You can sum up most of what divers need to do to be safe under water in just six simple rules. While there is certainly a lot more that divers should know, it is these six things that can help you avoid most accidents. Not only that, these rules can help make diving easier and a whole lot more enjoyable.
The other day, I got an interesting comment on a photo I posted way back in December. The photo (shown below) is a still-frame capture from a You Tube video. The video was actually pretty good, showing both diving and a specific destination in a positive light. Unfortunately, that’s not what many viewers are going to remember.
Author Michael Menduno, who first coined the term technical diving, is also known for the following quote: Every dive is a decompression dive; every dive is a solo dive. This is likely one of the truest statements in diving.
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.
This article is aimed specifically at dive retailers, instructors and anyone else who sells or recommends equipment to students. Its message is simple: The kind of snorkel we’re generally recommending or selling to beginning scuba divers is absolutely, positively the worst kind for them to buy. And we’ll tell you why.
Social media can be a great way to share your cave diving experiences with others. It can also be an effective tool for promoting classes, trips and other activities — even if those activities do not involve cavern or cave diving. Unfortunately, most of the cave diving photos and, especially, video we see posted on Facebook, You Tube and Instagram pretty much suck. Which is a shame because they don’t have to.
If you are going to post diving advice on Facebook, you might want to take the time to check your facts and think things all the way through. Case in point: A person I know recently responded to a thread that had nothing to do with gas sharing by saying, “Most PADI divers use that AIR2 crap.” He later justified his position by posting this:
Most dive instructors would agree that it is far harder to break bad habits than it is to never allow those habits to form in the first place. It’s why we are so adamant about students not putting masks on foreheads or leaving tanks standing upright unattended. Yet, despite this, most instructors allow students to form four of the worst possible habits just by continuing to teach “the way we’ve always done it.” Some divers manage to break these habits with time; many never do.