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Concern for Other Divers Safety

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Dubious, Jul 8, 2020.

  1. CT-Rich

    CT-Rich ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    When you are a freshly minted diver, you may not have a circle of dive buddies. He obviously didn’t. He heard about this dive spot with training platforms and came out to do what you had the luxury to do in the pool, dick around with his gear to become more comfortable.

    It was nice of you to look out for him, but you are not the scuba police, so don’t feel like you need to be the enforcer. Offering a few helpful suggestions, like, “you looked a little heavy, I bet you could drop a couple of pounds on the next dive,” will likely be taken in the spirit they were offered.

    Most LDS and clubs will have meet-up dives where newbies can find insta-buddies or people that they will partner up with over the long term. A bit like speed dating for divers. Every new diver starts out incompetent. We all start out water hazards. Some divers get the crap spooked out of them and never go back, some never learn jack.
    Dubious and KWS like this.
  2. Dubious

    Dubious ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Wisconsin
    Thank you. I hope I didn't come across as the "scuba police". I wanted to be helpful and caring. I was just conflicted about how much I should say. I really didn't want this thread to be about that diver but instead, be about how I and others should respond when we see something that is dangerous or needs correcting. In all honesty, I wish I had more divers giving me tips when in the water, but that has yet to happen with the exception of one divemaster saying my LDS sold me a bunch of overpriced crap (I think he was referring to my backplate and wing :rolleyes:).

    Do you think we have a responsibility to other divers?

    When Lisa and I were diving in Jamaica we also saw things that made us cringe but we never said anything, I think partially because we expected the divemaster to. Maybe the divemaster did behind the scenes even though things did not appear to change.

    I have made my share of mistakes too. Unfortunately, I have had to learn by myself or through scubaboard. I also know how hard it is to know your limits. Last year we were invited to go to the 100-foot deep platform with an instructor and student who was completing his deep certification. We had just earned our AOW so by PADI standards we could, but what would our objective be? The allure of the deep platform was tempting but Lisa and I decided to stay shallower. Now while in Jamaica we did venture that deep, but the objective was to see a deep plane.

    All that being said, I guess this sport is like any other with different ideologies of best practices. Then again I have to wonder if this a good thing due to the inherent danger with this sport.
    wnissen likes this.
  3. KWS

    KWS ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SE TEXAS

    you are right Your position is a tough one especially when you see the obvious as a problem and have a natural concern for others. You can always approach it as We are new to this, how long have you been diving??? the door will either open or it will get barred and locked shut. Most will open up and you can ask things like working on your buoyancy? and things will progress form there. some will play ball others will not. You have to respect that also because the shoe could be on the other foot. It could be worse he could have had a girlfriend with him and intervention would have resulted in mud on his face.
    Dubious likes this.
  4. Saniflush

    Saniflush ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

    @Dubious sounds like you had the right amount of involvement in my opinion. Caring but not overbearing is where I try to stay if I don't know someone. I was once a brand new diver and was fortunate to have some folks around me that tried to give me helpful hints and encouragement. I still get hints and I still take them although I certainly will push back with a conversation with the individual if I have a different reason for what I am doing.

    In regards to the cringe worthy moments in Jamaica, hopefully if they were REALLY cringe worthy the DM did say something and in my experience the good ones know how to do so without being accusatory. A diving mentor of mine is really good at this and has the discussions in a non-confrontational manner, and they come off as just having idle conversations where the diver in question gets to the conclusion on their own.
    Dubious and Esprise Me like this.
  5. Scuba-Blue-13

    Scuba-Blue-13 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Delaware
    Love Negril diving. Shallow plane is a nice site as well.

    You did what you were trained to do - look out for your buddy. While he may not have been your primary, or intended buddy for the day, you saw someone that lacked the skills you worked hard to learn and were willing to take time away from your dive to help him become a better diver. Good for you.

    I look at it this way - I have no "obligation" to another diver (aside from my buddy/wife) but if I see something I can correct or help with, I will...every time. The alternative is decades of guilt as I sit on the shoreline and watch the recovery team bring a body to the surface.
    James79 and Dubious like this.
  6. Josh the diver

    Josh the diver Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Wisconsin
    where you diving out of bluegill at Wazee
  7. johndiver999

    johndiver999 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Gainesville FL
    It is not that complicated. You know that normal training can be inadequate and you know there is no mandate to maintain skills.

    So do you feel a moral obligation to help prevent someone from injuring themselves (or worse)? Are you fearful of being thought of as rude or arrogant? I personally am not so scared of being treated rudely. I will go out on a limb, offer advice, say something if the diver appears to be over their head and doing something dangerous.

    I would rather be treated rudely or dismissed or rebuked, compared to hearing about a death.

    Quite a while ago, I watched an experienced diver gear up for a solo dive and he had his pony bottle second stage rigged in a stupid manner. It was not easy to deploy -etc. It has been so long ago that I don't even remember the details.

    I knew I should say something, show him a better solution and I could have helped him rig something right on the boat. But I said nothing, didn't want to look like a dick and a know-it-all. Minded my own business. He had been diving hundreds of times.

    A few dives later he shoots up from a solo dive in 110 -120 and was in distress on the surface. We get over to him with the boat and he said he just shot to the surface after loosing his regulator. We dropped down a tank of oxygen and we encouraged him to go to 20 and I hung out with him in the water while he sucked down the O2 for 20 minutes.

    He recovered and was fine when we got him back on the boat. He had ditched his speargun and fish and we asked what happened. Apparently, half way through the dive, he turned his head, his mouth piece popped off, he immediately sucked in water and was gagging, couldn't successfully deploy the pony reg (presumably because it was clipped off with no break away and was covered up with gear or something) and then he just hit the inflator and shot to the surface as fast as he could. He said he was having tunnel vision on the way up and was very close to passing out. When he hit the surface, he was pretty much exhausted and incapacitated for a few minutes. It was apparently a very close call.

    So he almost died. I thought about it when I went in to recover his gun and decided that from now on, if I see something clearly "stupid" or dangerous, I'm going to be "that guy".

    It's not that hard, do/say what you think you should and then your conscious will be clear if they get killed: who cares if somebody thinks you are a jerk. I might not feel obligated to hold hands or to dive with somebody, but I will say something and try to help.
  8. agardner

    agardner Angel Fish

    Was he this heavy? :eek:

    I'm nowhere near the most experience diver, but that said, if I see something stupid or irresponsible, especially if it's with someone I'm diving with (and by definition, someone I might be dependant on) then I will gently say something. Then I make a judgement call on whether or not to dive with them. Diving in groups, their incompetence can put YOU at risk, their octo is for you.

    If it's a complete random in a different group, then I suppose it depends. If it looks potentially life threatening then of course I'll say something. I'd rather have someone think I'm a d!ck than be dragging them out of the water.
  9. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Between Mikes and Weekapaug
    OP, that was kind of you to be concerned for another person's safety. I've learned just as much from fellow divers, instabuddies, classmates etc. as I have from instructors... Perhaps more. Anyone can be a teacher. Heck, just diving like you have your act together is teaching by example.

    Just remember they are not your responsibility.
  10. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Between Mikes and Weekapaug
    Why do you feel its your responsibility to drag them out of the water??

    While I agree if its your dive buddy, a correction is totally justifable for the reasons you gave. Past that, it encroaches on telling someone how to dive.

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