Last week I posted an article on the bitter realities of risk management for dive instructors. A large part of that article was devoted to paperwork and, in particular, the vital importance of getting students to complete the Medical History form accurately and honestly. Shortly afterward. an instructor from — well, we’ll just say “somewhere out west” — contacted me with a story of stupidity so unbelievable it boggles the mind.
Lawsuits are something you expect to happen to The Other Guy. Certainly not to you. You’re a good instructor. You teach responsibly and follow standards. Your students love you and would never dream of actually suing you. And, in your fantasy world, peace and harmony abound, and every child gets a pony. Yeah…right.
If you cave dive, it’s almost inevitable that one day, for any of a variety of reasons, you may be forced to leave a reel in the cave that you hadn’t intended to. It’s usually because you were not able to make a subsequent dive during which you planned to retrieve a primary or jump reel you installed on a previous dive. This could be because a team member wasn’t feeling up to it physically, or perhaps an equipment malfunction prevented you from diving. Whatever the reason, it’s important that you not simply leave the reel without telling anyone and have a plan for its removal.