Random Jottings

The diving press and qualifications......

There was a dive fatality in Malta recently and you don't want to be guiding over there at the moment!

I will not go into the risks of guiding in Malta, certainly if there is an incident on your watch then be prepared for a thorough investigation with the associated naming and shaming in the press. My concern or worry is that some of a particular group were identified as experienced divers because they were qualified 'Rescue Divers'.

Regular readers will know that I have grave reservations over the PADI method of training and certification, after four dives in two days you are a qualified 'Open Water' diver and can go off and dive down to a depth of 18m without any other training and yup we see guys around the Islands that have passed this particular course in Egypt and then come to dive with seals, it's frightening!

After a further five dives you are now an 'Advanced' diver.......so that is nine training dives and you are advanced!!

Oh and PADI have now announced that you no longer require twenty dives to be certified as a rescue diver, so back in the restricted days you had done nine dives, then factor in four dives on the Rescue Course and then you needed to do seven non-training dives before you could become a rescue diver, now in the brave new world you can go straight from AOW to Rescue diver!!

I must say that whilst the course is useful to do with so little in water experience some of the skills are more hilarious than useful..... a line search in a cold, muddy, lake causes general hilarity as the trainees come out of the water covered in string.

Arguably the most important part of the course is the basic life-saving skills, that of CPR skills but arguably this should be trained out in the OW courses.....

So should the diving press know better? Undoubtably yes!

I accept that mainstream press are oft misinformed but really the dive press should know better and dig a little deeper, having a shiny gold card from PADI is not a sign that you are competent and a few more questions......... how many dives......how many years......

So don't forget if you are on a charter on your own and a buddy is foisted on you just because they are a newly minted Rescue Diver doesn't mean that they are safe and competent so step back and ask more pointed questions then adjust your dive plan to suit, then...............

Dive safe

RichW

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