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My Nark is much worse that my Bite!
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Yesterday my buddy and I join four other divers for a shore dive at a locally well known site. Our instructor from last June, two ladies and a bloke from the UK on holiday. This is a well known site that all the local dive schools use for OW. Max depth 8.5-9m. Yesterday, 10.1m...thats a high tide for us.
Buddy pairs...Instructor and bloke leading [I say Bloke, cause I don´t want to name him, he also passed his OW here last year] followed by the two ladies and my buddy and I bringing up the rear.

35 minutes into the dive at a max depth of 7.5-8m the ínstructors´ buddy gives an out of air signal, not low on air, but out of air...no problem, we all surface, and make it back to the shore.
The instructors´ buddy has to leave, and the rest of us make a second dive as planned.

It turns out that the guy who left, had passed his OW on this site last year whilst on holiday, gone back to the UK, and hadn´t dived since.

Today we are all on a boat dive...and this bloke is doing the first dive of his AOW [ deep dive ] We are anchored on a 12m reef with a 18m drop off to follow. We all descend down the line to 12m, the instructor and his buddy [ on the AOW ] drop down to 28m.
At 28m´s this guy on his AOW is now at 50bar, he has used 150 bar during the descent to that depth.

Cutting along story short, everyone seems to think that this guy has decided that rather than pay for a number of guided dives, he may as well do his AOW. Buts thats only an opinion.

My post isn´t a question as such...however, It´s made me
think about the number of dives between passing OW and taking that next step to AOW. There are no guide lines, only the individuals !
 

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Okay its the individuals decision, but the instructor should check log books and make a decision at ANY time during the course/dives to abort and tell the student to get some more experience first. However there are some instructors who just want the money and the certifications. Human nature is a funny thing, but becomes not so funny when lives can be affected.
 

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How has he used 150bar getting to 28m!!


Somewhere along the line someone has likely taken money from this person. An 'instructor'? They are responsible for this, much more than any student who has not been adequately trained. From the divers I see now, AOW/OW or whatever equivalent, they are pretty piss poor - unless they can think for themselves.

I think the problem starts with the concept of a 'dive guide'. Maybe too many people see such guides as the bail out assistance, thus never really developing as divers themselves - just underwater breathers.

Drubnken ravings of a pissed off diver who has spent too many dives on holidays watching diveguides out in front never looking back.

sorry

Adrian
 

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<font color='#000080'>It's really PADI's fault that people see AOW as a viable alternative to doing some guided dives after OW, because that's pretty much all it is, nothing is really taught on the course. Lots of people do one straight after the other, and there's frequently a discount for doing this so its clearly not viewed by PADI as a qualification requiring experience. As quite an inexperienced diver myself, whether it should require more experience is not something I should really comment on, but if it should it is not the students fault...
 

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It is is a fact that the whole PADI system is based around course sales, in order to succesfully complete and IDC/IE a candidate has to demonstrate the "ability" to push sales of further PADI training & equipment. The majority (all?) of dive shops also give Instructors commission on sales and given the poor pay rates frequently given the pressure to sell courses can be high.

I don't however agree with inferring that PADI is at fault for doing this, where they feel there exists a requirement for experience they state so. PADI is a commercial entity, they exist to make profit and develop the diving industry (as they see it). The AOW course is designed as a "taster" of a number of specialty courses and as such incorporates the first dive from the appropriate specialty, these dives are light on skill teaching hence why nothing appears to be taught. When I teach an AOW course I will try to give the student more by working on any issues I see with their diving, equipment etc and I have on occassion strongly urged newly qualified OW divers to take AOW ASAP as I feel they will benefit from further "handholding" before going off to gain experience.

Ian
 

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iGeek therefore iTrek
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After I'd passed my OW I immediately started my AOW then waited a month or two before starting Rescue Diver as I had decided that I should be a RD before venturing into the salty stuff given it's differences to quarry dives. The result of all this was thet I'd done 60ish dives in Stoney before qualifying as a RD and setting foot in the sea which is a good job I did as my second ever sea dive was the dive from hell - take it from me that you don't ever want to dive St. Catherines Bay in Jersey whilst there is a thunderstorm on


Limits are a very personal thing. The RD limit was one I'd set myself but may not be right for everyone else.
 

