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Do cave divers need wreck training?

Discussion in 'Technical Diving Specialties' started by CAPTAIN SINBAD, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    John, you concut these myriad definitions to suit your own purposes. That purpose seems to be a desire to feel authoritative on the subject of wreck diving.. and/or flog lame wreck courses whilst you don't even have any marginally penetrable wrecks in your area...and have less penetration experience than a typical 6-month divemaster in a wreck prolific area.

    You need wrecks, to teach a wreck course. And penetrable wrecks to teach wreck penetration. I'm sure you know that, but wouldn't admit it publicly.

    I'm fully aware of your justifications for 'redefining' what the overhead environment is... and why you do it.

    The theme of your posts focuses around 'what you've not seen'. Thats quite apparant and you repeat the phrase often. Hardly surprising really... but contradictory to your self-assessment of wreck expertise.

    Let's just remind ourselves: what's your highest wreck qualification? How many times have you laid guideline in a substantial wreck over the last 12 months?

    It's easy to be a snide, sarcastic and passive-aggressive 'expert' from behind a laptop. Why don't you come over to the Philippines and put your skill proficiencies where your mouth is? We could also see about your sarcastic attitude...
    ajmcc likes this.
  2. Coztick

    Coztick Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: calgary
    I've had a good chuckle over some of the "us vs them" statements but John's post makes sense.
    We are all entering a hostile environment when we submerge. It is not the dive that determines the level of difficulty but the preparedness of the diver for said dive. Further, said diver's ability to access his preparedness or the difficulty of said dive may be suspect.

    I have no business in a cave or wreck, yet really long, twisty and sometimes restrictive swimthroughs with new divers happen every day in the corral. Similar yet different.

    From the outside it looks like a full cave card could only be compared to a technical/exploration level wreck course as both attempt to prepare a diver for the most extreme environment.
  3. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    I teach both traverse or reciprocal penetrations. Its nothing novel... cave does the same.

    What cavers don't do, is justify not bothering with a guideline "because its a traverse penetration" Am i right?

    PADI wreck is the very lowest level of the wreck courses i (or anyone ...) can teach. I've done hundreds previously over 12 years. To be honest, over the last few years I have little time in the diary for such basic courses, especially when i have more comprehensive options available to teach for other agencies and/or at higher levels.

    Here in Subic, the vacation divers want to do a quick wreck intro and get a plastic card. I tend to work with more serious wreck students, who visit explicitly to train with me for a period of time. I provide effective training, I don't flog cards as an entertainment. Neither do I compromise on standards, ethics or applying the proper protocols.

    Anyway, this isnt about me. My intention, many posts ago, was to address the OPs question by highlighting the sweeping mentality and standards differences between typical recreational wreck instructors and cave instructors. John has ably demonstrated that for me.
  4. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    Technical wreck, in penetration terms, merely takes the diver beyond the light zone. There is vast scope and complexity beyond that threshold.

    Just as with cave, there are many environmental, equipment and procedural skillsets that need to be added if further challenges are to be undertaken.

    Cave is more regulated... so those progressive proficiencies are better reflected in a standardised syllabus.

    However, the same is available for wreck, but its much more niche and the instructors offering it are far fewer.

    I'll give the example of the ANDI Advanced Sidemount course, which focuses on stage cylinder use and the passage of the most extreme restrictions. In essence it's about wriggling through tiny claustrophobic areas in zero viz dragging and pushing 4-6 tanks. The prerequisites for that course are either Full Cave or Technical Wreck ..

    Example: www.deeptecdiver.com/sidemounttraining-advanced-sidemount-bruce-konefe/
  5. modustollens

    modustollens Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Canada
    I am not so interested in the definition that differentiates a 'swim through' from a 'penetration'. This question is merely the SCUBA diving example of a sorties paradox. It is unlikely that anything other than in situ judgement will be able to answer the question: should I run a line here, now. Some abstract phrase in the PADI manual is not going to solve a problem like that; hence the importance of experience and mentoring to develop a sense of judgement that cannot be replaced by willy-nilly ignorance or a blind application of abstract definitions anyway.

    The PADI course is bad not because it cannot rigorously state the necessary and sufficient conditions for being a swim-though rather than a penetration.

    It is bad because once the question is decided that it (1) is a penetration and (2) a line is deployed and (3) one is in the wreck and (4) on a line, there is little said or practiced for emergencies in this situation: a total silt out, a lost line, etc..

