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C-Card roulette

Discussion in 'Advanced Scuba' started by Chilly_Diver, Oct 27, 2017.

  1. CrumhornDiver

    CrumhornDiver Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Arlington, Virginia
    109
    46
    Am I the only person who takes photos of my ID & credit cards before going on a trip? I do the same with my c-cards. I can typically fit six in a photo. Pic of fronts, pic of backs.

    If for some reason the one physical card I choose to bring is insufficient for the diving I want to do & the dive op cannot search for my records online, a photo on my phone solves the issue. The zoom function also allows me to show only the card I wish to.

    As for which card to show, I would probably default to my OWSI card. If the dive op is going to ask me to do something rather than rely on its own staff, that's information I'd like to know on the surface rather than find out that things might go sideways underwater due to lack of training, experience or too large a group. I have typically been asked how many dives I have completed, which as pointed out above, may be a better gauge of a diver's ability than a "minimum requirements" c-card.

    That said, those of you who draw the line of taking on a professional roll on a dive due to liability, I understand and share your concern. If it were me, before the dive I would make clear to the dive op and any buddies I am not acting in a professional capacity but rather in the role of a dive buddy leading others on a dive within their certification and ability.

    It also should be said, and I don't recall if it was in this thread, being a pro paired with a new diver on a fun dive might give that diver more confidence and an opportunity to learn from a more experienced diver than the DM working. This is not to disparage DMs; I have learned from many. But a working DM has different priorities in the boat and in the water and likely less time to spend with each diver. I have learned a great deal from other divers who just wanted to help me improve. That continues to this day (well Sunday, the last time I was with other divers).

    At the level where c-card roulette is a concern, I encourage others who have posted, most with more experience than me, to think of the wisdom you can impart to other divers and how you can help them have a great experience. That's one of the reasons I became an instructor in the first place.
     
    stuartv and Chilly_Diver like this.
  2. MargaritaMike

    MargaritaMike Divemaster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: On a non-divable lake in SE Texas
    895
    811
    Here's MY thinking on liability. Let's say a diver (of any experience level) in on a boat full of DM's and Instructors and something fatal or near-fatal happens to that diver. As his attorney (which I am not an attorney), I will find out who was on the boat, their experience, and their certification level. Then I would go after anyone who was obviously in a position of superior (to the affected diver) training and certification. Even if the same level of advanced training (i.e. instructor or DM), they COULD have possibly done something to prevent the catastrophe. If I am one of those DM's, I do not want to make it easy for a hungry attorney to get to me. Hence, I am not going to give the dive op my full set of credentials. As far as they are concerned, I am Joe Diver out to enjoy my vacation as a Nitrox certified AOW diver.

    My 2¢

    Cheers - M²
     
    Bubblesong and northernone like this.
  3. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lexington, SC
    9,730
    5,540
    SDI/TDI allows downloading of C cards in PDF format. I have my important ones downloaded and stored in my Dropbox, so I can pull them up on my phone if necessary.

    But, like with electronic boarding passes for air flights, I find the physical version quicker and easier.
     
  4. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lexington, SC
    9,730
    5,540
    An attorney who goes so far as to find out every person on the boat and their cert level will probably find out that you are a pro, even if you didn't give your pro card to the dive operator.

    It seems like I've seen third hand stories posted on here about it, but I have to say it's a little hard for me to believe that there are too many attorneys that would waste their time suing anyone that did not have any hint of duty of care. I.e. a pro who just happens to be on the same boat but otherwise has NO connection to the injured party or the dive charter operator.

    There are laws to protect people and punish attorneys who just randomly* name people in a suit, just in the hope someone will cough up cash out of court. I have known and/or worked with a decent number of attorneys. It seems to me that they are mostly pretty cognizant of the professional repercussions to themselves of doing something like that and would generally (obviously, there can be exceptions) not do it.

    * meaning, name someone who clearly has/had no responsibility to the plaintiff.
     
  5. Edward3c

    Edward3c Instructor, Scuba

    2,069
    1,269
    The idea of a lawyer hunting down my instructor qualifications isn’t something I think very likely, if I were just to declare a lower qualification.

    I show an instructor card as it’s easer for the operator than going through my qualification book to confirm my Advanced Diver (3 star CMAS) grade.
     
  6. CrumhornDiver

    CrumhornDiver Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Arlington, Virginia
    109
    46
    I agree with Stuart. In the situation Mike describes, if any and everyone on the boat was interviewed subsequent to an incident, the interviewer would likely ask your highest certification level, number of dives and experience. A good legal researcher would confirm with your certification agency (and that of everyone else on the boat and look for records of past incidents). At that point, while the other DMs on a boat may not have known you were a pro, YOU DID, and if their best theory for collection is that you had an affirmative duty to act, they would assert it against you. Having held back your highest certification level during the dive will not matter much in the end in that case.

    That said, I think such a case would be pretty lousy against a pro who was just diving on the boat, not being paid and not working. I doubt many lawyers would take that on contingency. In addition, that's why one carries professional liability insurance.

    I do not fault anyone who doesn't show their pro certification when diving for fun; it's obviously a personal choice. All the things I said about helping guide and educate less experienced divers can be done without tooting a horn saying "I'm a DM or instructor."
     
  7. Edward3c

    Edward3c Instructor, Scuba

    2,069
    1,269
    My instructor qualification is not commercial, but recreational: I don’t get paid to teach.
     
  8. MargaritaMike

    MargaritaMike Divemaster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: On a non-divable lake in SE Texas
    895
    811
    Edward, Stuart, and Crumhorn - The fact that they will find my certification level is not in doubt. My point is that IF I purport myself to be a vacationing diver, then when they do find another level of certification I can say that I did not present myself as a pro. If I say up front that I am a DM then it CAN be interpreted that I am also ACTING as a DM. It is a fine line, but one I choose to draw.
    Having been sued for something for which I had no liability, and spending two years of my life to prove a groundless, baseless, frivolous lawsuit, I will not make it easy for anyone to just scoop me up into a lawsuit.
    This is just MY opinion and that with about $4 will buy you a Starbuck's coffee.

    Cheers - M²
     
  9. northernone

    northernone Contributor Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Currently: Cozumel, from Canada
    3,792
    3,411
    I am of the same mind after the lawsuit experience a friend went through. In sue happy environments I try my best not to be the low hanging fruit for an ambulance chaser.

    Regards,
    Cameron
     
    MargaritaMike likes this.
  10. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lexington, SC
    9,730
    5,540
    There is the rub. I have pro insurance that covers me when I'm working for my shop. I don't have any professional insurance that covers me at any time that I'm not actively working for my shop. I.e. if I go down to NC for a fun dive, unrelated to my shop, I am not covered. I kind of feel like I should just go ahead and get my own insurance, but at the moment that's not in my budget.

    That said, I go back and forth in my mind. I don't have insurance. If a plaintiff's lawyer talks to me, I will certainly make it clear that I was not "working" and, further, have no insurance coverage. Naming me in a suit like that would be pointless. There's no blood in this turnip.

    If I get my own insurance, then I would be covered. But, at the same time, it almost seems like an invitation to be named in a suit. "Maybe his insurance will settle for some small amount rather than spend time going to court."
     

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