OW failure, advice?

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wetb4igetinthewater

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On the first dive (our first time in open water), which was a tour around some landmarks, the instructor stopped at the bottom and intentionally silted the hell out of the area before having us follow him.
Your instructor is insane or really stupid. Find another. This person is creating a potentially high stress situation where they no longer have control. I would be shocked if any agency wasn't explicitly against instructors not maintaining control.
 

yle

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One pool session? How did you get through all the skills in that time? You should have had a minimum of 5-7 separate segments of skill practice depending on the agency.
I could not possibly get through all the requirements for the confined water portion of the class with that many students in that length of time, even if every student were doing every skill well on the first attempt.
I'll play devil's advocate here... I believe the OP is describing the experience with OW dive 1. I don't know about other agencies, but PADI doesn't require all CW skills to be completed before OW dives 1 or 2. Only CW sections 1, 2, 3 are required before the first two OW dives. The remaining CW sections must be completed before OW dives 4 and 5.

It's very possible that the itinerary for this class called for CW 1 2 3, then OW 1 & 2, then back to the pool for CW 4 & 5 before OW 3 & 4.

I'll agree that three hours in the pool is pretty quick for completing CW 1 2 3, but the OP did say there were 3 instructors for the 8 students. With minimal problems and an efficient instructor team, completing those three sections in that time can be reasonable.
 

yle

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NO! Intentionally creating a no/low vis situation with new OW divers is asking to get someone killed.
That's a little dramatic. I'm certainly not in favor of the instructor's actions, but suggesting to the OP that a low-viz situation is putting them at immediate risk of death is a little much.
 

Jim Lapenta

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That's a little dramatic. I'm certainly not in favor of the instructor's actions, but suggesting to the OP that a low-viz situation is putting them at immediate risk of death is a little much.
You've not seen someone panic and bolt then when vis goes to zero? On their first or second dive in these conditions it absolutely is a risk of an embolism if they bolt and don't exhale. In our area doing something like this doesn't just result in low vis. There is so much silt in our local spots this can result in no-vis. At one quarry it's like lights out now. If you're not in touch contact or on a line your buddy/student is gone. New diver, suddenly alone on their very first dive? Panic sets in, they bolt, they don't exhale, they embolize, they die.
I'm going to also guess, and I hope they verify yea or nay, that they were being led around single file. Another setup for panic.
 

Scraps

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That's a little dramatic. I'm certainly not in favor of the instructor's actions, but suggesting to the OP that a low-viz situation is putting them at immediate risk of death is a little much.

I get your point.

However, @Jim Lapenta didn't say someone would die.

He said the instructor was "asking for someone to get killed," a common figure of speech to express taking an unacceptable and unnecessary risk, which is a fair characterization of deliberately creating a situation in which the instructor cannot maintain direct supervision of new divers who will be disoriented, confused, and likely to react imprudently to a situation that is not part of the OW training program.

I just renewed my liability policy and re-read the exclusions. I don't think they would cover me if I did this and someone got hurt or killed. That's a fairly good standard of asking for it.
 

boulderjohn

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As someone who has conducted many classes in reduced visibility, I am well aware that instructors running a classes like that are at risk throughout the entire class. If something happens to a student who was not being supervised (i.e., observed) by an instructor or certified assistant, the instructor will be liable. It does not have to be a breath-holding ascent to the surface; people have had potentially fatal problems that call for immediate assistance right where they are.

So if something happened to a student who started the class in reduced visibility and then continued in bad visibility because the instructor intentionally roiled the waters to create that condition, I am pretty sure things would get ugly in the following lawsuit.
 

yle

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He said the instructor was "asking for someone to get killed," a common figure of speech to express taking an unacceptable and unnecessary risk,
Ahhh... I was not aware this is a common figure of speech. I was reading it literally. Thanks for the clarification.
 

Marie13

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So does anyone know if the OP has updated that he’s taken any steps to continue with a private instructor, etc?
 

BoltSnap

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I was not aware this is a common figure of speech. I was reading it literally.

Yes, it means that this behavior could lead to somebody getting in trouble and possibly getting killed. The scenario as described is a violation of teaching and safety standards and shouldn't have taken place in an entry level course. No reasonable qualified instructor would do this in an entry level recreational course.
 

Gachnar

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You've not seen someone panic and bolt then when vis goes to zero? On their first or second dive in these conditions it absolutely is a risk of an embolism if they bolt and don't exhale. In our area doing something like this doesn't just result in low vis. There is so much silt in our local spots this can result in no-vis. At one quarry it's like lights out now. If you're not in touch contact or on a line your buddy/student is gone. New diver, suddenly alone on their very first dive? Panic sets in, they bolt, they don't exhale, they embolize, they die.
I'm going to also guess, and I hope they verify yea or nay, that they were being led around single file. Another setup for panic.
I grew up in the water from before I could walk, state champ swimmer, life guard, swim instructor, open water distance swimming, all that.

The first time I went down a line on my first OW I panicked. It was just below the surface, in a silty halocine when I suddenly couldn’t see anything. It passed quickly, and I realized that I just needed to follow the line down to where the instructor and guides were (there were additional guides behind me as well, I think we had more staff on this dive than students).

It was actually a great lesson for me that new situations can lead to unexpected reactions. I think of that moment every time I’m with a new diver or someone diving in conditions they haven’t been in.

Creating a panic situation for students seems like a terrible idea. Mr Murphy does enough of that without adding chaos Engineering to the mix.
 
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