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Unstaffed moored boat during dives?

Discussion in 'Greater Antilles' started by Saboteur, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
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    I'm with you, I like having all the convenience of an onsite op at a popular shore dive. My Bonaire shore diving days are over.
     
  2. Steve_C

    Steve_C Divemaster

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    Location: Raleigh, NC USA
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    I hear that all the time on boats which always have a crew member on board at all times. Its in case of a total cluster and that crew member becomes incapacitated.
     
    KathyV likes this.
  3. Doctorfish

    Doctorfish Loggerhead Turtle

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    It all depends who you dive with. In my experience on Cayman, ( which certainly does not include every operator) many of the briefings have not mentioned what the monitored channel is or what to do if the boat is not there when you surface. Quality and detail is quite variable and in fact on one boat the DM actually said, "I'm not going to insult your intelligence with a briefing". Reef Divers is an exception in that their orientations and briefings are incredibly thorough. They use a check list list which I think is a great idea.
     
    Saboteur, KathyV and caydiver like this.
  4. caydiver

    caydiver Manta Ray

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    We don’t tell guests anything about the radio. I have never been on a boat anywhere in the world that did. I have been on boats in places that didn’t have a radio. I have also been on boats where the guests are all repeat divers with them so instead of going through the full boat briefing they basically brief the dive site once they determine that guests are comfortable and have no questions. When we were in the north Whitsundays out on the same boat the pre and post dive briefings were onerous as the days went by with three crew members checking off sheets. Ironically a couple years previously in the mid Whitsundays they had so many divers on the fixed barge, you hardly had time to get your gear on and get in the water. I think that like anything there will be variances. The most important thing for any diver new or experienced is that if you have concerns don’t feel embarrassed to voice them.
     
  5. Doctorfish

    Doctorfish Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
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    I have been on lots of boats where the briefing included the radio. As some divers use portable Marine Band radios like Nautilus Lifeline, this is IMO, important info. I was actually on a dive boat on GC a few years ago where we did a drift dive near North West point. Several of us were unable to grab the mooring rope at NW Point and got swept away. We inflated our scuba tubes and after 15 or so scary minutes were spotted by the police marine unit who came over and radioed our dive boat. I bought a Nautilus the next day and now always ask what frequency is being monitored if not included in the briefing.

    I think that DMs should use a checklist to be thorough in exactly the same way that checklists are used in an operating room or commercial aircraft. We are talking about peoples lives at potential risk. As I mentioned earlier, Reef Divers does a very extensive boat briefing at the beginning of the week. They ask new divers to come 15 minutes early to do so as to not hold up the rest of the group. I am very impressed by their thoroughness. I have rarely seen this sort of briefing in Cayman by other operators.
     
    KathyV and caydiver like this.
  6. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
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    Thanks again Tony, and it was not my intention to suggest any nagative actions on the part of the Cayman dive ops and I hope that I didn't give that impression. We love Cayman and the diving and we have had consistently positive experiences with the various ops that we have used over the years. I say that quite often and I mean it! It's just that I wouldn't assume that I can speak for everyone or that my excellent, but limited experiences are true for every Cayman dive op and every dive staff member - so there might be a couple of sour apples in an otherwise excellent barrel, I haven't dived with all of them and I haven't had interactions with all their staff.

    But I really appreciate the safe and professional diving services provided by the ops we have used over the years so keep up the great work!
     
    Doctorfish and drrich2 like this.
  7. shrop3483

    shrop3483 Cayman Aggressor IV

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    I'd read this thread a few days ago, but did not reply. Happen to be back here and thought I'd take the time to give my opinion.

    First, a lookout on the boat is required by the Port Authority. This "clause" was grandfathered in shortly after "9/11" and a lot of discussion was had. It was not long before that small operators were booming, and if you owned the company that had only one (1) boat, you were a do-it-all and at most, had one employee.

    With the "clause" taking affect (and it had evidently been in place for eons, but never enforced - it just all happen to coincide with 9/11), you were required to have someone "up".

    Prior, and maybe even today, if you have a boat of six (6), you. probably feel more comfortable underwater with those divers. You have control of their well-being.

    Today, there may be that rare occasion that the boat may have to be left unattended.

    Is it a common practice in Cayman - absolutely not. Having been here (in the industry) for 25 years, and having been diving since the late 60s, I will put Cayman's standards against anyone around the globe. The dive ops on this island do a damn good job and don't you ever doubt that. We try and help out one another, work together and make it "right" for our customers.

    If you are not happy with the company you are diving with, believe me, there is another one nearby that will sure be happy to work with you.
     
    caydiver and KathyV like this.
  8. tridacna

    tridacna ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Yes but. With all those standards. She still got away. With it.
     
  9. caydiver

    caydiver Manta Ray

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    Shrop totally agree.
     
  10. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
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    It is likely that many governments, boards, councils, associations, regulatory agencies, and other safety-oriented groups around the world were prompted to take a close look at their rules, regulations, and recommendations after 9/11. I think that a lot of policies were updated and revised and some others that were "on the books but never enforced" suddenly took on new importance.

    I know that our local village council did a major revamp of the town's safety ordnances after 9/11 and released a lot of new and revised regulations, and they started enforcing some that were long-standing but had not been considered very important in the past.

    We weren't always thrilled with some of the new rules, and sometimes they were difficult or expensive to implement, but I think that everyone recognized that they were just trying to keep us safe - and most folks went along with the changes without rancor.

    It may have been the same for your Port Authority and I appreciate that they were trying to enhance the safety of both locals and visitors, even though the Cayman dive ops that we have frequented in the past have always been careful and safe.

    Thanks for sharing the background information!
     

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