Re: Personal boats and liability

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Posted by Jesse on March 07, 2007 at 09:12:23:

In Reply to: Personal boats and liability posted by Eric S on March 06, 2007 at 18:50:40:

You raise an excellent question Eric and you are absolutely right when you say that we usually never think about these things until it's too late. I also have a private boat and while I don't "charge" my friends to come aboard, I do ask for a little money for fuel. That's never been a problem and all my friends are only too happy to chip in, especially with California fuel prices being what they are.

I had an incident of my own when diving the Yukon with a good friend and long-time dive buddy. We swimming astern along the side of the ship and I was slightly ahead. I'm in the practice of making costant "head checks" about every 30 to 60 seconds when I'm in the lead to make sure he's there. He was no where to be found when I made my last check. I did the usual stop for a minute and look around but there was only empty water. Because we were several minutes into the dive and rather deep, I couldn't make a straight ascent. I traced my path back the way we came, making sure to check all the possible entanglement areas and found nothing.

The mind does horrible things when you're in a situation like that. I imagined him stuck somewhere and running out of air. Panic started to set in and I even felt as if I was having trouble breathing but I maintained control. I made all the necessary safety stops as I made my way up the mooring line to the surface. It felt like an eternity as I waited there. finally I made it to the surface and saw him sitting in the boat. I cannot describe the feeling of relief I had when I saw him. As it turns out his BC inflator malfunctioned and he had to surface.

I had some choice words for him for scaring the hell out of me and not following the dive plan. I hope to never go through anything like that again. covering your "six" is always a good idea but I think that requiring the signing of waivers puts a negative twist on what should just be a get-together among buddies. I would hate to have to "file paperwork" for every trip but it may actually be necessary these days. Thanks for the food for thought Eric

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