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I tend to think its down to the Instructor, personaly I think some are just training for the money. I know of some one(no names for obvious reasons) who completed his OW went stright on to his AOW and was an absolute liability I only dived with him once and that was enough. When I quieried it with the guy who taught him he just smiled agreed he lacked experience but "what can you do he wants to learn" I had to wait till I'd logged 20 dives before I could go for AOW
 

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The quality of the lessons taught by the instructor have a lot to do with the end resulting diver. The concept of being taught to think for yourself, isnt one I have seen written down - without doubt it must be one of the most important though.

I have seen, as Im sure most of us have, people on courses who quite frankly are shitting themselves, at the thought of 'going deep'. Be that 18 mtrs or 30mtrs. Sometimes its just the thought of entering the alien world of underwater. I have lost count of the number of times I have spoken to divers and said ' its ok to be nervous, in fact its natural'. That comment alone has made people feel less 'edgy' and more comfortable during the dive. And I have the art of finning along, facing my student down to a T! People might not agree with everything I say, but I feel the eye contact helps, and being able to see whats happening, means more time to react if a problem develops.

I stil remember my worst dive with vivid clarity, an instructor who finned far too quickly and too far ahead - leaving an inexperienced student effectively alone at 18 mtrs on an AOW course. When I lost contact with him because of the viz, yes I got scared, when I tried to surface but couldn't because I wasn't used to my dry suit and the extra weight I carried, I got tired, out of breath and more scared!

When I did my deep dive with him, I was taken to 34.5 mtrs in Coniston lake - dark, cold and really crappy viz! I didn't thank him for the experiences overall,  I never did another course with him again - I voted with my wallet!!

So when I see the student who looks nervous, I remember what went through my mind, and take the time to have a chat with the diver, to go over the dive plan and rest some of the trepidation.

Ian
 

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<font color='#FF0000'>the jury is still out on this one I think a lot of it is down to attitude and the rest down to luck.

I have been fortunate to dive with many pople who have been trained by both agencies some from each have been diabolical but also many have been blody exelant. In the main it is down to how the instructor has been able to input the required information into the student. Also how receptive the student is to instruction.  

Experiance is always the leveler together with effective guidence from your pears will always help to add an edge.

I have however become more and more concerned at the number of accidents that have occured with our lesser experianced divers, and think that this needs to be addressed by both agencies.

I am afraid that there are some instructors that need their attitude addressing but at the end of the day when money starts to become god in our sport we are going to have a rising list of potential problems.

please dive safe and realize your limitations (i hope I do) moreover don't be afraid to say, "I don't want to do that dive, it's beyond me".
We can always do the dive again. And any experianced buddy should be prepaired to work through the problems with you. It's in our own interest to promote safe diving and have safe buddies to dive with.

Safe diving to all Louigi.
 

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PADI Internet Specialty Diver
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I worked at Gildenburgh years back.  I remember we put some students straight through from OW to AOW without any diving whatsoever between.  The AOW is an experiential rather than intructional course in many respects.  The individual in question clearly has stress related heavy gas consumption and would benefit from some more diving.
However, to be fair (me?? surely not!) the instructor might not have known this.  I would have said this guy was a candidate for a failure on the deep core dive and should have to retake that module.
One of our students had a similar problem and surfaced welded to the safety tank despite having 50 odd bar of back-gas.  He was "failed" - i.e. had to retake that module.
PADI is geared to making money for its instructors for sure, but is that so wrong??  If you don't like the profit motive learn with BSAC and take your chances with an instructor that is doing it for the love of it (or maybe to massage his ego?).  Before you shout me down some BSAC intructors are brilliant and some PADI ones are dire...  I am one-time member of both.
Hope the chappie chills out and realises he needs more diving before doing 20m+  I'm sure he will get to be like the rest of us in time.
Chris
 
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