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Ssi Safety Standards

Discussion in 'SSI: Scuba Schools International' started by Skulmoski, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. Skulmoski

    Skulmoski Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Gold Coast, QLD
    462
    240
    43
    Does SSI have diving safety standards by which affiliated dive centre must adhere to? If so, are they published for public consumption?

    Thank you

    GJS
     
  2. rick00001967

    rick00001967 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: canada
    1,469
    450
    83
    Skulmoski likes this.
  3. Skulmoski

    Skulmoski Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Gold Coast, QLD
    462
    240
    43
    Hello

    I recently came back from a dive holiday and cut short my diving due to safety concerns. In 5 dives, I witnessed a run away ascent (from 7-9 meters), a separated buddy team that had to surface independently, a snorkeler needing assistance with the guide no where to be found, and one diver entering the water with her air turned off.

    Below is a list of safety problems I encountered on a recent dive holiday with a SSI certified dive center. I have registered a complaint with SSI with the intention that they can investigate and help improve the dive center's safety process. I contend that the dive center is operating in contradiction to some of the 2016 SSI Standards - English (p. 31) specifically:
    2. Be a professional role model at all times during training and other business-related activities.
    3. Be a diving role model on all dives, practicing and promoting safe diving, environmental awareness, and minimal ecological impact.
    4. Conduct all SSI programs with a high degree of integrity and honesty, and with the goal of providing the best possible customer experience.​

    PRE – DEPARTURE

    1. Welcome and Introduction of staff on the boat
    a. Omitted
    2. Day Briefing (weather / conditions – Time in transit etc.)
    a. Omitted
    b. I had to ask about transit times.
    3. Boat facilities (Toilets, Wheelhouse, Bridge, Drinks etc.)
    a. Informed us that drinks were available
    4. Equipment set up PRIOR to departure – secure and air checked
    a. Completed
    5. Check everyone has full 2nd cylinder
    a. Did not observe
    6. Dry Storage areas
    a. Did not mention
    7. ROLL CALL (From Boat Sheet)
    a. Omitted
    8. Assign Rescue Diver responsibilities and identify them to the group
    a. Omitted
    9. Discuss Recall signal - in case of emergency or abort of dive
    a. Omitted

    AT THE DIVE SITE
    1. Name of Dive Site and depth
    a. Completed by P and K; D only stated name of dive site. (Initials of Dive Masters: P, K and D)
    2. Description of the Dive Site
    a. Full description by K
    b. Some details provided by P
    c. No description provided by Dennis
    3. Features and Marine Life expected at the Dive Site
    a. Full description by K and P
    b. No description provided by D
    4. Hazards or Potential Risks if any (Positive Presentation)
    a. Not mentioned by P and D despite there being a moderate current at Dennis Gardens and low to moderate visibility. These potential risks are more likely threatening given that there were junior divers on the dive. Indeed, we got separated during our first dive where low visibility contributed to this problem.
    5. Kit up order – Non Students off the boat first
    a. Dive Masters informed the group about this guideline.

    ENTRY PROCEDURES
    1. Buddy Pairs / Buddy Checks
    a. None of the Dive Masters requested mandatory buddy checks
    2. Give Name / Air contents info to Dive Master prior to entry
    a. Not requested
    3. OK Signal on entry
    a. Not requested; boat captain was not paying attention
    4. Descent – Down Shot Line – Equalizing all the way down
    a. Only informed about following mooring line on descent

    DIVING PROCEDURES
    1. Stay / dive with your buddy.
    a. P and K informed us to stay with our buddy
    2. Plan your dive and dive your plan
    a. No detailed dive plan was shared with us
    3. Lost Buddy Procedures (Look for 1 minute and surface slowly)
    a. Not discussed; only on written waiver
    4. If you lose your buddy and they don’t surface RETURN to the boat.
    a. Not discussed
    5. AIR – Monitor Air at ALL times. Back to boat with 50 Bar SAFELY
    a. Not discussed or requested
    6. Dive Time Max 1 hour Depth Max 18m (unless advanced)
    a. Not discussed
    7. SIGNALS – Show OK (all), Up, Down, Something Wrong, Slow, Stop, Low air, etc.
    a. Not reviewed

    BACK ON BOAT
    1. Hand up fins once holding back rail. MASK ON – REGULATOR IN
    a. Not discussed
    2. Climbing Up ladder – next person stay back in case diver falls in.
    a. Not discussed
    3. Details (max depth, dive time and air remaining) to Dive Master
    a. Not requested
    4. Once on-board take your Mask, Snorkel and Fins, away from deck area
    a. Not requested
    5. ROLL CALL (From Boat Sheet)
    a. Not taken
    6. Disassemble Equipment – Cylinder change over (or pack away if final dive)
    a. Not informed; clients needed to ask Dive Master
    7. Secure cylinders prior to departure back to port
    a. Many cylinders were no secured; they were left on the bow deck
    8. Post Dive Health Issues - is everyone okay?
    a. Not addressed
    9. Completion of goals - did the dive go as planned?
    a. Not addressed
    10. Equipment problems - are there any issues?
    a. Not addressed

    To sum up, the dive center did not operate in compliance with neither the SSI 2016 Standards, nor other generally accepted safety standards when I dove with them. They were not role models. They did not practice or promote safe diving practices. They did not provide the best possible customer experience.

