeping things simple

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Posted by Mike on September 21, 2006 at 12:51:48:

The recent sad tragedy and loss of a fellow diver on a recent dive trip to San Clemente Is. and the resulting discussion I've seen on this boart have made me reflect a bit.

I appreciate this forum, and thru it I have learned much.

If you're not into reading the opinion of others with an open mind, I suggest you close this window now...

Personally, over my 30 years of active sport diving, I've seen the sport diving industry become more complex.

Along with the computer era came an increase in high tech diving tools and techniques in the sport diving community.
Computerized rebreathers, mixed gasses, etc.. Divers are "drawn" to these cool toys.

I think these are great technologies to exploit if you have a "real" need to use them plus the deep pocket backing of an agency or employer to insure the proper training and
maintenance is provided and you can justify the risk of making such higher risk dives.

But for the average recreational sport dive, the people that go out on the commerical dive boats, diving the average sites, I sometimes wonder "why do you need all this trick tech gear?".

Why in the heck does a recreational sport diver need to dive a rebreather when making a routine boat trip to the East End of San Clement Island..?

But more importantly, why did this diver feel that he needed this trick gear? Agencies, instructors, individuals are continually exposing the average recreational diver to more tools, classes, fancy gasses, etc...

There are just too many dives out there with fancy gear that
far exceeds their basic watermanship skills.

To me, increased complexity = increased risk that something could fail. Be it equipment, or the diver.

Recreational sport diving should not be that complicated.

When I dive I will try to keep things simple. I breathe air only, I make no-deco dives, I follow the US Navy tables, I make safety stops, and know in my head prior to entering the water what my limits are.

This system has kept me alive for over 30 years and thousands of dives.

For this recreational diver, never find me diving a rebreather, never diving mixing gasses, never conducting tech dives, or otherwise putting myself at a higher risk. (my wife would kill me if I attempted such.)

To me, the added costs, complexity, and potential for some type of system failure, is not worth the risk.

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