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Two kids- one OW referral and one Discover scuba: what to expect for instructors

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Saboteur, Apr 7, 2019.

  1. Saboteur

    Saboteur Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Earth
    Hi all. Our family will be heading out for tropical vacation next month. One child will be doing OW referral and the other only wants to try scuba. I think there was a thread a while back on a discover scuba ending tragically. My question is would there be a dedicated instructor for the discover scuba, i.e. no adding on to the instructor doing OW referrals? Or do they sometimes mix the groups so long as the numbers are within limits?
  2. yle

    yle Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southern California
    Every shop is different. The best way to get your questions answered is to decide which shop you want to use and then ask them.

    PADI standards do place limits on the number of students one instructor can supervise, and those limits are more restricted for children at certain age levels. There is no standard that requires a shop to provide one-on-one instruction, although some do and most will if you are willing to pay extra.

    As for the recent DSD tragedy... it garnered attention because it's a very rare occurrence. You'll never hear much about the thousands of DSDs that happen with no problems.
  3. yle

    yle Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southern California
    Your very last question... it would be very unlikely that the instructor handling an OW referral would conduct a DSD at the same time. Technically not impossible... but very difficult for one instructor to handle both. The tasks required for the OW certification dives, both for the instructor and the student, are very different than those for a DSD.

    Keep in mind that the OW referral will require four dives with the instructor to complete the OW course, while the DSD experience is typically just one dive.
  4. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    DSD is often discussed. I have heard of situations where the ratio of instructor to number of students has been violated, sometimes very violated. Just my own opinion that a ratio of 4:1, even 2:1 isn't great. If it's one instructor with 2 students and one bolts to the surface, obviously one student will be left unsupervised. This will probably garner responses saying how great DSD was for them and the reason they got into diving. I won't disagree at all on that point. So I would check on that--the fewer DSD students obviously the better. My thoughts therefore are not to combine the referral with the DSD (I haven't heard of that being done but suppose it has).
  5. Esprise Me

    Esprise Me Kelp forest dweller ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    My DSD was 1-on-1, and it was in that thread you mention that I first learned that wasn't a PADI requirement. If my hypothetical child were going on one, knowing what I know now, I would call the dive shop and find our what their max ratio is and if they could guarantee a private instructor for my DSD kid. That's just my personal risk management threshold.
    dlofting and TMHeimer like this.
  6. caydiver

    caydiver Manta Ray

    We wouldn’t do a DSD and a Referral together. Two separate things with separate skill sets required. A refresher and a DSD would be different.
  7. TerryC

    TerryC Master Instructor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: St Kitts, West Indies
    Different centers and individual instructors will all have their own way of handling this, it depends on the conditions they dive in, instructors experience, instructors assessment of the risk involved and so becomes a personal decision.
    Because it can be done within standards does not mean it can or should be done.
    Please ask the dive shop you will be diving with.
    My own take on this.
    I will start by saying I teach on a Caribbean island, easy diving, easy conditions and I am an extremely experienced instructor.
    Prior to a DSD some training is required, I would take your junior for a pool session and I would ask your referral junior to come in the pool and "help" this gives me a chance to assess both students.
    Providing all is good then I am happy to conduct dive 1 of open water and the dsd together.
    There are no skills for the ow student in dive one where I can't also supervise the dsd.
    Absolutely no one else in the group though ,(sorry, you can't dive with them) as I need to give all my attention to the juniors.
    My take on this is different from some others, others may criticize me but as I said, the risk assessment is my personal one.
    I should also say that during dive one the dsd stays on the boat while I complete weight checks. Also during dive one I conduct only the minimum skills to meet standards, my focus on dive one is always buoyancy, trim and finning. (Get that right and the rest is easy).
    Every instructor has a duty if care to their students. That duty of care is much higher when you have juniors involved. I fully understand the dive centers and instructors that would say "no" to this and I also understand the instructor that does not wish to take responsibility for children diving at all.
    TMHeimer likes this.

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