    I welcome your comments and guidance.

    GJS
     
  4. scubajoe123

    scubajoe123 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location:
    26
    7
    3
    It doesn't sound like an operator I would want to dive with, it's hard to imagine not knowing transit times or having unsecured cylinders while underway:eek:.

    • Run away ascent (from 7-9 meters)
    • Separated buddy team that had to surface independently
    • a snorkeler needing assistance with the guide no where to be found
    • one diver entering the water with her air turned off
    These(except for the snorkeler) do seem more like problems with the divers themselves and not with the operation. Who doesn't check their air before jumping in ?!?
     
    Pinecube likes this.
  5. Skulmoski

    Skulmoski Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Gold Coast, QLD
    462
    240
    43
    Regarding the separated buddy team, the visibility was around 5 meters and the guide was leading at a quick pace. The group was focused on keeping up. The separated group had a junior diver that was distracted by some sea life. The junior diver's buddy went to get the attention of the junior diver in order to rejoin the group which was disappearing quickly in the low visibility. Given that there were two 12 year old divers in the group of 6, I would expect the Dive Master to set a pace appropriate for the junior divers and visibility conditions. And I would expect him to regularly check that his group was with him.

    If the Dive Master ensured that there were buddy checks, the diver might not have entered the water with their air off. That said, a responsible diver will ensure their air is on and complete a buddy check.

    Good points that you raise scubajoe123.

    GJS
     
  6. rick00001967

    rick00001967 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: canada
    1,469
    450
    83
    just curious where you got the list of requirements you posted.

    in defense of ssi......these sound like issues that should have been discussed with the dive operator.
     
  7. rivers

    rivers PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Bristol, UK
    1,467
    539
    113
    I'm going to comment on a few of your points. You might not like all of my comments...

    Okay, I'm sick of writing the same thing over an over again. From the look of this list, it mostly a list of guidelines to be followed while on a course. You and every client on the boat were already certified, which means you should be able to plan and conduct your own dives, as well as surface with air still in your tanks.
    Now, was the crew a bit lax with their boat procedures, briefing, and roll call. Well yeah. You have a valid complaint there.
    The rest of it, not so much. You are certified. You are an autonomous diver, and you should be able to safely conduct your own dives with a buddy.
     
  8. Pinecube

    Pinecube Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Ontario, Canada
    306
    139
    43
    What Rivers said is spot on as far as I'm concerned. It's a shame we can only "like" each post once. I just wanted to ask; if you were having concerns about safety, did you bring up any of these concerns with the captain/divemasters before jumping in the water?
     
  9. geologist_412

    geologist_412 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Pittsburgh, PA
    26
    9
    3
    Thank you...you just said everything I was going to say, but probably in a more polite way than I would have said it! What this comes down to is the fact that as certified divers, we are responsible for putting what we learned in training into practice on every dive, regardless of the time or the place. Enter the water without your air on? Completely avoidable if you were paying attention and not just "going through the motions." I'm not saying that it can't happen to the best of us, but that is a problem that is easily avoidable and it is in no way the responsibility of the DM to make sure that a CERTIFIED diver turned on the main thing that will keep you alive underwater.

    I could seriously sit here and comment on most of your points, but in the interest of time, I will leave it at this...Yes, the operator could have been more safety conscious than it was, but in the end you are in control of your own safety. Diving is a safe sport that is made safe by those that pay close attention to every detail in order to ensure that they return from every dive. You are responsible for yourself...you can't let others hold your hand to make sure everything is right. Yes, use a buddy to double check everything, but as you quickly learned on your charter, YOU have to initiate the buddy check. Some people use them, others don't, but don't expect someone to tell you what you must do...if you want a buddy to go over your equipment, go up and ask someone. Again, you are responsible for your own safety, so you do what you need to do in order to come back alive. Don't wait for others to guide you in the right direction.
     
    oli4 likes this.
  10. rick00001967

    rick00001967 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: canada
    1,469
    450
    83
    i do agree with all that was said above. there is no question that you are correct. however......in reality, most "vacation" divers are just that. they do not regularly dive. they may only get 5 or 10 dives a year. maybe less. and when on vacation, they pay someone else to do most of the planning for them. and they are paying to have a professional staff look after them and sometimes their equipment. some shops do i more thorough job than others at this because they understand the reality of the job they do.

    i still would like to know where the long list above came from. i agree with what was aid by someone earlier. it sounds like it might be from course materials ?
     

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