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Suit filed in case of "Girl dead, boy injured at Glacier National Park

Discussion in 'Diving Litigation' started by Jim Lapenta, May 6, 2021.

  1. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    27,509
    20,915
    Replying to my own post....

    As long as there has been paid employment, there has a been a fraction of the employed population that tries to earn their pay without doing the work. As something of an education enthusiast, I have studied its history, and you can see people complaining about it all the time. In the 1700's, Scotland had one of the world's finest educational systems. (Google "Scottish Enlightenment.") It had 5 fine universities, while England had 2. Many and perhaps most of the great philosophers we think of as English in that time period were actually Scottish. One of those famous philosophers (can't remember which right now) started his education in Oxford in England, but he switched to a Scottish university because, as he explained it, the Oxford professors didn't actually do any teaching. They just handed out degrees.

    As a teacher, I was required to take courses throughout my career to maintain certification. Those were often taken in summer school. One year I was taking a short class at a college that specialized in teacher preparation (University of Northern Colorado), and on the first day the class had perhaps 50 people in it. The professor took the role, which took forever. The person sitting next to me answered for at least 5 people, and when he saw my wonder, he told me that he would explain when the professor was done. At the end of taking attendance, the professor announced that the only criterion for passing that pass/fail class was attendance, and he would not be taking attendance again. The guy next to me explained that he and his friends took all their classes from that professor, and they drew straws before each class to see who had to attend that first day to answer "here" when the names were called. The class consisted of visits to local sites at which he, in theory, would teach about them. He was clearly pissed by the handful of people who showed up after the first few days, forcing him to stay there, although he did no actual teaching while there.

    So, yes, a percentage of scuba instructors phone it in. What a surprise.
     
    BlueTrin, kensuf, eleniel and 3 others like this.
  2. Cdncoldwater

    Cdncoldwater Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Atlantic Canada
    217
    138
    This is a terrible and fully avoidable incident. I feel so bad for the family and the person who attempted rescue (Bob). So many red flags in the description but no amount will compensate for the loss and suffering experienced by the family and Bob :(
     
    lermontov and Bob DBF like this.
  3. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    5,644
    3,904
    And scuba should be the same. I now work for a medical equipment company (class II devices). The overhead of documentation, meeting federal requirements is enormous. As it should be. Now I wouldn't want to see the same level of regulation, but the self-regulating industry isn't working too well. According to an attorney that is a consultant with DAN (he spoke at a dive club meeting in my area one time), a number of deaths go unreported.

    Something has to change. What it will take, I do not know.
     
    infinita29, Lostdiver71 and JimBlay like this.
  4. dlofting

    dlofting DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
    540
    450
    All my OW class were in drysuits. I've only been with one diver in BC waters who wore a wetsuit and he was a really hardy guy who was originally from Nova Scotia and didn't mind being a bit cold (or didn't feel it as much as most people). We did a pool orientation with the drysuits and could have certified on them by paying an additional $100 and doing one or two additional OW dives (I can't remember which). No one did that. The shop told us we could rent drysuits from them in the future but would not be able to at any other shop without the C Card. As an aside, my wife and I did do the drysuit course a few years later.
     
    shoredivr likes this.
  5. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    5,644
    3,904
    That's exactly what at least one local dive shop chain does. I am not aware of what all shops do.
     
  6. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    10,720
    16,598
    The dive industry would have to get big enough for it to financially support government oversight. It can be done by the players in the business, but it would cut into profits. I see no changes in the foreseeable future.
     
  7. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    5,644
    3,904
    Fair point.
     
  8. rsingler

    rsingler Scuba Instructor, Tinkerer in Brass Staff Member ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Napa, California
    5,620
    7,153
    With no disagreement about this entire post, and accepting ALL the lapses that were allowed by the direct participants in this disaster, I still have one question.
    In what universe is it acceptable (read: within standards) to take a student on for "Advanced Open Water" certification with five or six dives, the fifth being a year ago? This diver was certified as an OWD, but did not have the awareness to call her own dive
    - with impending darkness
    - with no light
    - in a drysuit with no inflator hose (had she read nothing?)
    - with apparently little or no dive briefing
    - without the wherewithal to release her weight pockets (assuming that what was zipped was actually her weight pockets with half her weight)
    - grossly overweighted

    So even assuming that we completely overlook the Instructor's clear culpability in this scenario, if this poor diver wasn't incredibly stupid, she was too inexperienced to undertake this certification. And that's on the organization that allows this sort of thing.
    Yes, you can point to the dive shop and Instructor who appear to clearly be at fault. But (even assuming a light, a briefing, a hose on your new drysuit, a quick pool checkout in advance, and 44# of ditchable weight) would YOU go get AOW certified in a cold lake in a new drysuit for the first time as an OWD at night with five or six dives, most of which were a year ago? Who allows naive divers to think this is okay, even WITH all the boxes being checked!?

    Yeah, I'm on a dive organization rant, and I think it should be harder to earn your credentials, if that wasn't already apparent. The pressure Instructors are under is a direct result of dive shops trying to stay alive, actively abetted by training organizations who make the public believe you can become a scuba diver over a three day weekend. That is wrong.
     
    Rollin Bonz, Griffo, tridacna and 4 others like this.
  9. dlofting

    dlofting DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
    540
    450
    We took our AOW in the summer in Vancouver. The viz at that time of the year is nameplate....I couldn't see my hand on my fully extended arm holding onto the buoy anchor chain.

    Our night dive was the same conditions. The instructors (both of whom are very competent) inadvertently brought a steel tank. They decided to give it to me and just had me drop five pounds of weight to compensate. I was definitely overweighted, which I found out after I descended. This did cause some problems which I managed to deal with one way or another. The point I'm making is that I was a certified diver. I had been trained to do a weight check if I felt it was needed and could have. The onus was on me as this was AOW not OW.
     
  10. rsingler

    rsingler Scuba Instructor, Tinkerer in Brass Staff Member ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Napa, California
    5,620
    7,153
    "One doesn't know what one doesn't know."

    The first hole in the Swiss cheese through which this accident flew belongs to the training organization.

    But yes, I now tend to take responsibility for myself, having survived this long. Linnea deserved the chance to make some of these mistakes, as we all have, and survive to grow wiser.
     

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