    In an earlier thread I stated about a wreck course I was observing:

    The students reported to me that there were no lost line drills; no black mask drills; no long-hose, confined space, blacked-out air sharing or even a silt out 'experience'. No practice diving with or using a redundant gas supply, e.g., a slung pony. They read only the PADI wreck diving manual. They did only 4 dives over two days.​

    And Boulder John said:

    "None of that is part of the PADI course. If you had it, your instructor went WAY beyond the curriculum."

    This is the best statement about the problem. And, if the general notion of a 'wreck diver' is taken to be this PADI standard, then there is no surprise at the reaction cave divers have.

    The phrase, 'dive your limits' seems to be ignored in the PADI course at this point of penetration for there is no attempt to familiarize students with the limits of using a safety line. A safety line is not a magic-cure-all if in an overhead environment: it can be lost or broken, for example. Anyone who has tried to find a lost-line in a black-mask in a confined space knows that it can be quite an intimidating experience, and not something one would want to try and learn how to do for the first time on an actual dive in an emergency rather than a training dive.

    There is no reasonable argument to be made for 'certifying' a diver for penetrating any overhead environment without training dives showing the limitations of, and emergency procedures surrounding, the use of a guide-line, including following a line in a total blackout while sharing air. Arguing that many wreck dives are merely 'swim-throughs' and therefore don't need a line is not an answer to this question: what happens if there is problem for those wreck dives that do require a line?
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
    Mark IV, Coztick and DevonDiver like this.
  6. fish149

    fish149 Photographer

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: South West Ohio
  7. Jack Hammer

    Jack Hammer Solo Diver

    Soooo... have we determined who has the bigger nutscak yet, or are they still on the table waiting for a judges decision on the official weigh in and measurment?
  8. tomfcrist

    tomfcrist NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Virginia, USA
    Unfortunately whoever wins by weight probably has a testicular cancer...”it could be a tumor”
    fish149 and Jack Hammer like this.
  9. Berry Ke

    Berry Ke Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Maastricht, The Netherlands
    Hi, first of all I don't do wrecks nor do I dive caves, I've read this whole thread and tbh the problem people have with you is exactly this piece of reply.

    You assume that your wreck training equals full cave training standards, all without ever having done one bit of cave training meeting general standards..

    Little bit overconfident, ignorant and short-sighted. You can't just go out and say you're training equals someone elses without taking those trainings...
    If you still so that, people are going to question you.. And fairly right.

    I must say it's the attitude in your posts that's bringing people off. You couldn't say you do the best you can and try to give student the best possible training for wrecks huh? No you are so convinced your trainings meets full cave trainings... Lol..

    And remember, I base my opinion solely on this thread and your comments. I've 35 OW Dives and even I can relate to cave divers and other people being repulsed by your loudmouthing..

    P.s. By now, I can safely say that everybody in this thread is well aware of your superb diving and teaching skills so don't bother slapping me with some some bravado..
    The Chairman likes this.
  10. modustollens

    modustollens Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Canada
    No assumptions are required, and your second claim is false. There are a tonne of books on the subject. It is not difficult to correlate the skills and procedures used for overhead environments, whether they be steel or rock.

    It is also easy to see that the PADI wreck course is far from sufficient for overhead environment diving. But, not all 'wreck diving' instructors use that standard. As Boulder John said, all cave diving is penetrative and overhead and a line is always used; but not all wreck diving or training is. But from the claim that not all wreck dive training is for penetrative, overhead diving using a line, it does not follow that there does not exist some wreck dive training that is specifically for penetrative, overhead environments where a line would always be used. The procedures and skills for the two different environments converge or overlap in so far as both are overhead environments.

    Indeed, my wreck penetration dive training used cave diving manuals (e.g. https://www.gue.com/files/page_images/expeditions/Mexico/guideline3.pdf); this is one of many we used - there were at least 5 others manuals written for 'cave' diving that we read for that training. And, if I were to sign up for a cave-class, I would likely have read the books that course would use and trained to employ the skills and procedures contained therein - like this one: Book - Cave Diving Communications - NSS CDS).

    None of the overlapping skills imply that there are not specific or unique hazards to different types of overhead environments; a diver should research and learn about these at the least and, ideally, find a mentor to help guide one's experience in novel environments. Hence the conclusion is obvious.

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