My take on the language

Scuba Diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on January 14, 2010 at 16:17:20:

In Reply to: Re: Language in the bill??? posted by TomC on January 13, 2010 at 17:22:17:

First, thanks to Tom Carr for posting the link.

Second, the caveat is that I'm not a lawyer (though I work for lawyers & I've played on on TV.)

I note two things.

One is that the bill is very specific to mention self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA). It makes no mention of rebreathers which (IMHO) can be argued that - even though they are self-contained - are not considered "scuba" gear in the traditional sense.

As there's a good chance wrecks are going to attract technical divers who may be diving rebreathers, it might make sense to attempt to clean the language up even further on the Assembly floor and insert "rebreathers" into the mix so there can be no questions down the road.

The bill also seems to indicate (and some of this is, I believe, from langauge in already-exisiting provisions for other sports) that the liability is waived when "no specific fee" is collected for participating in the activity, and specifically exempts such things as park admissions or parking fees from the definition of "specific fee".

However, it doesn't eliminate charter boat ticket fees.

So the question would be that if you dive this wreck from a charter boat, and you've paid a "specific fee" to the charterer to dive this wreck, does that mean the public liability that is otherwise waived in the bill now exist again for the public entity?

It would be nice to make sure that paying to dive the wreck, from a boat as opposed to diving for free from shore, doesn't change things or the municipalities may either (1) prohibit boat diving on "their" wrecks, or (2) not take the wrecks in the first place since the liability may not be totally gone.

I know this all may sound like nitpicking but given some of the stuff I hear at the scuba lawsuit depositions I attend and read, better to nitpick now than later.

Perhaps Joel Geldin can weigh in as he's been closely invovled with shepherding this thing through.

- Ken
Ken Kurtis
NAUI Instr. #5936
Owner,Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, CA

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